Should Square Go With Final Fantasy Online Or Stick To The Numbers?
After the revelation of Final Fantasy XI at Square Millennium Event, the press was shocked to hear that the eleventh chapter in the Final Fantasy series will strictly be an online game. Final Fantasy XI will be the first game to fully utilize the PlayOnline network created by SquareSoft, which will be released sometime next year. The FF series has always been about great stories, compelling soundtracks, and at some point awesome visuals. But now that the series is stepping into the new generation of consoles, all that can change quickly. The perfect example is Final Fantasy X that will mark as the first FF title to arrive on the PS2 as well as have some online elements to it that Square has yet to reveal. Already one step into the new world, Square has already decided to add online gameplay into their next FF, thankfully FFX will still be more of a console RPG game. FFX is aimed at online gamers and console gamers alike, but the same can't be said about Final Fantasy XI.
Remember how some people thought that Final Fantasy Tactics was FF VIII but instead FFT was more of a side step from the FF series and an entrance into the tactical world (which at the time dominated the PC genre). Square was looking into attracting gamers who enjoy tactics games like Age of Empires, War/Star Craft or Command and Conquer. They did an excellent job with FF Tactics as the game was opened to warm criticism and proficient sales, Square also wanted to throw in a little FF flavor into the game by adding their signature Chocobo and Mog characters as well cameos made by Cloud and Aeris (Cloud being the playable character). Square pulled off Tactics with positive results and without hitting a single bump in the road with the FF fans out there. That didn't happen because Square remained faithful to the franchises numbers by keeping Tactics a side-plot instead of a FF7 sequel. So what should Square do with their online Final Fantasy title, should they stray away from calling it FFXI and stick with FF Online? Read on and decide for yourself.
Controversy has been knocking on Square's door with FF XI, fans are disappointed at Square's approach on making their eleventh FF title for online purposes only. If a member Square is reading this I strongly suggest that you guys drop XI from Final Fantasy XI and replace it with Online. Final Fantasy IX should be titled Final Fantasy Online, I think that it suits the name better and Square owes it to themselves by keeping their FF series intact with gamers who enjoy console RPGs but not online ones. I think by dropping the Roman numeral XI from the title and add it to another FF title, Square would gain much more respect from their fans by showing them that they want to keep the FF series true and original as it has always been. Basically what I'm trying to say is keep the FF series alive by staying true to it and keep it going by numbers, so if Square wants to do an online version of Final Fantasy, do something similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, give it a sub title not a roman numeral.
So in the end the Final Fantasy series needs to be broken up into two groups, into an online group and into a traditional RPG group. After Final Fantasy X is released I hope Square announces its next FF title as Final Fantasy Online and then saying that Final Fantasy XI will be a new RPG adventure, that way fans of both gaming fields will be happy.