The problem with the Final Fantasy Franchise

DaniPoo

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This is a long rant from a long time fan of the series.
Feel free to disagree and discuss but please be respectful.



I feel like the problem is that they try to adapt Final Fantasy to industry trends and make it a mainstream franchise.
Final Fantasy used to be regarded as probably the most quality of jRGP series (and this was when it really was not at all trying to be mainstream).

Dragon Quest on the other hand stayed true to it’s identity and even though the gameplay have barely changed since the beginning it’s more loved than ever before.

I think Square Enix needs to take a step back and look at Final Fantasy the same way they did when they created Final Fantasy IX.

Final Fantasy does not have to be a flashy action RPG, it doesn’t need to have the best graphics.

But what it needs to have is a great story, great memorable characters, charm, nostalgic moments, a sense of character growth (both as a story element and in gameplay) and loads of nostalgic elements.

for me the last great FF game was X and X-2.

XII had fun gameplay and a decent story, and I have to admit that I like Balthier. But the rest of the cast was boring and nothing interesting really happens between them.

XIII was not much better, in fact the gameplay got even worse with it’s linear approach and the boring way it handled side quests and how you acquired new gear.

XV - they changed the entire genre to action RPG, but they did it in a worse way than in Kingdom Hearts. In fact, Kingdom Hearts feels more like a Final Fantasy title than Final Fantasy XV did.

And the game is brutally short for a Final Fantasy title.

So they started adding more chapter (that does not carry over items or levels)

this just took you out of the main game and into another very short game in order to expand the story. Very poor way of doing it.

Final Fantasy VII remake is actually not a remake, but it’s actually fits the definition of a reboot much better...
And what other remake can you think of that changes both story and genre??
And the next part I heard is going to take the story in a completely new direction.

I really don’t get it... Why? Was it needed?

After all the backlash that Square Enix have got the last decade and a half, why don’t they just give in and take the safe route? it would be so much easier..
They just need to stop treating Final Fantasy as their experimental playground and just do what they do with Dragon Quest.
Stay true to the formulas that are proven to be working.

If they wanna experiment and out try new things then create spin-off titles or new IP’s.
Or revive some of their older franchises. The Mana series comes to mind..

I believe that if you buy a mainline Mario game, you expect certain things from it.
You expect it to be a platformer with tight controls and fun power-up’s. You certainly wouldn’t expect it to be a first person shooter.

And it’s the same with every franchise, if you change too much then you change the identity of the franchise.
This is even more apparent with a franchise like Final Fantasy (Where the stories and characters are completely unrelated from one game to the other)
This franchise is really only held together by gameplay mechanics and some things like returning names, races and monster enemies.

So it’s better to keep improving a working formula and just adding smaller twists or gimmicks to make it feel fresh.
And put the most effort on telling a new Final Fantasy story

At least this is what I think,

But hey! I am not a game designer
 

DaniPoo

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honestly, i dont even care for these games are nowadays, seems like a heartless cash grab now. i liked some of the older titles like 6 and 7 but that just my opinion on these games.
Yes I think that's the idea..

but it's strange, because I believe the way they are treating this franchise now actually leads to less sales then what they would have got if they kept pleasing their established fanbase.

And at the same time they also make really strange decisions.
For instance: They have the Pixel Remasters on smartphones and on PC (With controller support).
And these are actually pretty darn good.

It seems like such missed opportunity to not release these on consoles as well.
I cannot imagine that it would be difficult to get these games on consoles.
But they don't.. even though people want it. It's beyond me..

It's almost like they try to damage the Final Fantasy franchise by doing exactly the opposite of what they should.

It would be really interesting to talk with the people who are now responsible for this franchise and ask them what the hell they are doing and why.

Take Pokemon for example: It has just now started to change a bit, but the core game mechanics is still there. That's because they know what the identity of their franchise is, they have a working formula.
They just have to introduce a few new gimmicks, some new Pokemon and a new story and they'll make buckets of coin.

Same thing really with pretty much all Nintendo franchises. They stay true to their identity.

So my guess is that the leadership at Square Enix really don't understand what once made Final Fantasy great, and thus they have no idea what the working formula is or even what the identity is.

It's sad
 
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DaniPoo

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Also I need to add that, while it sounds like I hate change,
That's not really the case. Final Fantasy has always changed from game to game.
And that's good. As it should be.

But the successful formula was barely altered from Final Fantasy I-X in my opinion.

They were all similar enough that you could play any game and say "Yeah this is a Final Fantasy game".
 

Sonic Angel Knight

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These games change gameplay all the time. How am I supposed to git gud? One game has me picking job classes, another has me beating myself up to get stronger, another has me stealing magic from enemies to make me stronger and another has spheres that make me stronger. :ph34r:

Why can't they all just be like final fantasy 4 Dragon quest series. The very traditional game where characters are unique in attributes and consistent gameplay that makes sense in sequels. :ninja:
 
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DaniPoo

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These games change gameplay all the time. How am I supposed to git gud? One game has me picking job classes, another has me beating myself up to get stronger, another has me stealing magic from enemies to make me stronger and another has spheres that make me stronger. :ph34r:

Why can't they all just be like final fantasy 4 Dragon quest series. The very traditional game where characters are unique in attributes and consistent gameplay that makes sense in sequels. :ninja:

Sure that's why I wrote my last post. each game had their own little gimmick that made them special.
And like you said, usually it has to do with character growth.
And there was never any need to stop doing that.

I never said that Final Fantasy should be like Dragon Quest, I thought I made it clear that I wish Final Fantasy would follow Dragon Quest's example by sticking to the working formula (For Final Fantasy).
That doesn't mean that it needs to be anything like Dragon Quest.

But they really should try making another turn based Final Fantasy in a more traditional style and take inspiration from elements in 1-10. (The good ones)

Almost everyone who loves this series can agree that the series started falling apart after 10.
So anything that all those games had in common is part of the working formula.

And that's what they should try to stick to
 

Sonic Angel Knight

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Almost everyone who loves this series can agree that the series started falling apart after 10.
I would say it fell apart after the second game. I'm not beating myself up to get stronger. Also that nes game never released outside japan. Maybe just wasn't confident enough? I can see why. :ninja:

Another thing to note, most games at the time also changed drastically with the second game. Zelda 2 is nothing like zelda 1, castlevania 2 is nothing like castlevania 1 and Super mario bros 2 is nothing like super mario bros 1 (Unless you lived in japan) :P

Then the third game went back to copying the first game. JOB SYSTEM ALL OVER AGAIN (Same goes for the aforementioned games) I'm just pointing out facts.
 

DaniPoo

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I would say it fell apart after the second game. I'm not beating myself up to get stronger. Also that nes game never released outside japan. Maybe just wasn't confident enough? I can see why. :ninja:

Another thing to note, most games at the time also changed drastically with the second game. Zelda 2 is nothing like zelda 1, castlevania 2 is nothing like castlevania 1 and Super mario bros 2 is nothing like super mario bros 1 (Unless you lived in japan) :P

Then the third game went back to copying the first game. JOB SYSTEM ALL OVER AGAIN (Same goes for the aforementioned games) I'm just pointing out facts

Yeah I agree that Final Fantasy II was not their finest entry in the series. But after that (like you said), they actually reverted back to something closer to the first game.
And that resulted in very good games.

Same thing from VIII-IX, IX is regarded as one of the best in the series.

And what I am saying is that they need the same approach now as well.

I wonder how many times they have to shoot theirselves in their feet before they realise that.
 

Sonic Angel Knight

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Yeah I agree that Final Fantasy II was not their finest entry in the series. But after that (like you said), they actually reverted back to something closer to the first game.
And that resulted in very good games.
Eh, I mean final fantasy 3 is just a expanded version of final fantasy 1, and that game only came out in japan, didn't get international release until the remake on PSP/NDS. Of all the games, that one has the least attention from devs and maybe players. Due to the difficulty of that one comparison to the others of the series. They was worried about this new "JRPG" genre being challenging for international players that they made final fantasy 4 easier, maybe the easiest (unless you count mystic quest legend as part of the series)

Honestly I just think that due to how these games was sometimes omitted from being localized internationally during the "initial releases" that just maybe shows it had targets for demographics that just wasn't gonna be met by everyone. Final fantasy 7 was the first final fantasy released in europe which is just odd.

Starting with that game, the amount of changes is staggering. Throw away the "Medieval" theme setting which I thought why is called "Final Fantasy" in the first place. Have the characters with a bit too much backstory. Lots of sci-fi stuff, drastic change in battle system. All on a system using THREE DISC. Imagine having three cartridges for one snes game. :blink:

I wonder how many times they have to shoot theirselves in their feet before they realise that.
As for this comment. I don't know, sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn what works and don't. I don't know what the general consensus is, did dragon quest series fair better than final fantasy series? At a time where both wasn't owned by the same company, they was possibly competing. Dragon quest game releases is like a holiday in japan, can't say the same for final fantasy. It just did better there than here. Final fantasy did better here than there i would think. This is what i mean about target demographic. It's just the way things change to suit the market.

Final fantasy was a JRPG that constantly try to innovate while dragon quest remained traditional and master the formula in a sense. Spinoffs was inspired by the various ideas of final fantasy games. The Sa-GA series? Romancing saga, final fantasy legend, Saga frontier, all cause of Final fantasy 2. The guy that made the world of mana series help produce the story and setting for final fantasy and the crystals. If it wasn't for stuff like chocobo and moogles, wouldn't have chocobo racing or chocobo dungeon. Meanwhile, dragon quest spinoffs are like... pokemon copy cats, or that one that seem like minecraft :ninja:
 
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SAORIxMEGUMIN

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I enjoyed Final Fantasy XV quite a bit, My favorite is still Final Fantasy X. The evolution of game play is something i enjoy. That does not mean that I don't still enjoy slower turn based RPGs.

I think they were headed in a good direction with XV, Maybe for people that enjoy the old way they can release a demake version along side.
 

DaniPoo

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Eh, I mean final fantasy 3 is just a expanded version of final fantasy 1, and that game only came out in japan, didn't get international release until the remake on PSP/NDS. Of all the games, that one has the least attention from devs and maybe players. Due to the difficulty of that one comparison to the others of the series. They was worried about this new "JRPG" genre being challenging for international players that they made final fantasy 4 easier, maybe the easiest (unless you count mystic quest legend as part of the series)

Honestly I just think that due to how these games was sometimes omitted from being localized internationally during the "initial releases" that just maybe shows it had targets for demographics that just wasn't gonna be met by everyone. Final fantasy 7 was the first final fantasy released in europe which is just odd.

Starting with that game, the amount of changes is staggering. Throw away the "Medieval" theme setting which I thought why is called "Final Fantasy" in the first place. Have the characters with a bit too much backstory. Lots of sci-fi stuff, drastic change in battle system. All on a system using THREE DISC. Imagine having three cartridges for one snes game. :blink:


As for this comment. I don't know, sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn what works and don't. I don't know what the general consensus is, did dragon quest series fair better than final fantasy series? At a time where both wasn't owned by the same company, they was possibly competing. Dragon quest game releases is like a holiday in japan, can't say the same for final fantasy. It just did better there than here. Final fantasy did better here than there i would think. This is what i mean about target demographic. It's just the way things change to suit the market.

Final fantasy was a JRPG that constantly try to innovate while dragon quest remained traditional and master the formula in a sense. Spinoffs was inspired by the various ideas of final fantasy games. The Sa-GA series? Romancing saga, final fantasy legend, Saga frontier, all cause of Final fantasy 2. The guy that made the world of mana series help produce the story and setting for final fantasy and the crystals. If it wasn't for stuff like chocobo and moogles, wouldn't have chocobo racing or chocobo dungeon. Meanwhile, dragon quest spinoffs are like... pokemon copy cats, or that one that seem like minecraft :ninja:

A lot of Final Fantasy game had sci-fi elements, sometimes those are introduced later in the game.
Final Fantasy IV which is one of the most classic high fantasy entries have you flying a spaceship to the moon.

Sometimes it's more futuristic with Medieval elements.

Sure Final Fantasy always tried to innovate, but they kept some working formula pretty much untouched.
And to me it seems like they have forgot what makes Final Fantasy well.. Final Fantasy.

Bravely Default is more Final Fantasy than Final Fantasy.

It's like they think that they can put together a story about Crystals, warriors of light and put some Moogles and Chocobos in it and BAM a Final Fantasy game.
The genre and previously established gameplay elements clearly don't matter to them anymore.

It's like if if the Pokemon company would make their next mainline Pokemon titles play similar to Monster hunter. I am sure some people would enjoy that more.
But most fans probably wouldn't. Because they are expecting to play a Pokemon game, not a monster hunter game with Pokemon in it.

Things like that should be labeled as spin-off titles. And that's exactly what Square Enix used to do in the past. But for whatever reason they don't do it like that anymore.
 

DaniPoo

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I enjoyed Final Fantasy XV quite a bit, My favorite is still Final Fantasy X. The evolution of game play is something i enjoy. That does not mean that I don't still enjoy slower turn based RPGs.

I think they were headed in a good direction with XV, Maybe for people that enjoy the old way they can release a demake version along side.

I am not saying the game absolutely sucks. But it's not a suitable as a mainline title.
Started of as a spin-off and it should have been kept as a spin-off.

I do enjoy action RPG's. I really like Kingdom Hearts, Tales of and the mana Series.

So if I wanna play action RPGs I can just play those.
And if they want to make action RPG's they should just focus on the action RPG franchises they already have, make spin-off titles or make new IP's.

But it's not a good idea to mess to much with the fundamentals of a very established franchise.
 
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mrgone

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i started with ff when i discovered the rpge translation of ffv at the end of the last century :)
i later played ffix
but i skipped 7 and 8 because they were not fantasy enough for me and i didn't like the 3d stlye
after that i watched a friend play x and x2 but also didn't like the style (and i never had a ps2)
i liked crystal chronicles but "only" had 2 gba's, so it was a 2p experience at best.
we played it's sequel on the nds a lot, but also only 2p.

i probably just demand the existence of the classic black mages :)
the modern gfx orgasm style is not my thing
 

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i loved ff9 still havnt finnished it to this day, loved x and x-2 i didn't mind 13, 13-2 was awesome haven't really played 13-3
15 i bloody loved the story but never bothered with the extra chapters. 6 was amazing, and im about to start strangers of paradise. 7 remake seems slow and boring :/
 

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To this day the only FF I have beaten is 6, I couldn't get into any of the later titles

I think they started to focus too much on presentation, and not enough on gameplay and compelling storyline

There is an unfortunate trend towards AAA games being un-fun, almost like the bigger budget leads to more bloat
 

Xzi

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XIII was definitely a lowlight for the series, little more than a cowclicker in terms of gameplay. XV was better, but not by much. Nonetheless I am very excited for XVI, looks like it's trying something new not just for the sake of it, but because they actually have a cohesive vision for this one. In Yoshi-P we trust, FFXIV is by far the best MMORPG I've played. Need to re-sub if I can ever find the time.
 
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DaniPoo

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XIII was definitely a lowlight for the series, little more than a cowclicker in terms of gameplay. XV was better, but not by much. Nonetheless I am very excited for XVI, looks like it's trying something new not just for the sake of it, but because they actually have a cohesive vision for this one. In Yoshi-P we trust, FFXIV is by far the best MMORPG I've played. Need to re-sub if I can ever find the time.

Oh, there is no doubt in my mind that XVI will be a better game than XV.
But will it be more "Final Fantasy" I am not sure. Maybe.

Final Fantasy XIV is a great MMOrpg game. But if it was me I would not put it in the mainline Final Fantasy series. It's like if they had named WOW Warcraft 4 instead.
 
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DaniPoo

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It seem the majority of the people who defend FFXV, the move to action RPG and the newer titles are people who actually didn't enjoy the most beloved titles in the franchise to begin with.
 

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