Final Fantasy glory days totally over?
I read this interview with Square's Yoshinori Kitase today and found it incredibly disheartening.
Final Fantasy XII is one of my favorite games of all time, but I avoided XIII based on what I read of the reviews — it seemed to consist of exactly what I didn't want from a Final Fantasy game. I know I'll never get a perfect open world to explore in Final Fantasy, but I like to at least feel like I have some freedom. The nail-in-the-coffin quote for me was this:
But if we were to take one of the past Final Fantasy titles and make a sequel to it, I think that would be a lot more challenging because when they were on PlayStation and PlayStation 2 their actual game volume was a lot bigger, kind of. Graphically they weren't as advanced as they are now, but there were lots of towns and worlds and cities and whatever. So if we were to recreate the same kind of game - sequel or not - with the same volume, but give it a much higher level of graphical quality, it would us take three times, four times, even ten times longer to make such a game. So making a sequel for an old game would be a lot more challenging.
I'm sorry, but to me "towns and worlds and cities and whatever" aren't really a "whatever" to me. I want a world, not just a cutscene generator. It's not Square's fault that next-gen graphical requirements are so high, but if they're seriously going to be at the expense of gameplay, then maybe we need to rethink our priorities. A million words have been written about the end of the Japanese RPG. I don't think it has to be over, I just think there needs to be some consideration of what a game is really about, and what's important and valuable. You don't need to Skyrim-spam me with randomly generated dungeons, but at least a couple branching paths and a chill town now and then wouldn't hurt.