Can We Save Judging Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Until We Actually See It?
I don’t understand my fellow gamers. We love to whine and moan about a lack of originality coming from major developers. Every gritty first person shooter trying to show us the errors of war and each seasonal roster update for sports franchises meets a wall of “UGH! MORE?!” responses year in, year out.
Yet, when the beloved RPG developer Square Enix announces Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and that it will be even more apart from the series’ roots than its oddball predecessors, people cry out “No, why aren’t you making the stuff you did fifteen years ago?”
Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 certainly weren’t perfect; the twenty hour tutorial of the former and the entire story of the latter did not work as well as they had hoped. But regardless of anyone’s individual feelings about the games, at least these entries in the series did things differently.
The battle system, cutting out towns, putting romantic love stories on the back burner, collecting monsters, multiple endings, the female protagonists – all of it was crazy and weird and different. And now they break the mold once more by making FF13 a trilogy and adding even more dynamic actions like real-time consequences for the story and movement in battle.
Square Enix is not content with stagnation. They want to be the trendsetters they’ve always been. These new ideas might suck, but that’s okay. There’s value in the attempt.
It’s an honest shame that this industry considers new ideas so risky and that they can offend many longtime fans instantaneously. If we want greater diversity in our video games then we have to be open to new concepts from developers, especially the teams at the top of the food chain holding as much sway as Square Enix.