[For his Monthly Musing, SephirothX talks about how disappointing the games put out in 2010 by Square Enix were. Want to write your own blog about the biggest disappointment of last year? Check out the Monthly Musing topic for all the guidelines, then head on over to the Community Blogs and post your own! — JRo]
It used to be that when you saw Square / Squaresoft / Square Enix on a game, it used to be guaranteed gold. Now, it seems like fool’s gold. If you could take a trip in the DeLorean (since 2010 held the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future) back to visit me anywhere between 1997-2000 and told me that in 2010 America would get not one but two standard numbered Final Fantasy titles in one year I would have told you that 2010 would be the greatest year in gaming history. Instead, elder wiser me sat through 2010 and saw Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIVas one game that was a disappointment to many, and another that was a total and utter flop. Sorry diehards, but it’s time to face facts, Final Fantasy XIII was one of 2010’s biggest disappointments. Not necessarily because it was a bad game, but because it wasn’t up to the same level as other games in the series. Then Square Enix came out and announced that the new Deus Ex title was delayed due to money concerns, though I still don’t understand how delaying something that would make you money fixes your money issue.
*Sigh* the simple fact that I’m putting “Final Fantasy” and “disappointment” in the same sentence saddens me.
Square Enix has a backlog of games that include legends such as Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI & VII, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, and more recently Kingdom Hearts. All of these titles were significant major system releases that caught the eye of pretty much the entire gaming world, and are still highly revered by many. Now? Now Square Enix seems fixated on pushing out handheld games that are primarily side stories for their major franchises, and don’t seem to have an ear on what their fans desire from them. The Parasite Eve franchise has been something fans have wanted brought back for a while, hopefully in some glorious way on these next generation consoles. Square Enix listened, kind of… The 3rd Birthday happened, though you’d have to pay attention to know it’s a Parasite Eve sequel, since this title doesn’t even bear the franchise’s name on it while simultaneously being shunned down to the PSP. Don’t get me wrong I like seeing the PSP get games, but I can’t imagine many fans of Square Enix’s legacy being happy about a franchise being pushed from console to handheld. To top it off, from what I’ve heard, I guess The 3rd Birthday is having so-so sales over in Japan…though I could be wrong there.
Beyond the two big Final Fantasy titles of 2010, what exactly did Square Enix do to blow us away? Honestly, pretty much nothing. No real surprise game, no big announcements, nothing to get the fan-base’s juices flowing. Nothing about remakes of old games, sequels, Kingdom Hearts 3. Instead, we were greeted to either babble about Square Enix’s continued lingering in the Final Fantasy XIII universe, or more shit on the DS and PSP. Yes, Square Enix’s name popped up on other titles this year – Just Cause 2 and Supreme Commander 2 both had Square Enix’s label on them, and those were good games. “But Sephy! You just said Square Enix had good games and yet you’re blogging about Square Enix sucking!” That’s because with those two games Square Enix was nothing more than a publisher. Eidos and Gas Powered Games were the real minds behind those titles, Square Enix just financed them and essentially found an excuse to put their name on the box. Over in Japan, Square Enix does this a lot too; Arkham Asylum and Black Ops magically get Square Enix logos upon traveling over the Pacific Ocean as well.
Square Enix sucked in 2010 because I feel they’ve lost their ear with their fans and now think they need to tell their fans what they want instead of having their fans tell them what they want. I hope I speak for a large amount of long-time Square fans when I say that we want big time titles that blow the doors off the building in the most public way possible, like how Square used to do it back-in-the-day, instead of screwing around with the PSP and the DS. Again, I hope I speak for many people when I also say that I want Square Enix to revisit some of their old properties for a while instead of giving us the reach-around with an FFXIII Gaiden story or another Kingdom Hearts game that isn’t Kingdom Hearts 3. Pretty sure that most of the fanbase doesn’t want another random game with Final Fantasy attached to it considering the other wants of the fanbase… oh wait, they’re fucking doing that too.
It truthfully seems like the most demanded item from Square Enix’s history seems to be Chrono Trigger, whether it’s a modern remake of the game or by finally getting a proper sequel. Sorry Chrono Cross fans, but I don’t consider that game a sequel to the original because I feel it’s really just a different game set within the same universe. It seems like fans have been trying to revive the Chrono franchise themselves over the years, yet SquareEnix always ends up being dicks and forcing these people to cease work on their projects. Anybody remember Crimson Echoes or Chrono Trigger Resurrection? It would make sense if SquareEnix was working on something regarding the franchise at the time, since then it would be an active thing for them, but instead SquareE nix has done jack crap with the franchise and the most recent news we’ve had about it is Obsidian wanting to make it and the original game coming to a mobile phone. Fuck you, Square Enix, for complaining about money but not going forward with things your fans would give you money for.
Then there’s the elephant in the room which always comes up anytime someone talks about stuff Square Enix should do. It’s also the one thing that Squar eEnix still hasn’t caved in on, which would be the Final Fantasy VII PlayStation 3 remake that is pretty much the most demanded thing in the history of fucking anything ever wanted (I exaggerate, I know). FFVII, like it or not, is one of the most influential games in history and helped JRPGs in the same way Star Wars helped science fiction movies. Fans of the game want the remake because of the old E3 Tech Demo, and because they love everything FFVII. Non-fans of the game want it remade so that the fans of the game will finally shut the fuck up. I guess I just don’t understand what is keeping Square Enix from officially pulling the trigger and green lighting a PS3 version of FFVII. You’d think the respectable success of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII alone would legitimize that a remake of the game is a profitable endeavor. Plus, look at how well the original PS1 version of the game sold when it hit PSN.
Seriously, get the fuck going on this!
Considering Square Enix and money and all that jazz right now, I would have figured that Final Fantasy VII would have been the first thing that would have come out of someone’s mouth at a bigwig Square Enix board room meeting. If someone at Square Enix would maybe come up with a bright idea of adapting the events of Before Crisis, Crisis Core, Final Fantasy VII (the game’s story), and perhaps somehow even include Advent Children into one Final Fantasy VII Complete game for the PS3, I don’t really understand how you can’t put a gold label on that and go “Yeah let’s make a fuckload of money.” Instead we get shit like nobody really wants like Type-0 or Versus XIII. Again, fuck you Square Enix for not fucking listening.
People wanted Marvel vs Capcom 3 and you know what Capcom did? They fucking gave us Marvel vs Capcom 3, and people are happy about it…even if Capcom is probably assraping Devil May Cry in the background simultaneously. Sucker Punch heard there was a large distaste for the look of Cole in Infamous 2 so what did they do? They went back and changed him to go look more like the original, though I wouldn’t be surprised if New Cole is an unlockable still. Call of Duty fans got pissed about how the game always turned into a killstreak fuck fest, so what happens as a result? Modern Warfare 2 got a barebones playlist and Black Ops tweaked the formula to make sure killstreaks don’t lead to other kill streaks. What do all of these things have in common? It’s cases of the developers listening to the fans and the end result is the fans being happier. Obviously some care has to be taken when listening to fans & you need to make sure you listen to people who are being logical customers and not dumbass fans, otherwise you might end up with shit like MAG.
2010 sucked because this was the year that, at least for the time being, really brought Square Enix down to Earth and made them “just another company” instead of a top tier name in the industry. In 2011 Square Enix needs to get out of their fucking cave and get a pulse on what their fans want and where the action is. Get it the fuck together, SquareEnix, or this will happen.