My Thoughts on Final Fantasy XVI and the Series’ Future — Immortallium’s Blog
I would like to start by saying that I’m a big fan of the Final Fantasy franchise. Final Fantasy IX is my favourite video game ever and many other entries in the series rank amongst the best games I have ever played. I would argue that Final Fantasy has had a profound impact on my life and how I view the world and, with this in mind, I decided that I should share my thoughts on the recently announced Final Fantasy XVI and the series’ future.
I will start off by ignoring the fact that Square Enix have retracted the announcement that Final Fantasy XVI was coming to PC (which, understandably, I find frustrating). Instead, I would like to focus on the game itself, the people who have been assigned to the game and how it relates to prior games. It should also be noted that the game was only recently announced and the information that I am about to discuss could very well change in the future.
Let’s begin by discussing what has been shown within the trailer. The game appears to be set in a medieval fantasy world which has been beset by the Blight. The Mothercrystal works to prevent this from spreading but war between nations and the appearance of Eikons, summoned beings such as Shiva, Titan, Ifrit and Phoenix, threaten this. I’ve spoken before about my ambivalence towards the world of Final Fantasy XV, which felt like a road trip through the southern United States and, while I do prefer the feel of this new world compared to FFXV, I can’t help but feel the influence of Game of Thrones and The Witcher. While I could certainly be proven wrong, I fear that this new Final Fantasy may lose the identity of its previous worlds in an attempt to emulate the successes of recent franchises.
In addition, I would like to discuss my thoughts on the fleeting glimpses of gameplay that we saw in the trailer. The game is being referred to as an action-RPG and the combat system appears to be similar to Final Fantasy XVs (I believe I even see a warp strike within the footage). I have made my preference for turn-based combat systems clear before and, while there is still much to be learned about the new combat system such as how party members interact or how the magic system works, I cannot help but be disappointed that the combat established in FFXV appears to be Square Enix’s vision for the future of the series.
Final Fantasy XVI is being developed by Square Enix Creative Business Unit III, a group that have traditionally worked solely on MMORPGs. The game is being produced by Naoki Yoshida, the man who is often credited as the saviour of Final Fantasy XIV, and directed by Hiroshi Takai who has worked on the SaGa series as well working as the director of The Last Remnant and as an assistant director for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. While I did not know all this when I first watched the trailer, interestingly, I was reminded of the many trailers and screenshots I have seen of Final Fantasy XIV when I saw the character designs and art style. While certainly not an ugly game, I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed by the graphics considering that it was announced for the next generation of PlayStation consoles.
I can clearly remember thinking as I played Final Fantasy XV “Not a bad game but the wrong direction for the franchise” and now it appears that Square Enix is doubling down on what they’ve established in that game (why wouldn’t they since FFXV became one of the best-selling games in the series). While I am disappointed in their decision, I can understand it and why they’ve decided to take the franchise in this direction.
In conclusion, my thoughts on Final Fantasy XVI and the series’ future are quite mixed. On one hand, I could be pleasantly surprised by the finished game but, on the other hand, I suspect that Square Enix is less interested in pleasing long term fans of the franchise and, instead, are focusing on new players. However, even if it turns out that I’m correct about Final Fantasy XVI, I will never forget the impact the series has had on my life and will continue to enjoy the many games of the series’ past.
Thanks for reading and if you wish to seek any of the titles I mentioned, don’t hesitate to use amazon.co.uk or amazon.com for all of your needs! For further recommendations of JRPGs, feel free to follow my curator page on Steam “ JRPG Reviews “ for thoughts and opinions on any JRPGs that I play.
Originally published at https://immortalliumblog.com on October 8, 2020.