Eight years ago, Square Enix announced a game called Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PlayStation 3. Fast-forward to the present day, and that title is still not out. It’s changed its name and switched platforms in the interim – a move which the Japanese publisher has likened to climbing a mountain – but it still doesn’t represent a real physical product that people can buy. Fortunately, the studio is at least willing to admit that the release is “quite far into development”. Take your time, chaps.
"We can't give too much information but certainly looking at Final Fantasy XV, it's not as if it's in competition with Kingdom Hearts III for resources or anything like that," said series producer Yoshinori Kitase in an interview with VideoGamer.com. "It's quite far into development now and it is being given a very high priority within the company itself, but that doesn't mean that Kingdom Hearts isn't."
Those of you that have followed the saga surrounding the software will recall the release being formerly re-announced at E3 last summer. However, just because it has a fresh moniker doesn’t mean that its premise has changed, as this is still a tale “underpinned” by the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology that Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII was supposed to wrap a bow around this week. Try not to groan.
“Right from the start when we first it announced it as Versus XIII, the game itself was backed up by the same Crystal legend: the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology that underpins the whole of the XIII series,” he continued. “So even though it's not necessarily the same universe or the same game, they're all linked and underpinned by the backdrop of that legend. [The game has] moved on, but that hasn't actually changed.”
The good news is that, judging by its re-reveal, this is very much shaping up to be the best mainline Final Fantasy title in some time. And while he’s not directly leading the project, Kitase’s eager for it to push the power of the PlayStation 4. “We are quite aware of [the console’s] capabilities, and certainly one thing that's going to come up is having battles with a lot more participants involved,” he concluded. “Having a lot more characters, a lot more things happening, that's one of the things that the new hardware does really well.”
There’s still no timeframe attached to the oft-delayed adventure, but we’re hopeful that we’ll start hearing about some firm release plans later this year. Are you still waiting for Noctis to take to the throne, or are you on the verge of committing treason? Style your hair in the comments section below.