5 Things That Just Didn't Work This Generation
Final Fantasy: Flash, Trash, and the greatest insult to fans ever perpetrated.
It wasn't that Final Fantasy could do no wrong. Of course we'd had some problems in the past. Dirge of Cerberus is best left unmentioned, some people had a problem with the girl power behind FFX-2, but for the most part you could always rely on those main entries. So when we all happily plunged into FFXIII and found out it was a game on autopilot inside a slim hallway we fans were... displeased. Despite the controversial move of going multiplatform, this game still did not push the numbers FFX had on PS2 alone.
But things happen right? It wasn't a horrible game, just not what anyone wanted. And hey, Final Fantasy Versus XIII was on the way soon and it looked fantastic. Then FFXIII-2 came and promised to fix all the things wrong with XIII. And they sort of listened, but like a mythological genie they took our requests and twisted them into a kind of mockery, which was poorly crowded into a disconnected experience with a storyline that was downright insulting to the intelligence. It sold less than half the numbers XIII pulled in. Then Versus became vaporware and the MMO Final Fantasy XIV became a rolling calamity that nobody could master or stop.
Then they announced Lightning Returns, which appears to be headed down another rabbit hole of poorly realized western ideals. In short, Final Fantasy has become unrecognizable, bereft of its legendary status, and a testament to the legacy of disgraced former Square-Enix CEO Yoicha Wada. It's actually still a mystery just what they were up to. Whether it was trying to get a whole new audience, appeal to westerners, or a case of some bad puffer fish we may never know. All we know is it didn't work and it doesn't seem to be over yet.
3D Gaming: A Stereoscopic Bespectacled Headache
With apologies to those few friends of mine who still think 3D gaming was some sort of advancement this generation I will not miss this trend now that it is on the wane. Don't get me wrong, I had my fun with 3D WorldRunner on NES back in the day but let's face it: This was never going anywhere this generation. Sony pushed it pretty hard for a while there. That made some sense what with their line of 3D TVs and all. Microsoft kind of tried to catch up but there really wasn't any need; the fad never had legs. It cut frame rates, required expensive and annoying technology, and gave many people raging headaches.
Some support will continue but it's clear that 3D gaming won't be on anybody's priority list in the next generation. I think Playstation Executive Shuhei Yoshida said it best to IGN:
"3D was a big thing a couple of years ago — we made it a big thing because it was lead by the consumer electronics side of Sony and we liked what we could do on PS3 using 3D stereoscopic. But now the consumer electronics side of Sony, or all of the companies have shifted focus from 3D TV to something else, so if they're not talking about it, why would we?”
One of the great things about a new generation is that there is an opportunity to put mistakes like these behind us. I just hope everybody learned something. So, what else hasn't worked this generation?
4/16/2013 David Nelson