I think we all need a break from Final Fantasy...

I love Final Fantasy, I've been playing it since the NES era. I've played and beaten nearly every FF game that has come stateside. FFVII, while overrated, can pretty much be held responsible for rpgs hitting the mainstream. It can overall stand right up there with series like Zelda & Mario as one of the biggest and most influential franchises of all time.

But while Mario & Zelda continue to deliver outstanding and innovative gameplay to this day (Skyward Sword & both Super Mario Galaxies are generally considered 3 of the best games of this generation), Final Fantasy has pretty much floundered in the current gen. FFXIII is easily the most divisive game in the series, with the majority hating it, and yet Square churned out FFXIII-2 (which addressed a lot of the gameplay issues of XIII, but none of the story or character issues) and has clear plans on FFXIII-3 despite a lukewarm feelings towards the game at best. FFXIV is an unmitigated disaster to the point where they have to try and completely re-launch it. And the oddly named Final Fantasy Versus XIII has languished in development since at least 2006.

So maybe it's time Square Enix gives Final Fantasy what it needs the most-a long break with a serious trip back to the drawing board. I don't know where they got this idea that we need an FF title every year or even every couple of years. Up until this generation we usually got 2 per console cycle with the occasional oddball offshoot like Tactics and that was great. It gave the developers time to really try out new and interesting ideas with every entry. I certainly wouldn't want them to do away with FF entirely, but Square Enix has a lot of very strong RPG franchises they can tap into that can take the spotlight while Final Fantasy hangs back a little and returns when the time is right. I certainly wouldn't be opposed to seeing a new Secret of Mana or Chrono Trigger game, for instance. Or maybe a new property altogether. The bottom line is that Final Fantasy as a franchise really needs to do a drastic 180 and throwing a bunch of randomly strung together ideas at a wall and seeing what sticks is not working...

That's all for today, but I should certainly get one at least one more post in this weekend. Until then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Branded

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