Final Fantasy, a beloved video game franchise that has captivated millions of players worldwide, has had its fair share of wins. However, even the most revered series is not without its flaws. For a series as long as Final Fantasy, it is basically inevitable to have mistakes here and there occasionally. While the company may prefer to sweep these blunders under the rug, it’s important to revisit them to learn from the past and appreciate how far the series has come. In this article, we delve into some of the worst Final Fantasy mistakes that Square Enix wishes everyone would forget. But sadly, we just can’t.
The Tumultuous Development of Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV’s initial release was met with widespread criticism due to a myriad of issues, including a lack of content, poor gameplay mechanics, and technical glitches. Square Enix took swift action and decided to overhaul the entire game, leading to the highly praised relaunch known as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The original release remains a black mark on the franchise’s history, but it also serves as a testament to Square Enix’s commitment to addressing and rectifying Final Fantasy mistakes.
Final Fantasy XV Was Originally Final Fantasy Versus XIII
Originally announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Final Fantasy XV went through a development cycle that spanned over a decade. Numerous delays, changes in direction, and even a platform switch added to the frustration of fans eagerly awaiting its release. Despite the final product receiving mixed reviews, Square Enix’s prolonged development process marred the overall experience and generated disappointment among fans.
Final Fantasy All the Bravest Being One of the Worst JRPGs
Released for mobile devices, Final Fantasy All the Bravest was a microtransaction-driven game that failed to deliver on its promises. The lack of depth in gameplay, repetitive mechanics, and excessive reliance on in-app purchases left players feeling unsatisfied. The game received a significant backlash from the fan base, highlighting the dangers of prioritizing monetization over quality content. Final Fantasy All the Bravest is one of those Final Fantasy mistakes that sadly affected the reputation of Square Enix itself moving forward.
The Forgotten Experimental Movie: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Square Pictures, a subsidiary of Square Enix, took a bold leap into the world of feature films with Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Indeed, the movie boasted impressive visuals for its time. However, the story and characters failed to connect with the audience. This resulted in heavy financial losses for the company. Square Enix quickly abandoned plans for further movie projects, refocusing on their core gaming expertise.
The Controversial Character Redesigns in Final Fantasy VII Remake
When Square Enix released the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake, they introduced redesigned character models that sparked controversy among fans. However, the changes to iconic characters such as Tifa Lockhart and Cloud Strife led to heated debates. Particularly, about the fidelity to the original designs. While the game itself was well-received, the character redesigns became a topic of contention within the fan community. Although technically not a Final Fantasy mistake, it is still worth a mention here because of the way it divided the FF crowd.
The First Final Fantasy Trilogy was Generally a Failure
As the final installment of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, Lightning Returns attempted to provide closure to the series’ narrative. However, the game’s time-based mechanics, repetitive quests, and convoluted storylines frustrated many players. It received mixed reviews and ultimately failed to be the expected redemption title for the trilogy as a whole. As it currently stands, Final Fantasy XIII remains the only Final Fantasy game that has a trilogy. But sadly, it isn’t something to be proud of, as the three games are generally seen as a failure. There is no doubt in our minds that Square Enix wishes they never made it in the first place.
A Lackluster Sequel: Final Fantasy X-2
Speaking of sequels, there is also the matter of the first direct Final Fantasy sequel being lackluster. While not as big as the other Final Fantasy mistakes on this list, it is still worth a mention. Following the critically acclaimed Final Fantasy X, its sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, failed to capture the same magic. The game’s lighter tone, pop music-inspired soundtrack, and non-linear storytelling strayed from the epic and emotionally charged narrative of its predecessor. Although it had its dedicated fan base, Final Fantasy X-2 is often seen as a disappointment in comparison to the original game.
Final Fantasy XII Had A Polarizing Initial Reception
Although Final Fantasy XII received critical acclaim upon release, it proved to be divisive among fans due to its departure from traditional gameplay mechanics. The game’s open-world design, real-time combat system, and political story challenged the expectations of long-time fans. While it garnered a dedicated following over time, its initial reception was marked by controversy.
The Final Fantasy franchise, while highly revered, has had its fair share of mistakes throughout its history. These entries highlight some of Square Enix’s blunders. Whether they were related to game design choices, spin-offs, character redesigns, or departures from traditional elements. However, it’s important to remember that these mistakes are part of a continuous learning process for Square Enix. They aim to use these mistakes to deliver more captivating and memorable experiences to Final Fantasy fans worldwide.
There will be more Final Fantasy mistakes in the future, no doubt. That said, we are certainly confident that Square Enix will continue to improve along with these blunders. After all, it is through recognizing and rectifying these mistakes that Square Enix has solidified its commitment to creating extraordinary adventures in the realm of Final Fantasy.