Friday, August 07, 2015

FF15 - Or Why I'm Tired of a Game That Hasn't Released

With the DOTA 2 Tournament and Gamescon going on this weekend, all of the other gaming sites will have those covered. There's no need to rehash content, unless it's some really, really, really, big news.

Like Final Fantasy XV. There's a release date! Sort of. 2016 is the target. "We can certainly say to people: it's not going to be 2017," commented director Hajime Tabata. In speaking with GameSpot, he noted that fans won't see the game this year, but it will be before 2017. They have a date in mind. There's a road map. They know what needs to be done. And they won't say when the release will actually be, just sometime next year.

That's more information then we have ever had about the game before. As a tried and true Final Fantasy fan, since game 1, all I can say is "it's about damn time."And I have never been more disinterested in a FF game.

This has been a difficult project for Square. FF15 has been in development for a decade. Ten. Years. It originally was meant to be a direct spin-off of Final Fantasy 13, dubbed Versus. Instead the direction of the game changed. FF13 received their own direct-to sequels involving the game's original characters. Versus morphed into it's own entity, while maintaining ties to the FF13 universe (new cast, different time period). What made this so frustrating for fans is that Square kept teasing us with this game every year. They would also put out new footage, or release some new character details, and then it all changed a year later. There were products, marketing pieces - I have keychains from Versus! The game that no longer exists.

As the game continues to change every year, a lot of fans have stopped caring. FF15 has hit The Last Guardian syndrome. Where we keep getting teased about a product in production with no end in sight.

And as fans we have been taking notes on what little FF15 has done. We have seen FF13 blossom from a Western "wtf is this?" to a favorite with 2 sequels. FF14 was born, died, and reborn into a MMO powerhouse that other games should fear. Square has taken on re-branding Hitman and Tomb Raider for a new generation of fans. Original titles such as Just Cause have allowed SE to branch out to new markets.

What have we seen from FF15? Clunky game mechanics from 2 demos, and a lot of backlash over an all male leading cast along with a stripper-riffic female Cid.

I don't think I have ever been so unimpressed with a Final Fantasy game. The latest screen shot I have viewed showed 2 men in medieval armor holding machine guns. No game play. Nothing to denote that it's from FF15. Just men with guns. Awesome. Because that screams Final Fantasy.

Look. I don't expect every FF game to be about wizards, magic, summons, and saving the world. They can change it up (and they did, drastically with FF7, 8, 12, and 13.) But they maintained the charm of Final Fantasy. There is always a look, a feel, the way the characters act and talk, the flow of the story, the whimsy of the world...Final Fantasy has a distinctive look to it, even when they change things up with each game.

And like Kingdom Hearts 3, FF15 has fallen off my radar. I stopped caring when they continued to drag out this game for over a decade. Whatever it was, whatever it will be no longer matters. It feels as though they are trying to salvage a bad idea. What started out as FF13 in another time with different characters became too much for the team to handle. So they kept tweaking, and tweaking, and tweaking, and somewhere in there this world is still connected to FF13. Somehow it all is, and I don't know where or why. Nothing about the game looks as though it has any connection to FF13.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's the fangirl in me who is ticked that SE won't call quits on the project and start on a new FF15 game that would feel like a Final Fantasy title. But I can't get over this nagging feeling that they are trying to push the current iteration of FF15 as something that it's never going to be. And because of that it's clouding my vision. FF15 could be a fantastic game! I don't know. But at this point I'm tired. Tired of the waiting. Tired of the teasers. Tired of the lack of information. Tired of SquareEnix being SquareEnix. The Last Guardian effect is strong with this one.

Now! I wonder if these Versus keychains will be worth something in a few years. Defunct game product that has never been opened...starting bids are at $50! Any takers?

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