This was originally posted in MyIGN Blog. I've been wanting to write this for awhile now. I might expand more of my points later.
Is Final Fantasy Really going downhill?[edit | edit source]
I'm sure most of you read this blog title and then read my username, SquallRocks. And I'm pretty sure that most of you skipped this post because you guessed that this is pro-Square, pro-Final Fantasy. I'm sure that most of you might think that I would say things like, "Final Fantasy is the best! It can never fail! The new games have been awesome! You people are just haters! Cloud's not emo!"
Well kiddos, I can assure that this little blog won't have any of those elements. But I'm not going to bash Square either. What I'm going to talk about is hopefully a new look on how the Final Fantasy franchise is going. Maybe this idea has crossed your mind, I hope it did. I'm just going to expand on it.
If I had to sum my whole point of this article, it would be like this: Square has run out of ideas.
It truly has. And here's why. Remember in the late 1900's, when the Sony Playstation came out? Square announced FF7, it's first 3D video game? Everybody was hyped up, because Square promised something new. New visuals, new music, (of course, new story and characters), and mot important of all, they promised a new personality. Something different from the happy-go-lucky hero. They introduced Cloud Strife. He was different. He was rude, mean, kind of greedy, and he didn't care about anything. Why in the world would people like him? Probably because of his design. He had spiky blonde hair, and he was holding a 5 million ton kitchen knife with ease! He acted cool, people thought.
Then the story went on. Then the story expanded on Cloud's personality. Cloud was not Cloud. No, he was someone else. He lost his identity. He mixed up his life with his friend's life. He thought he was someone else. Players spent 1/4 of this game trying to figure out what happened to Cloud and how to fix him. It really was an epic side-story of truth.
The reason why everybody loved this is because this, this idea, has never been done before. It was fresh. (Plus the awesome game mechanics, cutscenes, Sephiroth, music, Aeirth's death...I could go on).
Then came FF8. People were so happy about FF7 that they thought that 8 would be just as epic, and some dared to say more epic. I have proof to back this up. FF8 was the fastest selling FF before 13. Eight introduced a story about a mercenary, Squall. He was unsociable, incredibly rude, passive guy (I'm trying to avoid the word "emo" here). It was a love story. Some chick was wanted to change Squall into a caring guy. Square saw the success with Cloud, and tried to make a character like him, but they ulitmately overdid it with the brooding. This wasn't a guy you could like. He acted like a total asshole.
The story wasn't anything ground breaking, it was pretty good (once again, don't look at my name). But what kind of ruined it was the game itself. The magic system was new, but it was boring, back-breaking work. Leveling up wasn't fun, none of the boss battle were epic. People started getting uninterested and dissapointed with the FF series.
Maybe that's why FF9 isn't talked about that much.
FF9 was a true gem to the franchise. It was a throwback to the old, classic games. It had a likeable cast and gripping story. But honestly, how many people talk about 9? If you mention Final Fantasy to someone, they'll probably say, "Ya I know 7, or I know 6, 8, maybe 10". But 9, for some strange reason, wasn't celebrated as much as 6, 7, or even 8 was.
Then 10. Ohhh Final Fantasy 10. Where to start. FF10 introduced voice acting to the series. It was lot of people's first FF game (it was also my first). Ten was a good game, but it just had too many flaws. My main problem, and probably a lot of people's main problem, was that there was a main character confusion. Who was the main character. Sure you controlling a guy called Tidus the whole game, but the story didn't see it that way. It told the story of a summoner, Yuna, who was risking her life to bring a temporary peace to the world. The voice acting was crap (Tidus sounded like a girl), the leveling up mechanics were weird (most people enjoyed, the simple version of the 1980's and early 90's), and there was really no open world.
Are you starting to notice that the series is slowly falling apart? Haven't you noticed that FF7 really started it because it raised the bar so high?
Anyway, FF11 was an online game that's still being used today. It was a cool, new idea. That's really all I can say about it. Did it bring the franchise anywhere? I would have to say, no. To me, 11 (and 14) are fillers.
FF12 was terrible. (Remember, blogs are opiniated) The story had a main character identity crisis, the main character himself could be written off of the story, and not dialogue would have to be changed, the battle gameplay was annoying and hard. It wasn't awesome. It wasn't like 6 or 7 or 9. It didn't have an amazing story (it was pretty generic to me).
Now 13. Despite my name, 13 is my favorite game. I liked the cast and story. The game was pretty hyped up, too. It had gorgeous visuals, music, innovative battle gameplay. It was like another 7!!
Unfortunatly, no. It was not. FF13 could have been the series best, but it left out one key component that basically made up FF, actually, that made up a RPG!! They didn't include any sort of exploration. No cities, no towns, no dungeons. Sure, they had a huge, open grassy field, but that was that.
If FF15 came out next year, what would you think it would be about? A group of rebels overthrowing a king? It's been done. A band of heroes saving an empire? It's been done. Strangers banding together to save the world? Getting rid of evil from the world? Saving humanity from an evil clown? Check, check, and check. Time compressing? That's been done twice.
Seriously, what would Square do with the story? Characters? I've seen the emo, I've seen the righteous, I've seen the comic relief. I want something different. But, what else is there? The quality of FF is slowly disintigrating by each game. Final Fantasy entered the gaming world, went to a recession, recovered, and now it's in a depression. Maybe the only way to stop FF from going downhill is to stop making them.
Naaaaahhh. They'll be making these games until the end of time.
So is it really going downhill? Well you decide. I have mixed feelings. Some games that recently came out were awesome to me, some were complete bombs. But hopefully, as Square promised, Final Fantasy Versus XIII will be something new.
Maybe FF7 new.