Even with a full plate of games to play this holiday season, I am counting down the days until the release of Final Fantasy XIII. I've waited far too long to play this game, and I'm a bit of a fan (by "bit" I mean "I would knock a baby out of a stroller if it meant I could play it early"). I've avoided playing the demo, but couldn't resist watching the trailers. Most of the footage gave me shivers, but there are two points in particular that trigger a Phantom Menace-like warning.

Meet Hope, a 14-year-old boy who brings a boomerang to a sword fight. This kid shouldn't go to the same stylist as his mom, and I'm guessing the shawl means he has no friends. Kid's as party members are always annoying. Cite any example and I'll tell you why they are annoying. The only glimmer of hope for Hope (groan) is his summon, Alexander. Alexander did after all defeat Bahamut in Final Fantasy IX. That counts for something, right?

And the second warning centers on the summons' ability to transform into vehicles. Shiva morphs into a motorcycle? Really? And it's apparently not just an ordinary motorcycle, it's a sexcycle! "Yeah, that's great that you transformed, lady, but I'm not sitting on your crotch." Taking this artistic direction into mind, I pray that Diabolos doesn't transform into a hang glider.

So, yes, my concerns are minor, but the last thing that I want to see is my favorite RPG series jumping the shark, especially with a bratty kid.

In the end, I pray that Square Enix's Final Fantasy think tank hasn't gone George Lucas crazy. I don't want "little Annie" in my Final Fantasy. In the wake of the Star Wars prequels, I pray that every storyteller employs someone with the specific task of running a George Lucas filter over their scripts and final product.