Things have really begun to kick into gear for Final Fantasy XV. The latest entry finally has character swapping! Chapter 13 was fixed! All three of the main party members have their own DLC that tells their stories. You can even make your own avatar and play with other people in that wide, open world with the Comrades add-on. Not to mention, pretty much all the bugs have been ironed out. A PC port has even been announced. It only took about, oh, over a year. Yes, over a year for the game to reach what some might consider a complete state.
It might make someone wonder about the state of the Final Fantasy series. If Square Enix can take this long to get one installment to a point where it has everything you expect of it, does that mean something is wrong? Especially when other Square Enix RPGs are coming out the door 100% complete and ready to run. Perhaps it is time for Final Fantasy to break. Recharging the batteries for a bit before a return could be wise.
Because it isn’t just Final Fantasy XV that is concerning. Consider the mobile Final Fantasy games. Many of these come across as rather blatant cash grabs. Mobius Final Fantasy relies heavily on job cards to pull in more money and will use special events like an opportunity to use the Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Cloud to try and lure in more players. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius resorted to bringing Ariana Grande in multiple times to make money. (Yes, in case you missed it, Ariana Grande is a playable Final Fantasy heroine now.) And the port Final Fantasy VI looks nowhere near as lovely as the original, having been stripped of all their charm with the new art style.
And what of the Final Fantasy VII Remake? We have not really heard much about it since its PlayStation Experience 2015 reveal. I mean, a CGI key visual here and two lone screenshots there are not encouraging. Especially when this is also going to end up being an episodic game. A game that was originally a single, full package has a remake that has been in development for years and will be put out piecemeal. That is hardly encouraging.
On the other hand, Square Enix has been killing it when it comes to its other IPs and new series that are RPGs. NieR: Automata was amazing and thoughtful. The Project Octopath Traveler demo for the Switch was inventive. Dragon Quest XI has been well received in Japan and seems like another strong installment in the series. The Bravely series keeps trying new things and succeeding. Even the Mana series has suddenly found an audience again, thanks to the Seiken Densetsu Collection and upcoming Secret of Mana rerelease. Meanwhile, on the Final Fantasy side, we have the company… trying to make a mobile, stripped back version of Final Fantasy XV appealing?
It is okay for series to go on hiatus. Sometimes, it even ends up being for the best. Assassin’s Creed took a brief breather, and the result was the amazing Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Maybe, once all of this Final Fantasy XV stuff is worked out, Square Enix should do the same for the Final Fantasy series. Take a pause. Give people time to miss it. Work out some new ideas. Make a game that is 100% ready at launch, instead of maybe finally finished about a year later.
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