Stop and salivate: XIV Final Fantasy XIV screens

E3 2009 was last week (which is one million years of internet time), but that doesn’t mean that I’m finished talking about what happened. Specifically, I’m going to talk a little about Sony’s ace in the hole: Final Fantasy XIV. In a surprise announcement, Sony revealed the latest installment in the storied (and checkered) franchise. Here’s the kicker — it’s an MMORPG, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Final Fantasy XI started making people physically ill.

Square Enix updated the FFXIV Web site today with a batch of fourteen (get it?!) shiny new screenshots from the game. Some of them are from the E3 trailer, but some of them seem to be new. Kotaku also managed to get their grubby little hands on Kazuya Takahashi’s gorgeous concept art that adorns the teaser site, which I promptly saved to my desktop.

I don’t particularly like MMORPGs, but I’m excited for these screenshots and concept art. Don’t get me wrong–my aversion to MMOs will probably preclude signing up to explore the far reaches of Eorzea–but I’m certainly excited by the idea of Final Fantasy. As a franchise, Final Fantasy is truly greater than the sum of its parts, and, as a fan, I can’t help but feel a little giddy about that finely-rendered Chocobo rump.

For more details, be sure to check out Chad’s super-secret Q&A session with producer Hiromichi Tanaka and director Nobuaki Komoto, as well as fan site Allakhazam’s impressive round-up. Final Fantasy XIV will be out sometime next year for the PlayStation 3 and PC. Hit the gallery for the new screenshots.

Joseph Leray