In this post I would like to discuss with you an all time favorite title of my own. As many of my readers know I have been a Final Fantasy nerd for a long time. Ever since I first saw Setzer spin his slot machine in 1994 I was enthralled by this storyline. And from the beginning of the series a great plot and story line were key to these titles. Even when graphics were something to be taken with a grain of salt, Final Fantasy had some of the most amazing story lines you could think of. And then by the time of Super Nintendo when graphics could at least be a little bit better, square soft created an absolute master piece. Moving story line, moving characters, exciting plot twists and even an excellent music score to top it off. I still love listening to the piano introduction of Final Fantasy Six.
And then Final Fantasy Seven came along 3 years later to the then fresh new console of the Play Station (click here to see history of consoles) and many new fans were hooked as well. People debate which game was better six or seven. The graphics were of course undoubtedly better, and I would say the storyline is just as dynamic as its predecessor. There aren’t supposed to be any repeats in the Final Fantasy world. That was one of the things that were so intriguing about the whole series. They would always start fresh, with new characters, a whole new world really, to build up a completely different plot line. The only continuation would be slightly similar themes and the same familiar attack and item styles.
This freshness was usually a trademark of the series and any real sequel to a Final Fantasy title was seriously frowned upon. That is until we had Final Fantasy X-2 for the Play Station 2. This game title brought out all of the worst fears in what it would mean to make a sequel in the Final Fantasy world. Final Fantasy Ten (X) was of course a blockbuster success, one of the best ever made, in the same kind of ranking as 6 and 7. So this was probably one of the worst titles to make a sequel to in my opinion. Because Final Fantasy ten was so good that anything that came afterwards as a direct sequel would seem lacking and just not quite as dynamic. And in this area, Final Fantasy X-2 did not disappoint. Final Fantasy X-2 at this point is almost guaranteed to go down as one of the worst games ever made. I don’t know what they were thinking or trying to do when they came up with this one, but basically they took all the beloved main characters of Final Fantasy Ten and either completely cut them out or made them goofy side characters that you could not actually play. I realize that Final Fantasy X-2 was most likely an attempt to gain a younger audience to the franchise with it’s more lighthearted plot, but it just fell completely flat.
After this unpopular sequel, it was like the Final Fantasy spell had been broken for a bit and even after they tried to regroup back to the classic formula with Final Fantasy Eleven it was almost too late. Final Fantasy Eleven was a good game but it was not great. It was missing several key components of the Final Fantasy series. The same can be said for Twelve and beyond. Ever since unlucky Thirteen hit the store shelves Final Fantasy really just seems to be losing its way. I suppose that everything gets old after a while, even the great strategy of starting every game fresh has gotten old for the makers of Final Fantasy. So is the dream, the fantasy really over?
No. I don’t think so. They developers of this title need to just take a break and revaluate what they can do with this series. Most importantly I think that for future titles they need to readjust what they can do with newer consoles and systems. Because one thing I really feel is that after play station 2, the makers of the Final Fantasy series really started to hit a brick wall. That’s why Final Fantasy for Play Station Four is almost unmentionable now.
So they need to go back to the drawing board and revamp this series, taking all of these new factors into account. Then maybe after hiding under the rocks of the gaming industry we can see once again Setzer spinning his slot machine and this time for the luck of the whole Final Fantasy series and the future of great RPG’s in general.