Usually sequels are a great thing. It first means that a studio has enough confidence in a franchise to warrant another game, but also it means that said studio sees room for improvement. Improvement that can make or break a game no less. To the minority of Final Fantasy fans out there, today's announcement is a great one. A sequel to what some thought as the best game in the series. I'm tentative to say I am excited for this announcement and I hope people don't shun me for saying that, but it's absolutely true. By Final Fantasy standards, XIII was a big change from what the audience is comfortable with. The game itself was great, if not the best JRPG of the current generation; the reviews were generally favourable and the metacritic score is 83. But, as much as a drastic change it was, and how much the game dramatically changed the genre, was it too much of a change to warrant a sequel? And if needless to say, will the game sell well?
In the first game, if you didn't realize it, the logo of the game gave away the ending. For XIII-2, we get an idea of what the second game will feature: Lightning, or a mysterious figure who looks like Lightning, against a similar silhouetted figure. This could be hinting at really anything - will Lightning and crew be facing a Sephiroth-esque adversary or could the main boss(es) be a shadow of their former selves? And also, why is Lightning in black armour and not the white? Will this game be darker than its predecessor? XIII was very uppity-uppity; it was tamer and innocent compared to other games in the franchise. I welcome a darker tone, which may be ultimately necessary, to keep the game interesting. The plot was slow and stale and a character-driven sotry has never suited the franchise (yet alone the genre) well. If that is continued, I won't be buying the game. I probably won't buy it in the first place, but any FF title is on my radar.
While the team at Square is working hard planning for a 2011 release, die hard fans are wondering what has happened to FFXIII Versus - the ill-fated project with an awesome trailer. First unveiled at E3 2006, fans have heard little to no information about the game. It's unfortunate to receive such a reaction from the industry, to follow up with five years of mere disappointment. Foolishness doesn't even begin to describe Square's actions toward this game. I can't tell if the developer has given up, but at least reward our satiable appetites with any information at all, something to leave us jaw-dropped and not tight-lipped; a tidbit of anything to satisfy our dying hunger (a little over the top, yeah I know).
Do something we've haven't seen before Square; not something we've already seen.