Monday, December 15, 2008

a roman numeral too far

Ray Huling recently did a piece for the Escapist on how Final Fantasy XIII will be the Battleship Yamato of Final Fantasy games - a gigantic, impressive opus laden with attention to detail, but ultimately a jewel in the crown of a stale and outdated genre.

He goes on to blast the series for letting its typically bloated and convoluted stories impede the development of its gameplay, saying "that [the series] uses ever bigger guns to deliver the same small pleasures."

He makes some compelling points about the monolithic JRPG, though some may disagree with his assertion that the series' fourth installment is its best. Final Fantasy XIII may well prove that people are finally tired of the ridiculous cinematic style that Square built on Final Fantasy VII's foundation, tired of big-budget cutscenes sandwiched between hours of tedious button-mashing and random battles, tired of sidequests and card-based minigames that never end up going anywhere.

One day, perhaps someone at Square Enix will check the sell-by date on their latest production and realize that it's about five years past, and we'll get another truly innovative genre-defining game from the RPG giant. Final Fantasy XIII just isn't going to be it.