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Hello, GIO! This is Azure Moon and welcome to my third blog! If you wish to know more about me, feel free to visit my profile page. Thank you for reading, and enjoy!
Does anyone have a favorite game series? I have a quite a few series that I like. We all like to discuss our favorite games here on GIO, but what happens when a series starts to fall out of favor? What happens when a great game series you have played for years starts to become...well...not so great? Sadly, I have to admit, I have a few of those. What I'll be discussing in this blog today is the topic of game series that I have felt have "fallen by the way-side". I'll start with one I've recently been discussing with friends.
COMPANY: Square Enix
REASON: Too long since we've had a truly epic title
Final Fantasy is one of my most beloved game series. I first started out with Final Fantasy VII in the late '90s, and since then I have remained infatuated with this series. Ever since I was little, Final Fantasy was one of THE top game series in existence, but now I can't help but feel like it's a tiny bit washed up. It's starting to be one of the "has-beens" of gaming and that makes me INCREDIBLY sad. You might ask, "Azure, why is such a legendary series on this list?" Well, let's look at Final Fantasy's history, shall we?
Final Fantasy titles have been a little hit or miss with people for a long while, but mostly hit than miss. Few titles before FF X have been disliked and most of those titles have been great or flat-out EPIC. They have had great story lines, lovable characters, awesome music, and they have always been the best at graphics. I have seen few companies that can match Square Enix when it comes to cutting-edge graphics, and that has continued, even to today. Now, if you look at games AFTER FF X, you start to see the descent. FF XI was an MMO and I'm going to be perfectly honest with you, I am NOT an MMO girl. I just don't do a lot of online gaming, so this title was one that I didn't pick up, so I don't have a real opinion on it. FF XII was ok........and that's all that I can say about it. It wasn't a bad game, but it just wasn't all that great and grand. It had a descent story, but the characters were not very memorable, there wasn't much exploration, and the music was just ok. To better explain my feelings for this game, I would sum it up in one word: bland. It was just bland. Now if I were to sum up my feelings for FF XIII, it would be "disappointing". The story was "eh", the characters weren't that good, and it was WAY too linear. It didn't help that I had just come off of playing Oblivion, but still...not that good of a game. FF IX is another MMO, and I hear that it's getting a reboot after completely failing the first time it came out, so....not much to say there.
Now you may be wondering, "Azure, that's only FOUR GAMES since the first 10, why are you so worried?" Well, let's review timeline. The first Final Fantasy came out in 1987 and the tenth title came out in 2001. Now, the tenth title came out in 2001 and the fourteenth title came out in 2010. You notice something about this? In 14 years, 10 games came out between '87 and '01. Most of those games were pretty great. In 9 years 4 games came out between '01 and '10 and they were not so great. There also hasn't been a main title come out in 3 years (unless you consider the XIV reboot this year). So, yes, based on these figures, I'm a little worried. I realize that Square Enix has other projects (both Final Fantasy related and not), and I realize that a lot of time goes into games nowadays, but still...there hasn't been a truly epic Final Fantasy since 2001. That's 12 years! And people wonder why I'm worried...
I haven't completely lost hope yet, though. Final Fantasy may be old, but it's not dead yet. I've recently seen an article with a teaser video from last year's E3 ("Square Enix Teases Next-Generation Final Fantasy Reveal" by Matt Miller) and I have to admit, it's given me a little bit of hope. Whether it's Final Fantasy XV or not is yet to be determined, but it still looks like it's going to be very interesting.
COMPANY: Square Enix and Disney
REASON: Too many distractions and no third installment
Kingdom Hearts was a bit of a miracle to me. I never in a million years imagined that Disney and Final Fantasy could EVER be mixed together, but boy did they prove me wrong! I mean, DISNEY and FINAL FANTASY......that still boggles my mind, even today. As mind boggling as the idea is, Disney and SquareSoft (now Enix) pulled it off. I don't know if I've ever seen so many people LOVE a game as much as this one. I also don't know if I've ever seen so many people be disappointed with a game. Why the disappointment? Well, the first game came out in 2002 and the second game came out in 2006 ('05 in Japan) and the third came out in...well...never. That's the problem with this series. It's been several years (7 to be exact) and we still haven't seen anything concerning a third installment. Instead, we get a whole legion of other installments that seem to be a bit of a distraction from what we REALLY want and that's an actual third game! Square Enix and Disney seem to be happy to just suck as dry with "distractions" and I'm sorry, but I'm tired. I'm just tired of it. Kingdom Hearts was a really good game, but I've just lost patience and hope. I honestly don't think that a third Kingdom Hearts is coming. If it does, it will probably be in the year 2030 or something, and I've just got better things to do with my time than to sit around and wait for an installment that's possibly never going to happen.
REASON: Not enough offline options
Soul Calibur is one of those series that you can't help but like. I first got into it when I played it at my brother's house years ago and ever since I got my own copy of Soul Calibur 2, I have been a fan. I love the characters, the locations are awesome, the music is top-notch, and for a fighter game, its story isn't too bad! Now, you must be wondering why I've got it on the list. Well, to be frank, it's because there's really nothing to it anymore. You just fight...and that's pretty much it. With the older games, you had plenty to do, but recently there's been a MAJOR focus on online playing. Thanks to that, there's really not a lot of other things to do in the game. It's gotten to the point where if you don't intend to play this game online, there's not much point in buying it and that's a bit frustrating to me. I don't play online through my console, so I don't get in on all the action. There's very few things to do offline and I really wish that they would put some more modes on this game. Beating people up and customizing your character is great and all, but I don't want to spend weeks doing that. I kinda wish that they would bring something like the "The Chronicles of the Sword" from Soul Calibur 3 back, because that was incredibly fun, and it broke through a bit of the monotony. If they brought something like that into their games, I think I would feel a little less "left-out" and I wouldn't feel like I just wasted my money on a game that I can only partially enjoy.
REASON: The main story is going WAY into left field and it's getting a little stale
Assassin's Creed is a surprisingly fun game. You would think that playing a game where you kill people for a living would be bad or disturbing, but it's actually quite an enjoyable game. When I got the first game probably about 2007 or 2008, I really liked the idea behind it and the gameplay was really fun. I also liked the characters (except Desmond, I hate Desmond), especially the main character, Altair. The series got even better with AC II. After playing AC II: Brotherhood, the series was securely in my Favorites list. When I played AC II: Revelations, I was starting to feel like the series was getting a bit stale, so I was excited to hear about AC III. Well, AC III helped a little, but it was unfortunately not the "incredible gaming experience" that I had hoped it would be. It wasn't bad, but I felt that it wasn't as great as some of the others, though. One thing that I think I am starting to really not like is the main story with Desmond. It's gotten WAY out of hand. It was novel in the beginning, but after a few games, I just want to say, "Enough with Desmond and his whiny little self and focus on the actual Assassins!!" So, in other words, take out Desmond and the modern world, and keep all the Assassins and the past worlds. I think that would make me really get into the games a bit more.
Thankfully, there is still hope for the series! AC: Black Flag looks like it's going to be pretty good (I hope!), and it looks and sounds like it will focus on the Assassin more, and include more of what I loved from AC III: ship battles! I absolutely LOVED the ship battles, and since this new game is about the Golden Age of Piracy, I have no doubt that there will be PLENTY of that going on! I'm really hoping that this next game won't be a let down, but I guess we'll have to wait and see!
Well, that's it for my list! I hoped you enjoyed my blog and I hope that it got you to thinking! Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments section, and I hope you all have a great weekend! Thanks!
- Azure Moon
This has been "Games I Am Losing My Love For" by Azure Moon on GameInformer.com.