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 Final Fantasy 's had ups and downs, but Square Enix still committed to series
Final Fantasy's had ups and downs, but Square Enix still committed to series
June 11, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

Square Enix revisited its upcoming roster of titles this morning at E3 in Los Angeles, confirming the two titles announced last night -- Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV -- and projecting ahead to the company's anticipated lineup.

It was a gesture meant to restore confidence and assert continued relevance in the face of the oncoming hardware transition. Square Enix has three titles coming in the current fiscal year (Final Fantasy X and X-2: HD Remastered and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII) bound for current-gen platforms, with Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV intended as cross-platform for both Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One.

Following the presentation, Final Fantasy brand director Shinji Hashimoto took questions from reporters, in particular addressing the concern that the action-heavy, Western-focused look of Final Fantasy XV (nee Versus XIII) represented a marked departure from its turn-based roots. One audience member asked if Square Enix considered turn-based, conventional JRPG mechanics an unsafe bet for big-budget productions.

"Final Fantasy is always evolving, always challenging," Hashimoto answered. He said that each installment of the franchise experimented with different systems and mechanics, and Final Fantasy XV's action game-styled combat was no exception to this experimentation.

Square Enix has released a few conventional turn-based RPGs in recent years, but largely as re-releases of classic titles and comparatively low-budget mobile and handheld titles.

"I believe there's a future for both action and command-based RPGs," said Hashimoto. "It's not that we aren't thinking of the future of command-based RPGs."

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Pablo Simbana
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the most disspointing news is that they didn't say anything about type-0, heck at this point I'm willing to buy any console just to play it but I need them to localize it :/ sadly my japanese is not good enough to understand everything as I'd like

Maurício Gomes
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I want Final Fantasy XVI to be from the FFVI FFIX guy (I forgot his name :( ) he is one of the best FF authors out there.

But I am rooting for "Versus" since it was announced (and when it was announced, I concluded that I would not pay attention at all to FFXIII and... I was right in the end of not paying attention to it, I dunno why I had this gut feeling though...)

Robert Carlson
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I remember when I first saw a trailer for Versus XIII and thought how cool it looked. I was a freshman in high school. I am now a rising junior in college. The game was already more than a year into development.

In seriousness, XV looks like the least embarrassing thing to hold the Final Fantasy label in a long while. Final Fantasy proper has been way too wrapped up in shiny, unsubstantial images and gameplay-caustic gimmicks. Speaking as someone whose favorite console game just might be FFVII, I welcome an action-RPG as taking the roman-numeral entry just because it might pull the focus more toward player involvement.

Here's hoping that the long dev time doesn't come back to bite in a big way. I doubt the programming transition from PS3 to PS4 will be all that troublesome, and from what we've heard it doesn't seem like the game has undergone drastic shifts in story, gameplay, or direction (just look at what happened to The Dig). Seems more like understaffed but regular development than outright development hell, but we'll see.

Camilo R
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They'll eventually go extinct if they keep taking those ridiculously long development cycles. Even their remaster took about two years.

Kenneth Poirier
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Ok, I got to go fan boy for a sec here:

XV looks like a joke. I can see having these alt genre title like dirge of cerberus as side games, but throwing it in as a main title? What makes this remotely anything like the other final fantasy games? That the characters wear silk and have bad hair cuts? All this says to me is the genre and Final Fantasy is dead.

Branden MacAffee
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I honestly have no idea what this means.

The Final Fantasy series has had a similar modern/future esthetic since FFVII (with FF IX being a throw back.). If you don't like that, that cool, but we're already 8 main games deep into that style.

Kenneth Poirier
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I don't care about the art style, which is the only thing that in anyway ties this to other games in the series. I'm talking about the game play. Is this thing even an RPG? Right now it looks like a john woo action game.

John Flush
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When I saw the trailer I was worried. Maybe it was my stream, but it didn't look that good graphically. Which is probably because it was a PS3 game. It also looked a lot more uncharted like than FF.

I would love to see them put a name on it other than FF and see if it sells. Seriously the FF name has made all these crappy games 'successful' just by riding on the coat tails of 'FF'. I know in my circles that when you hear FF it comes with two things these day: 1. complaints about them going downhill; 2. people saying it should die already.

If this was anything but 'FF' it would have been rebranded by now or forgotten. Squenix = luckiest brand name owner ever.

Ardney Carter
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If everyone is smack talking it, is it really the luckiest brand? Brand recognition does cut 2 ways. There are people who will pass on games merely because of the brand even if they might otherwise have enjoyed the gameplay.

Reversing negativity associated with your brand takes time and effort and can even be somewhat independent of quality. At least as far as I'm concerned they earn a certain amount of respect for keeping at it. Granted, this hardly means I'm going to run out and buy it. But between this and their stubborn determination to rebuild FF14 I can't help but admire their efforts to make these things work as opposed to just scrapping them.

Nuttachai Tipprasert
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Aside from XIV, I have never played any crappy FF game yet. At least not in the main series. But this topic is subjective, so, I won't go on any further. But to said that XV doesn't look graphically good... well, I don't even know what to say.