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The last couple of Final Fantasy games have been a real bust for Square Enix, in terms of reputation. Final Fantasy XIV released despite beta testers warning them the game was bust. Final Fantasy XIII released as a 60 plus hour movie with a handful of playable gameplay segments. Throughout these debacles gamers have stuck by Square and Square has continually found one way or another to toss the Final Fantasy name into the dirt…until now.
A new 11 minute trailer was released for Final Fantasy Type-0. Despite being in Japanese there’s one major flaw with the game: It’s on the PSP and not the PS3. This obviously shows that Square Enix seems to have lost their way when it comes to promoting and moving the Final Fantasy franchise forward in the mainstream.
So what’s wrong with the game being on the PSP? Absolutely nothing. However, it should also be on the PS3 leading the way for what an evolved JRPG should be. The game features everything old-school gamers would expect from a new generation of JRPGs, with free-roaming combat, massive open environments to explore, Chocobos, strategy-oriented battlefield segments, huge bosses, multiple ways to fight enemies, action-oriented combat and more. It really does make you question why PSP gamers get such an extensive experience and why console gamers were left with a cinematic shell of a game.
Unfortunately, Square decided to bank their money on projects that make you question what’s up with their management. Final Fantasy XIII sold well [via 1up] but reviewers who weren’t enamored by the cinematics realized there wasn’t much of a game inside. Final Fantasy XIV was even worse, so much so that the game had to go through a complete restructuring phase and is now taking subscriptions again. I don’t even know what happened to Final Fantasy Versus: XIII…the concept seemed cool but it seems to be suffering from the development hell disease.
But don’t let me convince you that Final Fantasy Type-0 should have been the big-budget game Square banked on in the first place instead of the last two outings. Check out the 11 minute video and see it for yourself, courtesy of GameTrailers.
Why Square decided to invest in FFXIV instead of this game is beyond me. I can’t see why old-schoolers and new-schoolers wouldn’t be excited to play a game like this on the Xbox 360 or PS3. It features a lot of the classic elements (and even a few fan-favorite bosses from the SNES) and still maintains a strong sense of role-playing qualities, despite moving the genre forward with new evasive maneuvers, combat and skills.
Is it possible Final Fantasy XIII-2 could be anywhere near as fun looking as Final Fantasy Type-0? I’m not holding my breath, but at least Square will focus more on the gameplay this time around instead of having players sit through two hours of cinematics with only 5 minutes of gameplay. Any gamer who mustered through that experience without getting bored deserves props.
You can look for Final Fantasy XIII-2 to land on store shelves in January in 2012. We’ll keep you posted if Square decides to ship over Final Fantasy Type-0 for North Americans. But it looks like that’s the game you’ll want to grab if you’re a serious JRPG fan looking for an actual, evolved version of the games that made Square famous.