Is Final Fantasy Versus XIII The Real FF For Loyal Fans?
While I am indeed a fan of Final Fantasy XIII, I have often spoken about my mixed feelings concerning the gameplay. Although Gran Pulse makes it feel a bit more like FFXII, the decide-everything-for-me approach to the strategy still grates on me.
Now, I've wondered in the past if this is a nod to a new audience; to appeal to the "twitch-gaming" crowd that can't sit still for ten consecutive seconds without mashing buttons. And granted, you don't necessarily "mash buttons" in FFXIII but in order to speed up and streamline the battles so there is no "pausing" or break in the action, they simplified the approach. This to me is "RPG Lite." And then you factor in the lack of traditional RPG elements fans of this franchise have come to expect. I'm not saying they're essential; I'm merely saying there's still a place for them within the role-playing community who still pine for an FF they'd actually recognize. That being said, does anyone think Final Fantasy Versus XIII might boast more of a standard RPG feel; might FFXIII be the "new FF" for a new audience while Versus be more of a nod to the veteran, die-hard fans?
First, you've got the apparent existence of a map and airship in the game, which immediately reminds me of RPGs the way they used to be. Then you've got FFXIII director Motomu Toriyama saying that due to difficulties and obstacles with "new hardware" (which was new when they first started making FFXIII), they simply couldn't include those missing RPG elements. But at the same time, he says that now that the team has a firm grasp on things, those elements will return. Thirdly, now that FFXIII is out the door, many of the guys and gals that worked on the game have moved over to work on Versus XIII. Lastly, there's some logic worked in: FFXIII was the first FF that went to an Xbox platform and Square-Enix has been saying for several years they needed to cater more towards a Western audience. So a FFXIII release on the 360 makes perfect sense.
But I think Square-Enix knows that's a bit of a different audience. It's a group that tends to focus more on shooters (as Western gamers tend to do) and because of this, they may have factored this reasoning into the making of FFXIII. Would not the rapid-fire combat system of FFXIII appeal more to those who don't play much besides Modern Warfare 2 and Gears of War? Now, we all know Versus XIII is exclusive to the PS3; Square-Enix knows the majority of FF fans are also PlayStation fans; they've been with them since the PlayStation and FFVII. They know that audience. Hence, considering all this, might it be safe to assume that the new FF could be best described as the true FF for the loyal fans? Well, we'd have to see some gameplay first, I suppose. If it's just an action/adventure game, than I say it's another spin-off and certainly not for the fans. But hey, based on the news and evidence...just thinking out loud, here.
Related Game(s): Final Fantasy Versus XIII
3/25/2010 12:28:58 PM Ben Dutka