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Editorial: When Does Final Fantasy Cease To Be "Final Fantasy"?

That's a fair question isn't it?

Whenever you think Final Fantasy began to take a downturn it's hard to get away from that conclusion, at least from the perspective of a lifelong fan. Maybe it was the MMO style battle system of FFXII, maybe it was the automatic battles of FFXIII, or maybe it was the loss of series staples like a world map, towns, full party control, lack of a coherent story, etc.

I could probably go on all day but for the purposes of this article I'm wondering just when these games that are coming out with the Final Fantasy name on them cease to be even remotely worthy of the name bestowed on their predecessors. Maybe it has already happened for you, or maybe it's about to.

This editorial comes hot on the heels of E3 and some new disturbing revelations about the future of the series that at one time could do no wrong. Before proceeding to that though I think we have to deal with the elephant in the room, the not so epic, not so RPG-like conclusion to the beleaguered Final Fantasy XIII series. While the first might have slipped by as a not so stellar entry in a beloved franchise (hey this happens in every series right?) Square-Enix decided to push the envelope right off the desk. They followed it up with a sort-of sequel that was plenty of fun but narratively challenged, disorganized, and repetitive. As if that wasn't enough the game was plagued with DLC that you had to buy in order to see the whole story.

And now Lightning Returns is in the pipe. I'm not seeing any news outlets raving about how great it is during their E3 floor demo, in fact the general consensus seems to be that it is a somewhat recognizable party-less experience with a couple of new tricks. So I must ask, what is Final Fantasy without a party?

Now we have the news that Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been unceremoniously renamed to Final Fantasy XV and I hope you can excuse me if I say that that is the ultimate cop out move. Let's face it, they knew that with all the resources put into the XIII saga and the XIV MMO that if they kept it up at this pace we wouldn't see a real Final Fantasy XV for a further five years or more after the release of Versus, which could place it into the PS5 generation.

I'm still looking forward to FFXV but with the full on action battle system inside a main entry I again must ask, is this really “Final Fantasy?” Even XIII could have been somewhat considered a command based game. Will FFXV even be an RPG in any sense of the term? Is it “Final Fantasy” if it isn't an RPG? Sure we've had Final Fantasy spinoffs like Dirge of Cerberus, but they were spinoffs for crying out loud and Versus was meant to be another of them.

Lastly, that disturbing news I mentioned above. Square-Enix has, in a moment of continued tone-deafness, come forward to say that they plan to continue the story of Final Fantasy XV with some type of sequel or sequels. The first FF sequel was of course FFX-2, though many considered it a kind of spinoff. The fact of the matter was that FFX was a self-contained story that did not require you to play the next game to get everything out of it. That has always been the case with this series. Even as Square-Enix has gone back to add in bits and pieces to portable titles and such you never lost anything from those original experiences. Since the story of FFXIII-2 has almost nothing to do with the story of the original you can even say that XIII was self-contained to some extent. Now we are told long before the release of FFXV that that game won't even attempt to continue the old tradition of having a single epic tale encosed in one game.

No, we are faced with a game that does not have an ending and then some inevitable DLC or sequels that just keep on stretching things out. Is this right? How much can a series change before it ceases to even be the same series?

Perhaps the most terrifying thing about all this is that Final Fantasy was always able to reinvent itself with every new entry and long time fans will forever be left hoping that somewhere just around the corner there will be a reinvention that finally makes our fantasies come true.

Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy Versus XIII

Tags: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Final Fantasy XV, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

6/13/2013 10:03:25 PM David Nelson

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Comments (86 posts)

Ricky_P
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 10:33:28 PM
Reply

Never.

Just because someone doesn't like it doesn't mean it's not "Final Fantasy."

If a band changes genres does that mean they have to change the name of the band?

You either like it or you don't. Ranting isn't going to change that.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 10:57:55 PM

It isn't about like or dislike, it's about whether or not it can be considered the same product. In this case the product has a long established history, you can actually point to things and say "THIS is Final Fantasy, and THAT is not."

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KidPresentable
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 11:22:53 PM

Nope, it's always Final Fantasy. This is a new age. Wanting a PS4 game to play like a NES game makes no sense. It comes down to people saying 'This ids Final Fantasy because this came first'. Why every FF or any other game must be beholden to that confounds me. And people use the word 'fan' like it's a trump card. To me it boils down to company x makes game and you buy and enjoy it. They don't owe anyone anything after that transaction is completed. Why people think that simply buying a game bonds a company in some sort of blood oath equally confounds me. Very confounding...

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dmiitrie
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 12:05:10 AM

It's not a matter of S-E 'owing' people things; it's a matter of people saying, "we want a game that does X and we want to give you money for that. Why won't you give us X so we can give you money."

I'd gladly buy new games from S-E if they made games im interested in. The fact that they once did with regularity and now just flat out refuse to do so is very frustrating.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 12:08:05 AM

Ricky: If a band changes genres, it doesn't mean they have to change the name of the band. It just MIGHT mean, however, that all their fans, who they worked so hard to earn, HATE them.

Kid: They don't owe the fans anything? They don't owe the consumers that made Final Fantasy what it IS? It's not about sentiment or loyalty. It's about meeting the demand that YOU created. Inexplicably and illogically taking it away to cater to a completely different group of consumers is confusing, and very frustrating to those who originally contributed.

Evolving and progression is part of the industry. Nobody will deny that. However, if Final Fantasy stops being role-playing, than that is a legitimate slap in the face to millions who supported that franchise. There's no reason to do that. Just call it something else. Give it a new name. How hard is that?

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tes37
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 12:57:22 AM

It's akin to being lied to.

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KidPresentable
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 7:25:31 AM

Absolutely not. They definitely should have the freedom to 'redefine' what a RPG is even within the confines of the Final Fantasy series.

As I've read from the many editorials here regarding Final Fantasy and RPGs in general, there is a belief that a RPG that streamlines combat and customization in the slightest is a betrayal. 'Faster and dumber' is the prevailing mantra. But, in this gaming world, watching a battle unfold where 8 characters just stand there waiting their turn to fight, seems very out of place. A dynamic battlefield is necessary.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 10:10:40 AM

The battlefield becomes less dynamic the more choice and strategy you strip away from the player.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:18:15 AM

You're still not getting it. I repeat- They are not "redefining" an RPG. They're CHANGING GENRES. You can desperately try to label Lightning Returns an RPG all you want; nobody - no Final Fantasy fan, no general role-playing fan, nobody who knows that genre - will say it's an RPG. That's because it's not.

Faster and dumber is evident in all genres throughout the entire industry. It's evident in all entertainment. That's not the issue. Nor is the issue strictly about the battle mechanic. Look at FFXII: It was basically Dragon Age; you wandered around and encountered enemies in real-time. You could pause combat to issue commands and switch between characters, but you can do that in most RPGs. It was still an RPG. That's the point. People may not have liked the new system and style, but you couldn't claim it wasn't an RPG.

When you completely change what a game is, you're losing and betraying your target audience. It makes no business sense, either, as each FF is now starting to sell less than the one before it.

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:28:19 AM

Kid and Ricky_P, would your logic apply to God of War if it became necessary to play on a rock band guitar to rhythm and riffs? Or maybe you haven't thought it out quite completely.

@Ben
That last point you made is the real kicker for me. Even as the franchise has become more accessible to more consumers across multiple consoles, it fails to achieve the same sales numbers. In addition to that, look at the intense drop in sales between FFXIII and FFXIII-2. It went from nearly 3 million sales on XBOX360 to being almost completely irrelevant.

Facts are facts, boys.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 6/14/2013 11:32:57 AM

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Douchebaguette
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 3:58:09 PM

I agree with Ricky. See it doesn't matter if SE decide to turn Final Fantasy into a mobile phone game app where you do nothing but shoot donkeys, Final Fantasy is whatever they decide to change it to. In that case Final Fantasy is more of a Has Been; by its golden days were so untouchable that people just downright refuse to associate those days with what the title stands for now.

Instead of saying "that isn't Final Fantasy", which it would clearly be, what we should instead say is "that isn't the PRIME of Final Fantasy; when Sakaguchi was in charge."

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:20:19 PM

Uh...can we not be so literal? Of course it's a Final Fantasy because the name is in the title. That's really not the question.

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KidPresentable
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:48:55 PM

I say Lightning Strikes is a RPG. I'm a Final Fantasy fan. I'm a RPG fan. Just because Lightning can now traverse a 3D environment without being chained to the ground. That's awesome. Bringing it into the damn 21st century of gaming. And the fact that her attacks are contextual does not eliminate it from RPG status. Unless you are willing to take out the Tales games, Rogue Galaxy, and Kingdom Hearts, just to name a few.

Sales are NO indication of quality. So I don't see how an anyone can say it proves anything. Plenty of superior sequels sell less. Of the top of my head r Motorstorm Pacific Rift and Metal Gear Solid 3. Two VASTLY superior sequels that sold less than their predecessors. It can be argued that FFXIII-2 it's a superior sequel.

Last edited by KidPresentable on 6/14/2013 4:51:00 PM

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shadowscorpio
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 6:11:25 PM

kid,

This has nothing to do with quality. No doubt FF15 will an incredible game.

To say that the drastic drop in sales from Final Fantasy XII to XII-2 has no signifigance leads me to believe you're in denial on the premise that most Final Fantasy fans want something different than what SE has been giving us.

One thing that I have confidence in is that the old school FF fans are in higher number than the demographic that Square-Enix seems to want to cater to instead. SE's financial losses are no coincidence.

"An apple is half eaten. You didn't need to see it first hand to know someone or something took a bite".

Last edited by shadowscorpio on 6/14/2013 6:12:28 PM

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KidPresentable
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 7:02:33 PM

I understand that old school Final Fantasy fans didn't like 13 may have passed on 13-2. But, by your logic, 15 should sell less than 13-3 since it seems heavily action focused. As far as being targeted at a different audience, since 7 Final Fantasy has been a RPG for casual gamers. That's a fact. People who don't regularly buy RPGs will buy a new hyped FF. I remember when I was assistant managing an EB when FF7 was released, we got returns buy the truckload because people bought the game just for the ads that Square ran that just showed summons and CGI. Square, even then I think, thought that they gameplay could be a bit more flashy.

I love the FF games because each one is unique, even though most adhered to RPG cliches. I'm on board with whatever they release, slow and methodical or fast and dumb.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 9:09:17 PM

So basically, kid, you're just saying you'll blindly buy anything called Final Fantasy. That's exactly what your last sentence says. And that's just...stupid.

This crap about all FFs only being for "casual" players is nonsense. Only the elitist PCers said that because they erroneously thought the Forgotten Realms RPGs (Baldurs Gate, Icewindale) were somehow deeper when in fact, they weren't HALF as deep in a variety of ways. If it was for the casuals, you wouldn't have seen any returns at the store, now would you?

And if you actually believe changing a game's entire genre is the same as true progression, like "bringing it into the 21st century" or some such nonsense, we have nothing left to discuss.

Oh, and dismissing the declining sales is absurd. Lightning Returns will sell like sh** because nobody wants it. Has it ever struck you as odd that there doesn't appear to be a single solitary Final Fantasy fan who actually wants that game?

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 6/14/2013 9:10:01 PM

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Abidan13
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 10:35:25 PM

I was a little reluctant to comment but I feel I should. I see where both sides are coming from.

If I try to sell a Shakespeare book under the title of "Twilight" to Twilight fans, they will be very mad and the sales will be poor. Does this mean the book is worse? No (and in this case I would like to think it is a great improvement actually), it just isn't what the target audience expects. The same goes for Final Fantasy. FF fans assume they are receiving a certain kind of product.

Final Fantasy has been changing genres. I don't think one can entirely dismiss FFXV or Lightning Returns as RPG but they are clearly not the same FF RPGs we have seen in the past. They (at least Lightning Returns) skirt the space between RPG and Action. I would classify Kingdom Hearts in the same respects.

While these new titles are, in the literal sense, a Final Fantasy, they are not in the abstract "spirit" of which we hold dear. Are they a worse game because of it? Not necessarily. However, they are different from what traditionalists would expect.

In the end, it is up to Square Enix to decide what is "Final Fantasy" and what is not. Their definition just might not align with a smart business model viewed from a consumer's standpoint.

I could also argue (more to be devil's advocate than anything) that SQEEX is putting out "new" Final Fantasy titles on purpose to spike sales on "traditional" Final Fantasy titles in the future. I don't believe they would actually do this, but it has been known to work in the past.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 10:34:42 PM
Reply

Final Fantasy ceases to be Final Fantasy when it is no longer titled Final Fantasy. If you're looking for a specific genre for the game to fit into, well, SE has the luxury that they can make THEIR game however they want. Whether you specifically LIKE that game is not the same, unfortunately.

However, regardless, of the genre the game is in, Nomura lead this. It's going to be amazing. Far better so than 13 was I can only assume. Now if this is the precedent for all future FF games, well, that's just the way the cookie crumbles. PS1/2 was the RPG era. The way everything has advanced it's too much about multiplayer and action currently. Maybe on the PS4 there will be more real RPG games since the price of the system is cheaper, maybe developers will have the luxury to make game for the 'niche' genre now.

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Shepherd Book
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 11:20:07 PM

Your thought process here is flawed. Final Fantasy was more than just a name. The games defined a whole genre for a generation. To say that because the name is the same then the game is the same is wrong. The rubbish that they are putting out today demeans the series greatness, IMO.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 11:56:48 PM

What is stopping them from defining a whole new genre with action-defined rpg's? When someone says Final Fantasy, I wholeheartedly agree that people imagine the rpg's of yesteryear, but that doesn't mean things don't innovate and change to fit the needs of the current audience. As much as we love the old style, it is a niche genre at this time. We're all older now, they need to attract new people and the only way they can do that is to keep up with their ADD ridden minds. Doesn't mean they can't be great games just because it's action. Though 13...was terrible :(

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 12:10:32 AM

LegendaryWolfeh: I agree that innovation doesn't mean the series is suddenly bad. But flat-out changing genres isn't "innovation" or evolving in my eyes.

Furthermore, let's also not forget that beyond battle systems, the recent FF games simply weren't up to par in terms of story and character development in the opinions of many. There were also obvious gameplay and balancing flaws that we'd never seen before, either.

The overall quality has dropped. It's not just the type of battle mechanic that's in question.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:18:36 AM

I definitely can agree with most of what you're saying, Ben. The current game have for the most part definitely been lackluster, with more flaws than pros. It's sad, but not much can be done about it unless SE just has like a whole make-over in their company.

And I guess I wouldn't call it innovation or evolving but, more of just adapting as well as they can.

Evolution isn't a quick process.

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:40:35 AM

I would probably complain about the changes even if it resulted in more sales for them simply because it's not a product I particularly care for. So I admit I'm biased.

But lets look at facts. It's not like their changes are garnering more and more sales and popularity. Despite becomming more accessible across multiple consoles, it is not more popular. Look at the sharp decline in sales between FFXIII and FFXIII-2. How much less will Lightning Returns be? I suppose it could sell better, but really, we'll have no way of knowing until it hits.

What's the conclusion if it sells even worse? We can argue our definitions all we want. And we can argue what we wish to see until we're blue in the face. But what will the bottom lines say?

I know what the discussions are in the FFXIV Beta forums in the general discussion sections on other FF's. The long-time FF fans seem to be in agreement for the most part. It isn't just this site.

So again, I ask... what happens if Lightning Returns is a huge flop? Will there finally be a reason to re-examine the departure from the world of RPG's?

And lastly, I refuse to believe you cannot innovate a complex RPG system with a party. Even a turn-based one. I was actually ok with the direction of FFXII because it was still an RPG that I had full control over with a million different ways of organizing my party. And every member could be used. (No bench players) Why can't they build off that? Why the need to make things more automatic or reaction based?

I guess my question, Wolfeh, is at what point will they need to get back to basics? If it continues to trend downwards in popularity, does that mean it was always doomed? Or does it imply a need to get back to what made it popular to begin with?

Last edited by Underdog15 on 6/14/2013 11:41:26 AM

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:44:37 AM

I just wanted to add that I'm happy a good game is finally coming.

But there's nothing wrong, and it is completely fair, in saying that I'm sad my favorite type of game will never come again.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 3:59:39 PM

Yeah I get ya underdog. The true RPG classics of FF will always be their highlight and people really want to only see that. Perhaps after 15 they will actually make a 'true' FF game then. I do miss some great RPG's as well after all.

But in the mean time. I'll definitely enjoy 15 as it looks like a masterpiece only Nomura could cook up, and then KH3 behind that would be great.

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Shepherd Book
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 11:08:42 PM
Reply

This tripe is no longer the Final Fantasy that I knew and loved. Square Enix has taken the franchise that Squaresoft built and run it into the ground. Have they bastardized their own Dragonquest title in the same manor? I think not. Air Ships, World Maps, Sidequests, stories that drew you in, True Summons i.e. Shiva, Bahamut, Ifrit, Have they ever done anything close to the majesty of Knight of the Round?
Van Halen with Sammy Hagar had the same name but was not the same band as it was with David Lee Roth. Journey without Steve Perry was not the same even though the name stayed the same. Some time ago the name Final Fantasy told you all you needed to know about why you should get the game, now it tell you all the reasons not to.

R.I.P. Final Fantasy.

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SayWord
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 11:31:41 PM
Reply

This is the first Final Fantasy game I've been super excited for since X. Plus I get an FFVIII feel from this game, from the setting to character design. I cant wait!

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sawao_yamanaka
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 11:51:03 PM

So just because it is an action rpg it isn't allowed to hold the final fantasy name? That's a bunch of bs. I believe in Nomura to bring an awesome game and I am excited as you are sayword. Going to be purchasing ffxhd on my vita and patiently wait for this game on the ps4. Those graphics and the battle system looked amazing. Can't wait!

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:46:33 AM

Again, there's nothing wrong with acknowledging a good game if it's a good game. I will do that as well. But you -REALLY- can't fault people for being sad their favorite type of game will probably never be played again.

I think it's completely fair to acknowledge when a game is good and still be sad your favorite genre is gone. In fact, it's unfair to tell us we cant.

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shadowscorpio
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:12:20 PM

What Underdog said .

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 11:48:14 PM
Reply

Would Gran Tursimo still be "Gran Turismo" without realistic simulation? My question is one of concept, not name.

For me, it's hard to nail down exactly where it ceases to be what it was but FFXIII-2 introducing an insulting story in place of a sweeping emotional epic is a good place to start drawing the line.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 11:59:30 PM

In all aspects yes, it would just be "Gran Turismo: The Forza Experience", haha.

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daus26
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 12:14:39 AM

That would be like asking if Final Fantasy's concept has always been turn-based. A lot of people have different view on this, and personally I don't know where I really stand.

I always loved Final Fantasy for it's story and game mechanics first - gameplay was actually a secondary thing. If we're talking about story, all FF games have always been FF. It's typically about crystals, saving the world, young teens, summonings,side quests, and what not.

... But gameplay is a subjective matter. If it is solid fact that FF was all about turn-based as Gran Turismo has always been about realistic simulation, then I will agree on the matter. I'm just not sure if turn-based was really the staple that made FF, as simulation was to GT. It's a tough one.

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:48:43 AM

;) To be fair, it's older teens typically. lol But I know what you mean. :p

As for the rest, I had no problem with FFXII's gameplay because I still felt like I was in full control and it still felt like an RPG. So turn based isn't absolutely necessary. It's my favorite, sure, but I don't find it a necessary staple.

I take issue when I lose control, it becomes purely or predominately reaction based, or it starts to change genres entirely. FF is the reason I started RPG's. I branched into other RPGs, including western RPGs, because of FF.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 6/14/2013 11:51:26 AM

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Siris86
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 12:47:52 AM
Reply

Seems like your focus is to pinpoint with laser-like precision the aspects of the title that you could personally have problems with. Does it matter that Tetsuya Nomura stated the game will have a defined conclusion and future titles will only expand the saga (similar to the Final Fantasy VII compilation titles)? Would it also matter that executive producer Shinji Mikami stated that command-based systems are not exiled from the series but that FFXV is an action-rpg?

The game (that you swore didn't even exist) is stunning. It pushes the boundaries of graphical expectations and what is possible from an action title. All this from our very first glimpse at the game! It's going to be a masterpiece, but you hate being wrong about something so I imagine it will get nothing but turbulence from this site.

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gungrave
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 5:47:32 AM

Agree 100%. This site complains about SE and FF more than any other gaming site. It seems like every other week we get another article complaining about them. How about taking all that energy and do a retro column highlighting a PS1/PS2 jrpg game new gamers should check out. You could write about a different game every week. Now that's a column I would look forward to reading. :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 10:12:51 AM

I wrote this article so please direct your ire at me and not Ben. Secondly this is not any kind of indictment against Final Fantasy, I use my opinions on the series to illustrate things but at the core I am simply asking the question: At what point do the changes cause the series to cease to be in the spirit of what it has always been intended? That is not a partisan question and I invite all opinions on the matter.

The reason I posted it is because it is highly relevant in light of E3, I would be remiss not to address what is in the news regarding something I have been a part of since 1990. If I knew more about Metal Gear Solid maybe you'd be getting an article on that.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/14/2013 10:39:17 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:20:11 AM

"It pushes the boundaries of graphical expectations and what is possible from an action title."

Who gives a sh**?

It's an ACTION game and not a ROLE-PLAYING GAME. Why is this so difficult to understand that "action" shouldn't have anything to do with Final Fantasy?

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:54:13 AM

FFversusXIII went silent so long that myself included thought it was vapourware. Turns out, they truly were hoping to delete the title. Now, FFvsXIII is dead and is reborn in a different generation as FFXV. They promised versus would be exclusive. It probably would have been, too! But this is FFXV... so all previous promises can be ignored.

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SayWord
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:24:11 PM

Im sorry Ben but how can an action game not be an RPG? Are the secret of mana games not rpgs? Is vagrant story not an rpg? Is kingdom hearts not an rpg? Tales of games? Star Ocean?

There are clearly health bars and level stats. That is what makes an RPG to me among great character designs and story. To be honest its not turn based that makes final fantasy for me. I just want a great story that XIII lacked. This game will be amazing!

Last edited by SayWord on 6/14/2013 2:26:03 PM

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 3:21:33 PM

With the exception of maybe KH, those other games you just listed aren't exactly action/adventure genre. That's clearly what Ben means. And he's right.

An action/adventure game doesn't magically become an RPG just because you can level up. You level up in COD multiplayer, and as you do, you get access to better weapons, secondaries, perks, etc. It isn't an RPG just because leveling up makes you stronger.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 6/14/2013 3:22:17 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:07:14 PM

Those are all RPGs for very clear reasons.

Devil May Cry is not. And if future FFs have more in common with flat-out action games than anything else, then they're action games. Vagrant Story had nothing in common with God of War, now did it?

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Raze22
Saturday, June 15, 2013 @ 12:26:37 AM

Why not just call it what it is people. It is a action rpg just like kingdom hearts. Referring to lightning returns and versus13/15. There is this obsession of just considering it in either rpg or action genre... and not just simply both.

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tes37
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 1:11:39 AM
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Although I liked XII, I think that's when Final Fantasy started it's turn for the worse. It didn't seem to occur gradually.

XV looks like it could be way better than XIII, but they should've left the name Versus. Changing the name to XV, to me, is an indication we'll never see another Final Fantasy like we had in the past.

Last edited by tes37 on 6/14/2013 1:12:14 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 1:17:59 AM
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I'm reminded of Bioshock Infinite, still a young series but it stayed Bioshocky. In the ending Elizabeth literally told us what Bioshock is. The challenge for creative people continuing a franchise is always to be both new and the same. I think that's important to remember.

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SayWord
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:27:57 PM

Having a battle system that isnt turn based does not make the game any less final fantasy. Its the story, characters and huge worlds that make final fantasy. This game seems to check all those boxes.

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shadowscorpio
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:30:13 PM

I like that. "New and the same". Something that many developers have done successfully. Being introduced to FF in th late 80's I can say that they used to do this.

I'm having trouble making that claim now. As Ben at one point, it's not just the gameplay that became warped.

I'm holding on to FF15 having exploration, character development and a well executed story that is worthy of a Jrpg. Again, this NOT an issue of whether a game is good or bad.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:35:52 PM

Did I say ANYthing about turn-based? I'm looking forward to FFXV as much as you are.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/14/2013 2:37:05 PM

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SayWord
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:41:13 PM

From what I can gather from these comments it seems clear most people are hating due to the battle system being more action based so I assumed and I apologize! While XIII did not feel like a Final Fantasy game to me poor characters, a world that I did not find fun exploring etc. From the start Versus seemed to be heading in the proper Final Fantasy direction. The fact alone that Airships are going to be in the game should get any hardcore FF player excited.

Last edited by SayWord on 6/14/2013 2:41:41 PM

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 3:24:34 PM

SayWord, I'm actually reading a lot of people say they liked FF12 battle system fine or Kingdom Hearts, and even a mention or two about Dragon Age. No one has problems with those because they are RPG's.

Same with Tales of. you said before that it's action, but it isn't. It's real time battles, but it isn't an action game in the slightest.

The issue is with it becoming less of an RPG and more of an action/adventure.

FYI, you level up your powers in inFamous too. It's not an RPG.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:27:13 PM

No need to 'pologize, I wasn't raging at you or anything. :) Damn internet makes us all seem crazy.

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shadowscorpio
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 6:29:44 PM

Well World ,

You definitely opened up a can of something when you wrote this article. But this definitely an important enough issue hence it's being talked about on other sites.

Even those who don't have a problem with what SE is doing have to know something isn't right. This isn't a measly 100 people bickering. Presume everyone posting online , their frustrations for SE represent 1,000 people. Including both the east and west.

Its kind of a big deal, I'd think .

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kraygen
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 1:40:45 AM
Reply

I see a lot of people saying Final Fantasy has nothing to do with a genre or certain elements of gameplay. I have to disagree.

If Call of Duty 5 was released with no demo, no video's or description of the game I guarantee you everyone of the 15 million people who have ate up the last several cod games would rush out and buy Cod 5.

However if they got home and put it in and were treated to a top down view tactical strategy game that was like Risk, I bet you'd call foul and say it isn't Cod.

Final Fantasy isn't just the title of a game. It's a series that has always delivered certain things that certain people wanted. If you take away all of the things that were similar and replace them with something completely different, then it's not the same.

1 apple in a basket of oranges, does not make it a different orange.

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Snaaaake
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 5:07:03 AM
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Well, Final Fantasy or not, this is going to be an awesome game.
Kinda sad that this has become the main entry but what can we do?
I bet SE knew this would take too long so they just change it into FFXV.
I mean come on, FFXIV is coming out this year and next year for PS4.
No way they're gonna release a game called Versus XIII when XIV is already out.

As for the game itself, I'm standing by it, I have faith this will be a great game like KHIII is gonna be. Nomura and his team are just that good.
Not being an exclusive doesn't faze me one bit.

Only thing I'm worried about is whether or not they would compromise the game for the sake of equality on both consoles.

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gungrave
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 5:33:09 AM
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It will always be Final Fantasy.

The market dictates the trends, with the increasing cost of producing games, it makes sense for SE to try to steer FF in that direction. They haven't nailed it down yet, but they are doing the right thing. Back in the golden age of jrpg's...it was a really hot genre. Now it's nothing more than a niche among gamers. Looking forward to FF15. Just my $0.02

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Phoenix
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 7:36:43 AM

It is the current trend to make faster, more action type games, however, since EVERYONE else is doing this,I think SE should have taken this chance and put out an old school FF game instead of just being another company selling out a franchise to try and make a quick buck.

The RPG market is there, and it's DYING for a new, old school game to blow us all away.

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:57:50 AM

There are other decent turn-based rpg's, but none of them are of AAA quality. They all feel like a pleasant retro experience. Atelier series, for example, is cute and fun... but it's awfully hard to take seriously.

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darxed
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:29:25 PM

@Underdog

I don't know about AAA, but I've always considered the Persona Games (especially 3, 4 and their expansions) some of the best JRPGs ever made. If you haven't tried them you should give them a try

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shadowscorpio
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:38:18 PM

Gungrave, do 90 billion dollars in loses have anything to say on whether those "trends" that SE sold their souls to follow were accurate?

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MRSUCCESS
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 8:35:29 AM
Reply

Ben makes complete and total sense in this article. We see eye to eye on this. I have yet to purchase anything Final Fantasy since FFX. I have not purchased anything Square-Enix this generation (although Deus X is pretty good).

This is the same as let's say... Kojima trying to evolve MGS into Call of Duty...>_>

Final Fantasy has the right to evolve but at the same time cater to those who made it what it was. I don't complain much, I just stick to Persona/Shin Megami Tensei

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:58:01 AM

World wrote it. ;)

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darxed
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:11:38 PM

Err, Although I see why you'd think wrote this, he didn't, World did... Just a heads up

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xenris
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 9:15:14 AM
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If you consider the Mass Effect series and its action combat to be an RPG then I see no reason why you don't think FF15 and Kingdom Hearts are JRPGs.

I saw a post on facebook you made where you said that FF15 was not a JRPG, and you didn't think KH3 was one either.

I disagree 100% at least with the KH series. You collect loot, level up, explore, fight alternate bosses, customize your character etc. KH1 did this better than KH2 but KH2 was definitely still a JRPG.

FF15 looks like it has a similar UI to KH, after all its made by the same team. I'm pretty sure it will have the standard things that make JRPGs great like new weapons, some customization, exploration etc. But I can't say for sure about FF15 that its going to have RPG elements from what I have seen.

However if we are just going off what the combat looks like you can't just go ahead and say its not an RPG anymore. Its definitely not a traditional turn based JRPG but that doesn't mean it wont be an RPG.

As always we will have to wait and see. Hopefully soon we get some gameplay details explained on how combat works, leveling up, and customization.

I mean it very well might be a full blown action game like god of war(although even that has RPG elements to it). But we can't jump to that conclusion just by looking at some footage, especially when the footage was meant to be very action based, as is the case with almost every game trailer these days.

If they aren't copying micheal bay apparently they are doing it wrong... :\

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:21:50 AM

Kingdom Hearts was a borderline RPG in my eyes. And I wouldn't say I know enough about FFXV, but I knew some details from Versus XIII (same game), and it only seems they've gone further in the action direction.

As for Lightning Returns...yeah, not an RPG. That's all I know.

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SayWord
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:32:05 PM

I agree with you a 100% Ben loves throwing the word RPG and likes to dictate it's meaning. To be honest there is NO LIMIT to what an RPG is. FFXV and Kingdom Hearts 3 will be just as much of an RPG as the Final Fantasy of old.

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Underdog15
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 3:26:43 PM

Yeah! No limit!! The next God of War will be an RPG played on a rock band guitar. Monsters are defeated by keeping great rhythm and getting 100% on your solos!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:05:40 PM

Excuse me, I'm not dictating anything. I'm defining an RPG. Apparently, you and many others here think any game on earth can be considered "role-playing."

Sorry, but I fail to see how that's even remotely logical.

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xenris
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 8:07:51 PM

If lightning returns has an inventory system, loot, and some sort of customization than it can be considered an RPG. Just because the combat is action based doesn't make it not an RPG.

Remember when we argued about whether or not Mass Effect 2 and 3 were RPGs when you gave ME3 your RPG of the year award?

Same thing goes for that game. Nothing about the combat is RPG like. Its a stinking shooter, all of the RPG elements that were in ME1 are gone, gameplay wise and loot and leveling wise.

So if you want to say that these games aren't RPGs thats fine, but just remember that when you say that even more action like games are RPGs.

Kingdom Hearts is an Action RPG, that is a genre, and the first Kingdom Hearts is even more of an RPG than the sequels. It had real time combat but playing it on the hardest mode, and beating sephiroth took a lot of skill and strategy.

Lightning returns is going to have multiple endings, loot, leveling, an presumably an "engrossing" story. Those are all elements required for what most people consider RPGs these days.

So my question to you is why is Lightning returns not an RPG to you or even an Action RPG, when it has all of the things and probably more that would make it an RPG, things that ME2 and ME3 didn't have?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 9:12:57 PM

"If lightning returns has an inventory system, loot, and some sort of customization than it can be considered an RPG."

Then so is every game. God of War has an inventory system, treasure chests, and customization via equipping. The Last Of Us must be an RPG, too, because I can increase my skills and I have an inventory. While we're at it, just toss in GTA. It has all that and more.

Well, I guess to you, nothing or everything is an RPG. Interesting.

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xenris
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 10:26:26 PM

Well no I think a lot of things borrow from the RPG genre but right now genres seem to be blending and almost every genre has "RPG" elements in them.

The only games that are true RPGs to me? MMORPGs where you can completely customize your character, old DnD games and old Bioware and Interplay games, and the Dark and Demon Souls games and I guess the Elder Scrolls games. Those are in my opinion real Role Playing games.

You say that lightning returns and 15 do not count as RPGs but then you gave Mass Effect 3 RPG of the year last year, when ME3 is a shooter, with super streamlined and watered down RPG elements. I get that there are some choices, and stats etc, but when you compare that to an old CRPG like Baldurs Gate 2, it pales in comparison and one is clearly an RPG while the other is a hybrid.

I still stand by what I said, if lightning returns has loot, stats, inventory etc and square calls it an RPG then it is an RPG. Its no different than Bioware calling ME3 an RPG when it clearly has way more in common with a shooter than an RPG.

I'm more trying to illustrate that saying when does FF cease to be a RPG anymore is kind of a flawed statement. Because so many genres are using RPG elements, and so many RPGs are becoming more action based.



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wiley_kyotee
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 11:29:22 AM
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I see it this way. SE does not want to make true turn based RPGs (or JRPGs) anymore. They don't feel that they will sell well in this day and age. They want to make action oriented games, with some RPG aspects, because they feel that they will sell well. They also feel the FF name is guaranteed to sell units just on name alone as FF is a staple. Therfore SE is going to put the name FF on their action oriented games because it is guaranteed to sell more units than not having FF in the title.

It is all about what SE feels will sell not what we want them to produce. This is obvious because with all the negativity brought onto SE this generation and late last generation (many thought FXII was a big departure from the norm), they have not changed their philosophy back to making true RPGs. They have stayed on their action oriented philosophy. Although sales have declined, they have not declined enough to make SE rethink their new philosophy.

In my opinion, the only thing that is going to change this is if enough FF fanboys lementing about the good times in the PS1 and PS2 eras stop buying the new FF games. I realize this is not easy to do as SE still makes high quality games (check Ben's reviews of the FFXIII games). Also no one wants to see SE struggle financially, go bankrupt, or go out of business. I do assume (totally my assumption) that the majority of posters in this thread will purchase FFXV. Just for the record, I will not. The last FF game I purchased was X.

Maybe, just maybe, SE will rethink their philosophy if the X HD remake sells really well. Just wishing. I am seriously thinking of purchasing this.

Last edited by wiley_kyotee on 6/14/2013 11:30:08 AM

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darxed
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:21:43 PM
Reply

I think FFXV will be just fine, as others have pointed out, Nomura is in charge of this and I have faith in him. As for the article, I'm sorry World but I can't agree with you. Back when it was just Versus, Nomura himself confirmed the game would have towns, shops, npcs and a big world to explore. I'm sure It will have weapons/armor upgrading as well. From what we've seen, and again from previous work from Nomura, It will have an amazing story and characters. So in conclusion, It will be a JRPG, maybe an action JRPG, but a JRPG nonetheless. Oh and about FF XIII-2, Am I the only one that liked that game? Of all the FF villains I thought that Caius was the one that had the best motivations for doing what he did, and I thought that Serah and Noel were pretty well developed characters as well...

Last edited by darxed on 6/14/2013 2:22:17 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:38:22 PM

Again, there's nothing to agree or disagree with here, it is just a question that I am raising. I am not making a statement.

I have no idea how XV will turn out, my assessment so far is that it will be a good "JRPG of sorts" with an action battle system but going forward I'm just asking us to consider how much it can change before the core or soul of the series is gone.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/14/2013 2:44:26 PM

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Shepherd Book
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 7:27:22 PM

I'm not sure why people keep saying that Nomura is in charge. If Nomura was in charge Final Fantasy XIII Versus would have been a Playstation exclusive, atleast that was his alleged intent, but no, it is multiplat because others have gotten involved and you can not be sure of what will come of it.

I am a huge fan of the PS1 and PS2 Final Fantasy games. For me, they set a standard for RPGs and I will not apologize for that. Action games with an RPG element is not Final Fantasy to me.

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Shepherd Book
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 2:42:53 PM
Reply

Over the last two or three years Square Enix has lost a huge amount of money. Lost profits in the range of 90%, by some reports. I know that most of this was on Wada's watch but changes needed to be made. If your house is crumbling, you have to sure up or reconstruct, the foundation.
The foundation for Square was the JRPG market. The Westenization of the product has not served them well. They need to go back to what made Final Fantasy successful; Great stories, Great game play, Compelling characters. I loved watching the characters level up and grow into better stronger, sometimes, wiser people. I preferred the turn based strategy rather than the action orientated glitz that is out now. I remember figuring out a stategy against Ruby Weapon, when to use float on my people before he took two of them away. Is there any kind of feeling like that in the newer games?

The current games don't feel and play like the more famous and popular Final Fantasy games, to me, but then again, maybe I am just an old man shaking my fist at the encroachment of Father time. Good day to you all.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:35:08 PM

The scariest thing of all is that they still think that the answer to their problems is to just keep doing the same things only more often and faster.

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Douchebaguette
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:05:37 PM
Reply

I can actually imagine an era were SE focuses on one title durign a whole generation and stretches it out into a trilogy. So we had XIII for the last and you'll get 3 XV games for the next. That's just the way the tradition could work from now on. I realise that there are people in the world who could do alot better.

What I want to see again though is an era where SE rebuild and forge another legacy in which people will think of 'Final Fantasy' as one of the greatest breathing franchises, again. They have to first achieve that by putting their shit right, which I somewhat have faith they can do now that Wada is gone. First do it by making Agni's Philosophy in a real Final Fantasy title. That game better be FFXVI; it's just too unique and breathtaking for them not to use it. If FFXV doesn't make it's mark, then Agni's Philosiphy (if used and used correctly) will.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:34:07 PM

That just scares me. I maintain that FF should be new every time. We've become too used to FPS and the like having cliffhanger endings where you just have to keep buying them and nothing ever gets resolved, by the end of the series you forgot or don't care about the plot.

I think it shreds what FF has been about, that feeling you get when you finally put Sephiroth down and know that all those hours you played have concluded and the masterpiece is complete.

As evidence of this I'd say that X-2 and XIII-2 added nothing useful even if they were good fun. And XIII-3 looks to add nothing as well.

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Ultima
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:26:10 PM
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Based on history, the answer to this question is "never".

Final Fantasy is a series that has *always* been about change, for better or for worse. Right from the very beginning, they released FF1, then released a sequel that almost *completely* different with its systems, then released another sequel that was closer to the first one but again very different, then a 4th game that unlike any of the three before it, etc. While there has always been shared elements, the games have never been static, even when it would have made sense to do so (e.g. FFXII jettisoning the wonderful Overdrive system from FFX and replacing it with garbage; they at least had the wisdom to bring it back in FFXII's International Job Zodiac version).

While it's maddening when what you like in a particular FF isn't brought back for a future update, you can't really claim a point when Final Fantasy "ceases" to be Final Fantasy. You just suck it up and hope the next iteration is better.

See also: Final Fantasy VIII, which a LOT of people disliked at the time for various reasons, many of which boiled down to it being soooo different from VII; I personally like the game, but maintain that while it was a good game, it was a "bad Final Fantasy".

If FFXV indeed tends too much to the action side but is still a good game, we can still classify it such: Good game, bad FF, hope the next one is better. They've done it before (i.e. they've changed things up for a new game even when the previous one was considered good), and there's no reason they won't do it again.

BTW, if FFXV IS really good, and still retains a lot of "Final Fantasy" goodness, would we really care if their are sequels? I know it's annoying to talk about -now-, but I'm not against the idea in principle. I didn't care about FFXIII-2 (and XIII-3) because I, like most, didn't care that much for FFXIII. Likewise, while I would agree it's a much better "Final Fantasy" game, I would not care to see sequels to FFIX because I didn't particularly care for that game.

Concerning sales, a couple things: 1) I don't see why we should pay attention to the sales of direct FF sequels like XIII-2 and LR, since even FFX-2, sequel to beloved FFX, sold less than half as much as FFX. All other aspects being equal, FFXV will sell more as a mailine FF than as a spinoff of XIII. 2) Numbers for new entries on consoles (FFVII, FFX, FFXIII) get inflated sales compared to their sequels, but otherwise, the FF fanbase is pretty saturated at this point, and I hope Square finally realises that.

Last edited by Ultima on 6/14/2013 4:29:48 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:28:52 PM

That's why I think it's such a unique situation, FF is supposed to make big changes each time and yet I still think there must be a point somewhere when it no longer is what it became. It's a kind of circular argument that's hard to take on and makes comparisons problematic. There's never been anything quite like it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 4:39:24 PM
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I don't know exactly how the new battle system will be in FFXV but I do hope it has an RPG feel. What little I played of Kingdom Hearts didn't but, full disclosure, I gave up on that game quick.

The reason Star Ocean and Tales are still JRPGs is because (totally aside from the worlds, characters, towns, story, etc,) their action battle systems are still structured around an increasing, evolving strategy mechanic and yes even waiting your turn when you are exhausted.

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Shepherd Book
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 7:50:01 PM

I just finished Tales of Graces f and it was very good. I haven't tried Star Ocean. What other Tales games are on the PS3? I know Symphonia is coming out in September.

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xenris
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 8:10:07 PM

Kingdom Hearts has a deep level of strategy when you play on harder difficulties.

It is less responsive than a traditional action game and there is still a menu kind of like how Ni No Kuni is. Only there is no battle screen loadings.

Give it a try when the HD remake comes out this year.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 8:33:12 PM

Tales of Xillia is coming this summer, August I think, I've pre-ordered it. Looks like a total must have. Graces F was fantastic imo but Xillia looks better. Otherwise no others have made it to PS3.

Early in the generation MS tried to buy all the JRPGs thinking they would be as popular as they were in the PS2 gen so we never got Tales of Vesperia.

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ricksterj
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 12:23:09 PM
Reply

Supply and demand are symbiotic.

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Lunar_Miyuki
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 8:16:54 AM
Reply

im new here though please treat me like youd treat anybody else.
now being a FF fan Since Nintendo FF1 which i still own my nintendo and FF1 cartridge i honestly can't say FF is FF anymore in my opinion there just slapping on the FF name to make it sell More does 15 look good yes it does is it FF to me No its not
now i see alot of you arguing so ill ask you a few questions
lets start out by asking this would Gran turismo keep its Charm if they made it play similar to Burnout games?

would God of war keep its Charm if they turned the Main series into a Turn based RPG?

would Disgaea keep its Charm if they turned it into a Full Fledged strategy game like Romance of the 3 kingdoms?

there is no difference between those examples and what Square Enix is doing with FF

Square Enix really should listen to their own characters more often well one of them in Particular Nel Zelphyr i personally like this quote from her
"Only Death awaits the over confident remember that"
Square Enix is so over confident because they established a very good Franchise Now they need to live up to the expectations of their Fans or their Franchise will kill them

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