Dear Square Enix: Final Fantasy Doesn't Need Sequels
This isn't about that popular rumor; I have no idea if it's true and I don't really care.
But it has once again prompted an ire-laced article, in that Square Enix has once again confused and annoyed a loyal following that has been with Final Fantasy since the beginning. That being said, I must clarify my stance on sequels, just in case this rant is misinterpreted:
Many of the greatest games of all time have a number in the title. That includes everything from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves to Super Mario 3 to Metal Gear Solid...oh, just pick one. There are few - if any - video game franchises where the majority of gamers would agree that the original title is the best of the bunch. I have no problem with this; unlike in Hollywood, sequels in gaming often equate to higher quality (if only due to better technology as time goes on).
But regardless of the numbers at the end of the Final Fantasy adventures, none were actually "sequels" until Final Fantasy X-2. That wasn't bad, despite what anyone says, and I also enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII-2 (although for all the wrong reasons). Still, one of the biggest reasons FF was so well loved centered on each entry's freshness. A whole new world, a whole new set of characters, and yes, even a whole new intricate combat mechanic, even if the turn-based architecture was mostly intact.
Everything was different from one title to the next, all the way up through FFX. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And this was a big part of this franchise's allure; what other series can claim this? The RPG fans adored this because they not only knew they'd get a masterpiece, they also knew they'd get a new masterpiece. Truthfully, what can we really say this about today? Anything? Maybe instead of focusing on sequels, Square Enix, you should focus on that which made FF stand out in the crowd. You know, the quality no other franchise could really attest to, the quality that kept everyone coming back for more...?
Freshness. A new world to explore with new characters to learn about and a new gameplay style to experience. Sequels? Leave that to everyone else and focus on what you do - or rather, did - best. Don't worry. We'll wait. No, we don't need FFXIII-3. We need FFXV and we need it to be...well, you know. You know, but Square Enix doesn't. Obviously.
5/27/2012 9:36:15 PM Ben Dutka