The year of Final Fantasy?

Final Fantasy is somewhat like Square Enix's equivalent of Mario, they can slap the name on pretty much anything and it will sell even if it had little to do with the main franchise. This year especially seems to be FF heavy however, as we potentially have no less than 4 Final Fantasy games that should be out by year's end, covering every platform except the Wii.

The only one with a solid a fast-approaching release date is Final Fantasy XIII-2, due out at the very end of this month. It's probably a pretty solid time to release it, as the next big rpg, Mass Effect 3 isn't even due out til March and rpg gamers could probably really use something to fill that gap. It's already fairly divisive though, as a direct sequel to arguably the most hated entry yet in FF history. To their credit, Square Enix has said they have really listened to the fans' complaints and this sequel really addresses them. In a really rare move, they are offering up a free demo of the game coming out this week that will hopefully put any fears about it to rest.Which of course I will be sure to download and give impressions when I can.

Final Fantasy Type 0 for the PSP has already been released in Japan to pretty solid reviews, but given the focus is on the Vita already and the PSP was never much of a hit in the states, it may take a little bit of a miracle to get it out here. It would be a good final great release in the waning days of the PSP, maybe a digital launch on the Vita wouldn't be a terrible idea either.

Very little is really known about the seemingly forever in development Final Fantasy versus XIII. It takes place in the same universe as XIII, but has a completely different setting and characters, so it should being interesting to see if there is any references or crossover. Hopefully we will see something at E3.

Finally we actually have heard more bout the bizarre little spin-off title for the 3DS that was recently revealed, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. Probably because as expected, the raging fanboys were up in arms over the "ridiculousness" of the title. But how ridiculous is it? The FF series is well known for its completely amazing music, as long as the gameplay is fairly compelling, I greatly anticipate it as a really fun 3DS title.

So as you can see, if you're a Final Fantasy nut or just an rpg nut, Square has got you pretty well covered all by themselves this year. Hopefully it'll be something of a renaissance for FF rather than a big degradation of a once great franchise.

That;s it for today, but I should definitely be back Wednesday or Thursday with my impressions of the FFXIII demo. Until then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Thin Ice

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