Square Enix has come out with a statement that their latest MMORPG failure in Final Fantasy XIV has “damaged” the Final Fantasy name and they plan to redo the game for re-release. While its great to hear a company take responsibility for damaged goods, gamers like myself are a bit thrown off by the assertion that XIV was the problem.
There was once a time when I was overly excited for a new Final Fantasy game. I looked forward to the epic story (which arguably was always the best part), the game mechanics to allow me to create a god and last but not least those wonderful summons. I would wonder at what new awesomeness they would bring with the summons and whether the Bahamut would again reign supreme as the king of them all. For me Final Fantasy was in a class of it’s own, the Michael Jordan of RPGs and always a blind purchase. I trusted Square that much, well… because they always delivered.
What I have written is not a dramatization of my feelings, it is fact. I loved every Final Fantasy up until 12 but then with the launch of 13 something happened… I found myself not caring anymore.
Over at Destructoid, Jim Sterling asked the question as to when did we as gamers start losing the love? I was very happy to see that I was not alone in the timeline dropoff. Was it that the secret recipe got old to us after 12 titles? Was the time spent on the Final Fantasy XI MMORPG at the cost of good development for 12? I can’t put my finger on it. All I can say is that I have never played XIII and don’t feel the want to.
Was it the Enix/Square unison that killed Final Fantasy? A change in the brass perhaps? What do you think? For me, I would need for them to wipe the Androgynous, Neon Final Fantasy art direction and linear gameplay then take it all back to the drawing board. I still have hope for Final Fantasy or I would not have taken the time to write this. I just want a return to the feeling of anticipation and amazement that used to be what the name represented.