Whatever Happened to Final Fantasy?

Final Fantasy VI

I want to make it perfectly clear that I like the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy VI and VII were masterpieces. I didn’t like VIII, but I understand why some people do. I loved Final Fantasy IX, and I even enjoyed X for what it was. And of course, X-2 was about magical girls, and I can’t argue with magical girls.

Yet all the games after X-2 seem to work as hard as they can to climb up their own asses.

Allow me to clarify.

I love world-spanning, epic stories as much as the next geek. I want to fall in love with characters, enjoy and appreciate their backgrounds, and feel their triumph right along with them. At the same time, Final Fantasy games are just that: games. They may be games designed to tell a story, but it’s a story that I’m supposed to play through. They ask me not to simply watch he characters progress through a story, but step into the role of those characters and experience their adventures through their eyes.

Modern Final Fantasy games, by and large, seem to want to tell the story they plan on telling, and fuck any player input.

The old school Final Fantasy games were all about player activity. The stories were minimal and the characters were basic because you didn’t need world-spanning quests to go on an adventure. You went on an adventure because you were the type of person who enjoyed adventure. You slayed monsters because slaying monsters was fun. You were a hero because you were the one who went out and did heroic things. You didn’t need an NPC to tell you to go somewhere and do something. You went to places, and you did things, because those places and those things looked interesting.

Final Fantasy VI

I don’t want Final Fantasy to lose its compelling characters and epic stories. Those are great, and I enjoy them for what they are. I simply want new games in the series to have a similar feel to that of the retro editions. I want to go on an adventure. I want to see mountains again, Gandalf. Mountains!

Sorry. I went a little too retro there.

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