Yes I’m afraid there will be spoilers here but I will make them as light as possible just because I despise the concept. However, there are important story concerns to take into account to attempt to defend an unpopular idea. The thing is, now is the time to talk about it since most have experienced the latest HD Remaster. You have been warned.
I’ve been there with everyone else from the original reactions to FFX-2 all the way up to the hardcore fanbase’s reaction to FFXIII and its sequels. It has been a horrifying ride, so why muck it up even further with another sequel? In reality the possibility of FF X-3 becoming a real product could present a n opportunity for Square Enix to do several things.
First we have to deal with the strange story happenings that accompanied this entry. I know people are happy to pretend certain games never happened (FFX-2 is high on this list for many), but I’m living in reality here.
Back on point, if we waited until the after credits of FFX we got the basic ending which even FFX-2 didn’t change: after everything, Tidus is returned to Spira. In FFX-2 the quest was to find Tidus. It lead way off path and gave us all a nice message after goofing off a lot in Spira. The perfect ending though still ends with Tidus’ return.
You can pretend it ends there too if you want, with Yuna and Tidus finally reunited, but it doesn’t. The very artsy and cool audio drama included with the remaster changes things. I understand that it was written and acted out more or less as a way to play with that universe again, not to begin a new story. There is actually something interesting to tell here though.
After a very worrisome lover’s quarrel between Yuna and Tidus that could break the hearts of the FFX faithful a catastrophe occurs that brings them all back into a battle against Sin’s return. While I heard this I was thinking that world the audio drama lays out is worth seeing. There are new characters like a supposed daughter of Auron and an ex summoner with a crush on Yuna. In terms of the overall story I always wondered if something would probably just go wrong now that no dead people were being “sent.” The summoners all just quit. In the audio drama they hint that there are now forces of ex summoners sending the dead but it isn’t enough. The dead are coming though, even Sin.
That story could be worked out very well and it would provide some actual closure to this story whose fans need a conclusion.
That’s all the inside goodies, but why would SE want to make the game? Well that’s harder to argue because at this time it would just look like yet another terrible cash in on a series that has taken a terrible beating in the last generation. Well the good news is that this game would be something that could actually be hand-tailored toward getting them out of trouble with old fans.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII was always going to be an action game, so now as FFXV it cannot deliver the kind of moves that hardcore FF fans are looking for: a departure from too much action. That game can’t do a job that needs to be done, it just can’t. We are getting Type=0 finally but that’s going to feel like a bit late and probably a bit different from the itch Square Enix needs to scratch. Hoping that FF XVI will solve the matter is a shaky proposal.
No, if Square Enix wants to use all their fancy technology in a way to play to the base then they need a Final Fantasy that plays to the base. It isn’t just me saying SE needs to do these kinds of things, they have themselves admitted that it was the traditional nature of Bravely Default that lead to its success. Since there is no Final Fantasy VII remake coming, and SE needs to try an experiment in advancing classic play (rather than throwing it out the window), the best place to start is probably with a safer franchise like X where the story isn’t over.
SE needs to deliver something closer to a classic experience (and more than an HD remake) to gamers if they want to start making inroads to their old base. Do I expect it? No but I’d love to see what finally happens in the ever turning world of Spira knowing I’d be up for another classic epic at least as good as the original. They could bill it as a classic style game, mention command based ATB, gin up everyone’s excitement over a new game built in the old way that fans will start to return. Knowing that such a game was coming would give the kind of assurance you can’t really expect from what’s on tap for the next few years. Well, it would provide that assurance shortly after everyone stopped calling it a franchise milking mistake
The upcoming FF games will probably be good in their own way as they have been for awhile, but the folks who were excited by SE’s mentality toward Bravely Default need something old school inspired and on a larger scale to be excited about. FFX-3, properly written and disentangled from the vacation games of X-2, could be the kind of signal SE really needs to send while the world waits forever for a title that admitted to being more western styled and action oriented before departing into vaporware territory.