During today's lunch break, my coworker Dan Ryckert and I ran out to a local game store to pick up copies of Soul Calibur V. As soon as we walked into the shop, my eye caught a stack of Final Fantasy XIII-2 strategy guides. I turned to Dan and said “I just realized something: This is the first time I’m not purchasing a new Final Fantasy game on launch day since the release Final Fantasy III.” Granted, I haven’t played many of the side games released on Nintendo’s handhelds, and Final Fantasy XIV, well, we can all laugh about that one, but this is the first numbered, offline Final Fantasy title I honestly have little interest in.

The odd thing: I enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII…to a degree. My memories of that game are mostly of the combat system, the intense boss fights, and all of the awful stuff around it. Final Fantasy XIII was the first Final Fantasy title that didn’t deliver a story that I was engaged in or characters that I cared about. I had no idea what was going on in the plot most of the time. The strongest link I had with any of the characters was an intense hatred for Hope Estheim, a spineless youth who talks way too much. "Lightning. I – me too. I mean, at least I'll try. I'll try to watch out for you, too.” Guh.

When Joe Juba, Game Informer’s Final Fantasy expert, told me that Final Fantasy XIII-2’s story was worse than its predecessor’s, it instantly fell off of my shopping list. The pulse for this series, at least for me, has always been the storytelling. Aeris’ death, Tidus going against his dad, the opera; I can name amazing story moments from all of the Final Fantasy titles except for Final Fantasy XIII.

I’m sure I’ll give Final Fantasy XIII-2 a chance one of these days, but for now, I’m more excited to play Soul Calibur V and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (a game that just showed up on my desk seconds ago). The Final Fantasy series is still one of my favorites, but right now the love I have for it is nostalgic only. This generation has not been kind to this series.