I've been thinking long and incredibly hard since Monday -- the day I rented Final Fantasy XIII-2 (with a review pending earlier next week) -- and my thoughts have spread from how often time travel makes for uninteresting stories to whether a sequel was ultimately necessary. But then I started pondering if games weren't necessary and I entered dangerous territory.
For a long-running franchise like Final Fantasy, it's hard to discern which game brought upon the downfall, but spectacular changes (and genre changes) are all over the timeline. First infecting the series was Final Fantasy X-2, the sequel to a solidly finished story, and the initial time Square continued one of the numbered iterations. Reactions were mixed but mostly positive, with praises targeting the publisher's supposed revitalization of the franchise, something that felt unneeded by fans. At that moment, it was clear Square was ready to push Final Fantasy to the mass audience, and it did.
Come an MMO and a brand spankin' new focus on quicker, more fluid combat, Final Fantasy is in a far different state from the original 25 years ago. It goes to show how time flies these days. Though, change is vital to keep the games fresh, so if Square continues to innovate and revolutionize what defines a JRPG, then maybe the series has Hope (terrible reference, I know; that kid was effin' whiny) after all.
Time now for another failed attempt at slumber. I'll definitely expand on this topic after my review. Think of it as a... precursor, a teaser. Jeff out.