Omg next E3 is gonna have Versus info, I can sense it!!
Can you imagine waiting 10 years for something to come, only for it to never come? Well can you?
I sure can't. But you know, it sounds to me like that's what a certain special brand of Final Fantasy fans have been doing. Yeah you know who you are. The ones who constantly like to remind us that "The last great Final Fantasy was ten!" Or they might say that the last great one was nine. Others say that no Final fantasy will ever surpass seven. They're the ones that follow Square Enix religiously despite the fact that they've been disappointed time and time again. They're the ones who endlessly trash all the newer final fantasies in favor of the older ones. The ones who tell anyone who dared to enjoy any final fantasy after nine or ten (it depends) that they are what is wrong with the gaming industry. The ones who say there is no need for new final fantasies, only HD remakes of the old ones. The ones that think that JRPGs are all dead and that good ones dont even exist, because Final fantasy is the be all end all of JRPGs. And if Final Fantasy sucks then that must mean all JRPGs suck right!? And my reaction is something like this:
The so called last great Final Fantasy came out at the end of 2001. It is now February 2013. Have you honestly been waiting 11, almost 12 years, for some godly game that you think will magically renew your undying love for Square Enix? I could understand having this mindset back in 2003 or even as late as 2005. But 11 years!? 12 years if you think the last great Final Fantasy was 9. 13 years if you thought the last great one was 8. A whopping 15 years if you thought the last great one was 7. Lord, do you know how long ago that is? Could you remember what was going on in the world 15 years ago? 15 years ago, Bill Clinton was president of the United States!
Now I know some people are going to stop reading in order to scroll down and bash the hell out of me in the comment section. But before you do that please hear me out. Has there really been some people waiting over a decade for ONE video game company to get their act together and impress them? Don't you think that maybe, just maybe its time to move on?
I've read several accounts of fans getting hyped for a new Final Fantasy, hoping that it's going to be the next seven, or eight, or whatever their favorite was. And lo and behold, it's not! You know why? Because times change thats why! So does the staff at Square Enix. Also, Final Fantasy is a series that historically changes with every installment. I can't count how many times I heard people say "The last great FF was X, but I'm going to buy this new game anyway, in the hopes that Square will get their act together!" Or " ____ (insert final fantasy that has yet to come out) is going to save Square, and itll be way better than that piece of crap _______ (insert final fantasy that already came out here)."
You guys know that old saying? Fool me once (FF XI) shame on you, fool me twice (FF XII) shame on me, fool me three times (compilation of FF VII) what am I doing, fool me four times (FF XIII) no seriously what the hell am I doing, fool me five, six, seven, eight times (Versus, no Type 0 localization, FF all the bravest, shift to mobile gaming) why am even still here? Ok yeah that's not how the saying goes but you get my point right? It baffles me as to why someone who has been disappointed with a company's decisions over the course of a decade would even bother with them anymore.
Now to clarify, I don't think there is anything wrong with preferring the old final fantasies over the new ones. But it is getting tiring seeing over and over on every topic having to do with FF and SE:
"FF 7 REMAKE!" or " Square is crap now. This next game they're putting out better be good though because I'm buying it anyway, its totally going to be the next ff 7!" or "Anybody who enjoys the new FF games has horrible taste!" or "Square Enix sucks now so all gaming and JRPGs must suck too!"
Why cant you just move on? Serious question, why? Does Atlus not exist in your world where JRPGs all suck? Or Monolith Soft? Level 5, Mistwalker, Nippon Ichi Software, or Namco Bandai? Anyone?
And I'll admit, I was once waiting and waiting on SE for Versus and other great games akin to the Final Fantasies that I loved. I waited and waited, missing out on many other JRPGs. Then one day I just said "Forget them." I just didn't see any point to waiting on them anymore. When I picked up other great JRPGs by other companies, this only reinforced my belief. And hey, I still make passing, backhanded comments about how Square can't get anything done in a reasonable amount of time. I'm human too. But I just don't see any point in sticking with them after Ive been disappointed for way too long over their bizarre business decisions. Thats just masochistic. The games I want may possibly never come from SE anymore, so I've accepted it and moved on to other games and gaming companies.
I'll also admit that quality JRPGs are nowhere near as abundant as they were in the PS2 and PS1 era. But they are out there, hidden in the mist. And you sure aren't going to find them by getting hung up on one company and/or one series. And that goes for any genre of gaming. What I just said about Square Enix could go for any company. Series can change or end abruptly. Companies will sell out. The head honchos and leaders leave, which can be good or bad. No matter what, things are going to change over time. Whether you choose to accept it or sit there and suffer through these unwanted changes is up to you.
Not only that, but when I game, I always keep an amusing little adage in mind. Its called Sturgeon's Law, otherwise known as "90% of everything is crap!" Well, it'd be a stretch to say 90% of games are complete trash. It'd be more accurate to say 90% of games are average to crap. Always. And that goes for any form of entertainment.
You'll always have those money hungry corporations looking to nickel and dime their customers. Youll always have guys who have the artistic integrity of a potato and will just copy what the next guy is doing. Great companies will be bought out by bigger companies who will force them to churn out uninspired, dumbed down, rehashed sequels. Great companies may go out of business as well. Some companies will give the finger to their long standing fanbases in favor of a market that will make them more money.
That's just how things are sometimes. The only thing we as gamers can really do is vote with our wallet. We can only sort amongst the steaming piles of human excrement in hopes that we'll find a jewel hidden in there somewhere. Also something else: I think some people get so hung up on review scores, hype, critics, controversies, and what's past, that they forget to have fun. Not every game is going to be a 10/10. Not every game is going to make you shed manly gamer tears of joy and scream "BRAVO!" at the end. That doesn't mean you can't still have fun with them.
I've played several "crappy" games and enjoyed them. I put crappy in quotes because they weren't deemed crappy by me and other fans of the game, but by critics and naysayers. It doesn't matter to me, because I'm still having fun with the game. I don't get hung up on review scores. Sure I'll read them. But I'll be damned if Im going to let a few bad scores stop me from getting a game I think I'll enjoy. And even if I pick up a bad game, or a series ends, or a company begins to suck, I know there's always something else out there. One door closes, but another opens, provided that I open that door and don't just sit there crying.
Gaming is supposed to be fun, first and foremost. And if gaming really causes you enough rage to curse out random teenagers on a net forum, type in all caps about how much you hate it nowadays, or maliciously attack gaming companies, games, or reviewers from behind the comfort of your computer screen, then you've got three options.
You can rejoice over the fact that digital downloading now allows us to download classics from the previous eras of gaming and enjoy them on our modern systems. You can also forget all about the sucky companies that wronged you and go on a hunt for different genres, games, and companies to support. Or you can go find another hobby that doesnt cause you so much pain. Because honestly, I can't help but shake my head when I see people get REALLY mad about gaming. Its good to have passion, sure. But I think some people get a little too heated over pieces of plastic and discs.
In conclusion, there is always something else out there. There's an entire ocean of games out there. But how can you enjoy the ocean if you're standing on the beach, arms crossed, cheeks poked out, complaining about how there's sand in your shorts and the beach is just too darn hot?
I'd encourage anyone who's going through a gaming rut to keep trying! Gaming is a great hobby, and I know sometimes we all go through times where we think "You know, it's just not doing it for me anymore." But don't give up! Gaming has so much variety, and there will always be new uncharted seas out there!