I'm a massive fan of Final Fantasy. No doubt like many of you reading this, my gaming tastes were shaped by seminal PS1 titles like Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX. As a kid, those RPGs showed me that games could be more than Crash Bandicoot or Tekken 2 — that they could tell epic, 50-hour stories filled with unique characters and high stakes drama. Even on the PS2, there was Final Fantasy X. In all of its angsty glory, I really connected with it as an equally angsty teenager.
But I think my obsession with the franchise really peaked with Final Fantasy XII. Europe had to wait a long time for it — almost a full year after its Japanese release in 2006 — and I remember being hyped beyond belief. Up until that point, no gaming series had struck a chord with me like Final Fantasy did, and for XII, after reading about it for months on end in magazines, I was determined to be there day one, ready for the next amazing adventure.
It ended up being a divisive instalment, but that 10/10 review score in the Official PlayStation Magazine told me all I needed to know. Bought it, adored it, replayed it at least three or four times, and it's still one of my favourite Final Fantasy games today. But what I didn't know at the time was that it would take close to 20 years for the series to excite me like that again.
Which brings us neatly to Final Fantasy XVI. It's mad to think a franchise that was once so dear to me hasn't caught my eye quite like this in nearly two decades, but here we are. From my perspective, XVI has always had so much going for it. The project has been spearheaded by the team that made Final Fantasy XIV such a phenomenon, and they're joined by former Capcom combat designer Ryota Suzuki.
We're back to a medieval fantasy setting. It's got an actual release date that's stuck. It didn't go through development hell like its immediate predecessors. And, perhaps most importantly, all of the footage we've seen is overflowing with style, polish, and potential. It's rare to see a company that's this confident in its product months ahead of launch.
To be honest, Final Fantasy lost me after XII. I did play and somewhat enjoy Final Fantasy XIII when it came out, but the magic just wasn't there for me. The characters didn't resonate, and the lead up to release was marred by reports of an extremely turbulent development cycle. Plus, there was all of that Xbox-driven controversy that added some unwelcome drama to the whole saga. Unlike XII, it just seemed to crumble under years of expectation.
It's easy to forget, but Square — back when it was called Squaresoft — was pumping out a new mainline Final Fantasy title pretty much every year. Games were less resource-intensive back then, of course, but the frankly tedious development cycles of both XIII and XV did nothing to win me over. It can be hard to get hyped about a game that's clearly struggling behind the scenes, and that was certainly the case with the aforementioned Final Fantasy XV.
What a strange, patchwork game that was. I like XV, but not once did it ever feel like a complete, cohesive experience — even after it was dramatically improved through the Royal Edition. By comparison, everything we've seen of XVI strongly suggests that there has always been a direction; a vision that the team has worked towards since the concept phase. And for a post XIII and XV Final Fantasy game, that's a huge deal.
That's probably the main reason I'm so onboard with the upcoming action RPG — it's just nice to see the series seemingly back on track. And look, I know some people don't share that sentiment. XVI is walking a bold new path for the franchise, which has predominantly featured turn-based or command-based battle systems up until now — and some fans simply don't like that. But as someone who loves a good action game, and thinks something like Devil May Cry 5 is close to the pinnacle of that genre, Final Fantasy XVI is like a dream come true.
If it wasn't already abundantly clear, I can't wait for this one, and I say that as someone who's been playing Final Fantasy games for over 20 years. Even if Final Fantasy XVI doesn't connect with everyone, I'd still enjoy seeing Square's series return to the top echelons of the gaming pantheon — a property synonymous with quality. Let's hope it reaches those heights.
Well, Rob's hyped, but how hyped are you? Do you think Final Fantasy XVI will take the series back to the top? Embark on a quest for revenge in the comments section below.
I had a similar experience with Final Fantasy VII Remake back in 2020. It wasn't perfect, but god, it was good to enjoy one of these games again. It felt like the series died back on the PS3/360 with the disastrous FFXIII.
Really hoping FFVII Rebirth is another banger.
I respectfully disagree 😂
This article echoes a lot of my own thoughts and sentiments.
I was excited for X, XII and XIII, but it's been 23 years since I was this hyped - IX was the last time I was this giddy every day months before launch thinking about a FF game.
For years I drifted away from FF completely, only really coming back to it when they announced the remake of VII. I've been replaying the older games since then and remembering why I loved them.
And while XVI is frustrating some people for going down the ARPG route, I feel like I'm falling in love with the series all over again. What I've seen so far has all of the charm of the old SNES and PS1 games, but it's brave enough to go in new directions.
FF games were always trying something new. I think every title from X onwards especially, they always tried something different. The battle system in XII, the linearity of XIII, two MMOs and then XV being open world.
I'm not at all surprised to see XVI trying something new again.
I just had my days off approved today with a little note added on to the email from my boss saying, "Enjoy FF".
Can't wait. Can't flippin wait.
I totally agree. FFXII was the last one I enjoyed. Hoping XVI is similar
@ShogunRok Your reasoning makes sense up until we get to the refrain that I keep seeing from the fandom across the board:
" the main reason I'm so onboard with the upcoming action RPG — it's just nice to see the series seemingly back on track [..snip..] But as someone who loves a good action game, and thinks something like Devil May Cry 5 is close to the pinnacle of that genre"
This again hints at the desperate "I loved this brand and it's great to see the brand name at the top" like some sort of validation of the past. You and many fail to identify what it is about FF that you have been longing for and are now getting fulfilled by this FF title, you're documenting you're excitement over brand recognition. There seems to be some sort of deeply rooted need in FF fans to somehow vindicate the last 15 years of mediocre games and a tentpole brand falling from grace that nobody even cares what the game is, they just want the vindication of the brand being at the top. That's the major hypetrain.
Then, also like others, you go on to "and since I like some other genre a lot and this looks like a good entry in that other genre, I'm super excited for it!"
I'm not saying you shouldn't be excited for the game if you like the genre and this looks like a good example of the genre, of course you should. But you're not excited for a new Final Fantasy, you're excited for a new Devil May Cry. Which is cool, but a different subject line.
Maybe another soap box needs to be "When is it ok to take a series and turn it into a different series in a different genre for a different audience instead of just creating a new IP?" At some point it's dishonest and cynical to do so. People keep making an FF exception because it's FF and the above need for validation. But I don't think any other series would be getting off the hook. If CoD became a MOBA people would revolt. If TLoU became a resource management building sim, people would revolt. If God of War became a turn based RPG, people would revolt. But FF becomes a hack and slash action game and people celebrate it. If we take of the weird, rose tinted, nostalgic, whatever emotional problem is coursing through the collective FF fandom conciousness that seems to need this removed from the conversation, I think it really deserves a bigger microsocope on just how scummy what Square doing with this brand really is, in abandoning a series entire form and moving it into some other series' format for the sales boost that comes with the name.
Speaking of businesses milking things for all their worth until it's obvious....you guys suuure have a lot of articles based on this SoP in a short space of time.....
Getting your hopes up is always dangerous. No product can ever match inflated expectations.
@ShogunRok Sorry, but that's needlessly rude imo.
@NEStalgia I'm just kidding! I get where you're coming from and I totally understand why people might be critical of the game's direction.
For me, and I've said this before, and @Shepherd_Tallon has just said it as well, Final Fantasy has never really stood still. I don't really agree with this sentiment that this isn't Final Fantasy and that isn't Final Fantasy. XVI is very different, for sure, but it's been a long, long time since Final Fantasy was the Final Fantasy of ages past.
On a base level, if XVI is taking inspiration from other games I love, then I'm all for it, because Final Fantasy hasn't appealed to me like those other games have in close to 20 years, like the article says.
Not interested in what other people consider a "proper Final Fantasy" or a "proper RPG". Final Fantasy has changed many times over the years.
I think it's going to be really good and I'm looking forward to it 👍
Same here, Rob. Same here. 😌
I started to feel less good about FF after X. Upon retrospect, I like that game a lot more now than I did back when I first played it. I was put off by the voice acting and the lack of a real world-map. I also thought the setting was kinda dull.
I also was hyped about XII. I put about 40 hours into that game and then quit after being killed in-between some very key save points. I was never captivated by the main story in that game and I didn't care for the gambit system. Too much micromanagment.
13 was a disappointment as was 15. I was shocked at how good 14 was/is and super thrilled that 7:Remake turned out so good.
I can't wait for this one. Feels like they've taken all that they've learned in the past 15 years and corrected a lot of the issues. Yoshi P is a genius and I have no doubt this will be excellent.
I'm trying to stay away from gameplay footage so I can go into it as blind as possible.
Not seen much but what I have seen looks insanely good!
I like an action RPG, but I dont like a "Walk to a room, door closes, button mash with giant numbers - EXCELLENT - door opens, walk to next room, repeat" gameplay like DmC tends to do.
If its like that then I'll probably pass.
But if its an action RPG in the "Heres a huge world, go explore in 3rd person and hit stuff as you go if you want.. or not.." then cool, I'm there!
@ShogunRok How’d you get from “Enough!” to “MOAR!” in 48 hours, skip your bi-polar meds? 😉 Though I think I totally agree with you both times.😆
@NEStalgia “think any other series would be getting off the hook”
Didn’t Yakuza just come out with a turn based game that people gasped at but then played it and decided it was ok?🤷🏻♂️
Edit: Oh look, you were all for Yakuza going turn based. Ouch.😎
I still agree w/ you that this isn’t and should never have been a main line numbered FF game, call it “FF: anything else”, but after I realized 11 & 14 exist, well I’ve given up the fight and I’m playing Bayonetta 4.😂
@LifeGirl “Sorry, but that's needlessly rude imo.”
Since you’re new here; that’s the norm for these 2, Shogun has a sense of humor of NES is wordy.😂
@NEStalgia Ah, you're one of those purists who like to talk too much.
@Palleon That is exactly what the showcase revealed last night, a gorgeous world to explore.
@Palleon That's my only concern as well — that too much of the game will be corridors and mashing X to open gates. I like Final Fantasy VII Remake, but for me, that game slows you down far too often. Squeezing through gaps, being forced to walk very slowly down a street. Like you say, room, fight, room, fight.
Thankfully it seems like XVI has a lot of big open areas to offset things, and it's not a strictly linear game since you can revisit places to complete quests and stuff. Hopefully it works out.
Everything about FF16 is oozing with polish and I can't wait to get lost in it. Do every hunt, side quest, explore all the maps and elite bosses. The team behind this has delivered some of the best stuff in FF and I know they will deliver.
@rjejr Don't worry, I'll be writing another 'ENOUGH' soapbox before the launch trailer!
On the contrary here, XIII trilogy is among my top faves in the franchise and I've had a blast with XV as well, not to mention that science fantasy settings score with me more than the comparatively medieval[ish] ones (unless the latter can feel deliciously alien in other aspects like Gaia or Ivalice do). XIII's Paradigm Shift also remains the best Final Fantasy combat system in my book.
Does any of that sour me towards what I've seen of XVI by now? Not in the least. For all the things it's trying to do differently (and not all of them necessarily the franchise's firsts they're painted to be), I can see an unmistakable Final Fantasy experience behind it, the one which has always tried to do something differently and other things in a familiar way. Preferences don't mean I'm allergic to high fantasy and it feels only fair to revisit it again after Eos where people rode chocobos and drove Audis in the same day and age. Action combat is anything but new to the series and looks to be fun - like I said earlier, I only wished it to retain the party aspect (even if AI-controlled one - it's not like the aforementioned FF juggernauts alongside many a Tales or Xenoblade haven't shone like crazy diamonds therein), and this whimsical hope has been met as well. It will be a great ride when I finally get down to it in the future (distant as that future may be for other reasons), and yet my heart will still welcome more Final Technofantasies down the road. Which I don't doubt shall come, too - this series has room for oh so very much under its roof. Here's to what it can offer as of today.🍻
@rjejr "Shogun has a sense of humor of NES is wordy."
I laughed 😂😂
@ShogunRok I turned off the Burning shores trailer about 8 seconds after I started it this morning, audibly saying to myself “Why am I watching this?”, so I think I’ll just skip watching anything 16 related from here on out. I’ll read whatever you guys write though, you’re all pretty good about spoilers.👍
Couldn't agree more, and while it's not turnbased like my favourites, 13 and 15 were absolute dog. But this genuinely looks to have potential and I just hope it succeeds. We are never getting turnbased again, so we may aswel accept that, but if they can make a good game that's better than what they have produced since 10. I never played 12 so can't comment on that.
And funny enough, many of the same criticisms that are levied at XVI today were also levied at XII, which feels appropriate in the context of this article (XII is such an underrated gem, I remember being really hyped for it then, too). The varied styles of gameplay, particularly where the Eikon battles are concerned, look like they’ll be a lot of fun and add some fresh coat of paint to a beloved, but aging, series.
The part of this game that still gives me pause has nothing to do with combat or tone or any of that stuff — it’s the issue that the State of Play still did nothing to address, which is the overwhelming lack of diversity in the people in the game. I hope the actual game does do more to address that, but it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, and I’m definitely concerned that the final product won’t really live up to what it should be, in that sense.
My first FF was actually X-2. 😆 But I've gone back and at least tried a good portion of the series and now firmly place X as my favorite.
One thing I've always appreciated about FF though is how unique from each other each entry is. The action combat of 16 doesn't really strike me as "not my FF". Quite the opposite actually.
16 being action based is fine because it continues FF's tradition of always being different in some way from the rest of the series. I also respect them for going out and recruiting somebody like DMC5's combat director to come in and lend their expertise to the product.
Bottom line. I'm hyped and if you want a turn based RPG, may I recommend getting into the Trails series!😄
@rjejr Same. I watched the preview yesterday and I'm sold. I don't want to spoil sidequests or any other systems.
I remember not liking the first play through of XII because the combat wasn’t the same as X 😂, no sphere grid (loved VII, VIII was fine). I just want an FF that I look back on in a few years, and say “That was awesome, I want to replay it”. But I haven’t felt like that since XII (I fell in love with it on the second play through)
I’ll only be really excited if they ever go back to a more goofy art style like IX and a turn based battle system.
Why does Dragon Quest keep getting away with that while Final Fantasy keeps taking itself too seriously!
If this game is anything like FF12 then I'll grab my stick and cream my jeans.
@rjejr I actually have mixed feelings about Yakuza changing like that. I thought I liked it, but I'm hindsight idk that it was a good change.
However. The genre change also came with a rebranding. Yakuza is no more it's Like a Dragon Now except Japan where it was always the new brand. All that having been said, combat is the ONLY change. Everything else is identical. Too much so one may argue.
13 & 8 are my personal favourites, I just loved the no-nonsense attitudes of Squall and Lightning. This one just looks exceptional though graphically and gameplay-ally 🙈… the main protagonist is called Clive though 😭
Right in the end all that matters is the QUALITY of a video game, nothing else. Back in the day FF was exactly that. PURE QUALITY.
And FF16 will bring back this long lost QUALITY to the franchise.
I feel the same way about the FF franchise as a whole, at least the mainline, numbered entries. FF12 was the last in the series I REALLY enjoyed. FF13 was lukewarm and didn't do anything to really stand out, I don't really play MMORPGs anymore, so I never got into FF14, and I just didn't like anything about FF15. But this one definitely has me excited.
The changes are very divisive, but FF has a history of divisive changes that have both hit and missed. ("drawing" magic in FF8, and the gambit system in FF12 come to mind.)
I would have preferred a command-based battle system with lots of flexibility like FF12, but I might end up liking this approach just as much or even more, or I might totally dislike it. I'll have to play it to see, but either way, the polish and presentation shown in FF16 make me confident that this will be a REALLY good game in general, even if it does differ greatly from traditional FFs.
Changing a games formula can bring in more players and shows square are trying to adapt to the current gaming market which tends to lean towards more action games and shooters, would teenagers these days enjoy turn based combat?
Final Fantasy isn't the only big franchise to change its formula and gain success from it, Zelda did it with Breath of the Wild and now it will be hard for Nintendo to ever go back to the classic zelda formula, Assasins Creed changed it's formula starting with origin and has had big success also, and famously for playstation God of War changed it's formula with starting with the 2018 game and that's also had a huge impact.
I think the same will now happen with final fantasy, this game is going to be a huge success critically and sales performance wise and Square will most likely stick with this style going forward.
I hate this game for being disgusting rated M.
I banned Roman number Final Fantasy games started from number 14 and go on.
I'm done with those Final Fantasy games.
The author has similar tastes in Final Fantasy as I do. 12 was awesome, 13 was forgettable, 14 was an MMO (I played a lot of that one through Heavensward), 15 was a fun bro road trip with a dash of Final Fantasy flavor - good, but not great.
FF16 looks great. I’m going to call my chocobo “Roach” because the game reminds me of another that I enjoyed.
Looking forward to it - I’m not super hyped, but I like what I have caught so far. It is nice to be excited for a Final Fantasy game again. 15 was not that bad in the end, but I didn’t go into it at launch that pumped because of the pretty terrible first demo.
nope sorry not that interested in final fantasy 16
Final fantasy rebirth on the other hand cant wait
@NEStalgia I 100% agree with you. I hear so many people saying that every FF is different and the games have evolved and FF16 is no different. This seems to be coming from a lot of players who haven’t been with it from the start and they don’t realize or don’t acknowledge that the first 9 games were iterations on core unifying characteristics. Turn based, over world, full party based control, exploration based, etc. Each game brought something new, but they kept the core. Around 10 they ditched the over world in favor of linearity and from there the series started to slowly shift from the core gameplay. They abandoned the evolution-through-iteration approach to instead chase other genres for relevancy, slowly disaffecting their original core fan base, which has splintered into groups clamoring for the past or willing to accept anything polished that will elevate the brand with which associate. You have a newer fan base that jumped in around 10 or 12 and they’re like, “but FF has always changed,” because, yeah, that’s when the series started to lose its defining focus, as they floundered about trying to make turn based mechanics feel like real time action. This idea that FF is always changing is literally describing the series when it started to nosedive.
@kcarnes9051 started with FF7. Mainline single player games started going downhill quite a lot from 10 onwards. Got a lot worse with 13 and 15. I’m just happy 16 doesn’t look worse than 15, and perhaps most exciting is that it looks like SE have really had a handle on the project which bodes well for the future given the dramas surrounding 13, 14, 15, 7 remake. Don’t assume we all started playing at 13, or something.
Glad it’s different. Zelda went open world and we got BOTW, not another Skyward Sword. Happy days.
FFXII was fantastic. Good taste there!! I absolutely adore the gambit system. Probably in my top 3 of FF games.
FF16 has me so excited for June. It comes out two days before my birthday so I’ll wait those two days then give myself a birthday treat in the nighttime 🤤😎🤤
My most anticipated game this year, not watching anything other than the first footage that was shown. Played XV, VII, IX a bit of X and VIIR in that order. I have all available games on PS5 and will probably get the I-VI but need to actually play them. So many hobbies, so little time!
Im not all that convinced from what ive seen so far, but its still a final fantasy so who knows.
I really enjoyed FFXV in the state it is now, after all the patchwork it had post launch.
i mean, how could i not play a final fantasy. comon
16 years isn't really "almost 20", but I understand you're excited. This game would have to change a lot for me to be interested.
@kyleforrester87 Yes, I would definitely agree that FF16 looks better than 15, which was a complete mess. I am thankful for that. And despite my problems with the new entry's game design, I will play it, and will probably mostly enjoy it. I only hope that they'll do what they did with FF9, and make a game that feels like a respectful reimagining of the core aspects of the series. I recently played some of Chained Echoes, and while that game takes a lot more inspiration from Chrono Trigger, I was really impressed how they designed new turned based mechanics that feel fresh and respectful of the genre. I'm also interested in Octopath Traveler 2. I just wish SquareEnix made a game with AAA game production that iterated on where FF9 left off, as opposed to doubling down on design decisions that haven't felt like FF ever since.
@kcarnes9051 FF9 was awesome. Honestly, could SE justify a AAA game that iterated where FF9 left off, though, in 2023? It’s highly unlikely I think, so we get this sort of.. compromise perhaps. Hopefully it works out ok, it looks promising.
Yep, this is the most excited ive been since the launch of final fantasy 9 (which remains my favourite game ever). There has been hype and hope associated with each game since and in the case of FF X i have truly come to love it - but 12 left me cold, and 13 (incredible soundtrack not withstanding) & 15 lacked heart when it came to story in my opinion.
7 remake did reignite my love for the series though and i genuinely think this looks wonderful. 2 months to go to see if it all comes together as hoped!
What an excellent piece, especially as your experiences with the franchise seem to reflect my own. I have no objection to the direction that this franchise is going in - its always changed, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but rarely static.
There are options available for those not so keen on the action side of an action RPG, but some combat, like in the fantastic 'Witcher 3' , certainly doesn't preclude it from being an RPG.
I'm liking what I've seen of this title and welcome the change, and that's as someone who has played them all from release. This series holds a special place in my hart, and I'm getting a really good feeling about this one. Cant wait.
@Titntin A really good feeling. That's the thing is it? It feels like something special, just like every FF release used to.
@kyleforrester87 Yes, I think they could justify it. I think if they gave it modern production value, added in some interesting iterative wrinkles into the gameplay mechanics (a la chained echoes or Fantasian), and marketed it as a return to the series roots, it would get a lot of people jazzed and build hype. Also, for once use the actual original artwork style of Yoshitaka Amano as the actual design of the game world and characters, as opposed to using jpop stand-ins and ultra realistic cinematics. Amano has a distinctive style that defined FF at its beginning, but it just couldn't be fully realized with old 8, 16, and 64 bit technology. If they actually used the Amano style, not just for the logo designs, the FF series would truly be distinct and own its own animation space, much like how the Zelda games have a distinct style.
I don't really love the direction this series is going in but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't impressed by this presentation. It's certainly impressive. My biggest worry is that I don't be nearly skilled enough to pull off even half the maneuvers showcased yesterday.
I agree with this article very much. I never thought that I would feel that Zelda would seem like an appetizer for something even more exciting, but here we are. The more we see 16, the more it feels like an absolute zeitgeist in the waiting.
Does it have a Black Mage and a White Mage and other job classes??
I might be 1 of the only 5 people who likes 13 more than 12. But I share the sentiment that the series has lost me after 13.
This game looks like it's reviving the whole FF series again and I will be playing it.
Exactly the same sentiment from me only I started with 2 (4) on the SNES.
@DrGonzo I never did that. Are you seeing things?
@Ralizah Same here. I adored Final Fantasy 7 Remake and played it and finished it on both the PS4 Pro and the PS5 versions. That might not seem like much for most people, but I don't replay games that often even though I keep all of the physical copies of games I buy after regretting selling a portion of my PS3 games a long time ago.
It's actually my favorite JRPG and is now a "series" I'm as excited about as anything not named Horizon (with Uncharted possibly dead). I know that would be blasphemy for some people, but I had ignored the genre for the most part for a good 15 years outside of Final Fantasy XIII and not much else. While I think it deserves it, my pool of JRPGs is also much much smaller than most fans.
I will be getting XVI on Day 1 just like I did with Final Fantasy VII Remake, as long as Amazon ships it in time to get it on release day.
It seems to have a swagger that has been missing since FFX, in my opinion. Every entry since has been at pains to prove how good it is. This one just knows it.
@KilloWertz Honestly, if the ending wasn't such a disaster, I'd say it was my favorite PS4 game. As it stands on that front, however, Persona 5 Royal reigns supreme.
I'm a little skeptical of how the sequels will play. FF7 Remake being extremely linear was fine, since it was an adaptation of the original's Midgar arc, which was also extremely linear, but the game opens up as it progresses. It's hard to imagine we'll eventually be able to fly an airship around the entire world like we could in FF7.
I guess we'll see.
@NEStalgia of course they have a lot of articles about the sop it obviously works when you keep clicking on them
@kcarnes9051 I dunno, friend; of course, everyone’s got a right to their opinion, and I get where you’re coming from….but, as one of those long-time players (since 1990 here; still have my original complete-in-box copies from the NES on up, and near-mint!), I gotta say, I’ve seen a great many changes and experiments with the formula over the years. Since the very beginning.
Final Fantasy brought a party and basic classes/jobs to the typically solo affairs of Wizardry, Ultima, and Dragon Quest. FFII brought rotating party members and changed up the experience system. III introduced the Job system and greatly expanded the world map. IV introduced the ATB system and character-specific abilities. So on and so on and so on. These mechanics were what we fell in love with and became comfortable with, but they’re just that; they’re gameplay mechanics, typically constrained by the technology of the time, and serve to support the growth of the characters and story. Never once, in all those years, have I ever said to anyone “you’ve really got to try checking out the Final Fantasy series, they’ve got the most amazing turn-based battle system!”
The point is this; each game — whether a numbered entry or a spin-off — has experimented with the formula, hopefully in ways that serve the core Final Fantasy experience. At its best, Final Fantasy has always been a showcase for epic stories, engaging characters, breathtaking art and design, and evocative music that you’ll still hum to yourself years later.
I get that the action focus is very far afield — it’s not my favorite, either — but if it means it appeals to more players, what’s not to love? Final Fantasy is amazing, and it’s great to be able to share enjoyment of the series with more players. We should be welcoming of newcomers to the series! That used to be a very rare thing, and it’s awesome to see it thrive now.
One week i watch a video of some guy saying there is no hype for FF16, the next week i read an article of a guy being the most excited ever.
Ya'll need to calm down. These emotional rollercosters are not good for you.
There are arguments for both. Let's play the game and then pass judgement. This hype/non hype thing before release is pointless.
just because ppl keep smiting 13 i hope 16 is a dud
@awaltzforvenus well said!
I quite enjoyed the XV transmedia experiment. Really to get the whole game story you had to:
That's a lot to take in.
@awaltzforvenus Everything you just listed in regards to changes in the early games was expansion of the formula. Iteration by addition. They would take the past game and add new wrinkles to the game design while bringing forward core attributes of the prior games. This is no longer their approach and it has led to the series losing its identity for a great many fans.
Same old PushSquare hyping stuff and forgetting about it a few weeks after release.
@ShogunRok I do feel the slow pace and forced walking in the remake was due to HDD limitations though. Hopefully this (and Rebirth) being made for an SSD will eliminate this
Never played an FF game, never appealed to me, numbers jumpin all over in a fight??? This one looks very good tho. Do i need to play others to understand this?
@ShogunRok You mirror a lot of what I’m feeling, though I thought the series peaked much earlier between VI & IX.
This was, at that time, my favourite game series, I would excitedly read everything about it and impatiently await each release to play Day 1. But since XII that hasn’t been the case, it’s been all downhill.
At the centre of all that I just don’t care about the characters or worlds in the same way. Vaan, Lightning, Noctis and co don’t have the same pull to me as Locke, Cloud and Squall and co. A little of that is growing up - with more experience it’s harder to impress - but more is just bland characters. There are some good ones in later games like Auron, Balthier etc. but they are few and far between when previously the games were teeming with great characters.
While Final Fantasy had always pushed the bar of what was possible graphically it seemed to me the balance wasn’t there and creating big budget spectacle was more important that a great story, great characters and a fun game loop.
I understand why so many don’t like the change here. But for me it is a breath of fresh air and I HOPE it restores Final Fantasy back towards the top of the pile.
After Final Fantasy 15 and the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, I've got little to no faith in the series anymore. I never played FF14, or FF11. FF13 I didn't really get into.
FF12 genuinely was the last decent game
I'd does look very good but I just don't like hack n slash combat, never have done. I'm hoping for a demo so I can try it myself because I really do want this but 70 quid is a lot of money to take a gamble on.
Wow, you set your bar pretty low eh? This franchise is bargain bin material, and has been for the better part of a decade and a half.
FF XV was in the bargain bin inside of 6 weeks, and this will be no different.
@themightyant You are rapidly becoming one of my fave posters here. Along with Shepherd Tallon, I can always rely on your posts being balanced and well reasoned rather than reactionary or a wall of rant.
I too am very hopeful for this title and don't find arguments that it's not FF compelling at all. The exciting thing is, we don't have that long to wait before we can try it ourselves and decide where it fits in the hierarchy of these titles. Fingers crossed its up near the top.
This is the first time I've experienced a new mainline Final Fantasy release as a fan of the series. I've played a lot of the games over the last few years so I've been following along with FFXVI with a lot of interest. I was really hoping they'd go for a battle system like that of FF7R for XVI. The way that game melds something of the old turn based combat with real time action is really clever. The fact that XVI is going full action combat is the wrong direction for me.
I'm sure this game will be very polished and fun to play, but is it really Final Fantasy? Yes there are Chocobos and Moogles around the place, but is that enough? To me it looks like it could have been a new IP but they've chosen the FF name for the marketing bump.
I no longer have my PS5 - but I suspect if I did then this would have been be a “Day 1” for me.
Considering the team working on this, and the divisive response to XV, I’d really hope that SE go “all in” on making the great game that I believe they are capable of.
7R left me with mixed feelings…. so much that I loved and so much I loathed. The combat (IMO) was a series-best, and I actually loved the batsh*t crazy narrative beats helmed by Nomura. Also the materia system and build flexibility was pretty good. The DLC was class as well. However, it just had so much…. Bloat I guess? Infantile sub quests and more corridors than you could shake a stick at.
If 7R had halved its base game content from a 40hr experience to 20hr I think it could have really been great. Those hungry for more could then roll straight into hard mode, less likely to be burnt out from gathering up all the cats in the slums lol
But seriously so far the trailers and previews for XVI look great, and I’d be excited for what’s coming here. This and TotK within months of each others is a great time to be a gamer
@Titntin Likewise dude always nice to see your well reasoned posts and joy of gaming.
That all said just avoid my ABK / industry consolidation posts where my alter ego The Mighty Rant comes out. It’s not sunshine and rainbows 100% of the time 😂
You enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII?
@kcarnes9051 @NEStalgia A lot of your comments are based on a straw man, and it's why it's hard for me to engage with you in an interesting way. By discussing what "fans" think, you're making this imaginary fan up that you address opinions or beliefs to that you believe to be untrue.
I haven't read anywhere in the comments by people who are looking forward to the game do so because of "the director is so amazing" (one of your posts, Nes), neither can you point out (kcarnes) that most people who are looking forward to this game weren't there from the start.
I haven't played FFXIV, but I have played most single player FF games all the way from II to XIII. And I'm hyped for this game. So how should I respond to your comments except for saying "that's not true friend for me" which is not an interesting reply.
It's fine for any of you to not be looking forward to FFXVI and you'd be completely justified. I was a Zelda fan for all my life and I hated BOTW upon release. It wasn't for me. And I was not wrong for disliking the change in that series, but neither were all those fans who thought it was amazing.
If you could make your comments about what YOU think rather than trying to downtalk people who are looking forward to this game, we could elevate this discourse.
It's why I think this is a great article by @ShogunRok, because it's title is not "why you should be hyped for FF" but "why I'm hyped for FF".
PS Even though i do not agree I think your opinion is interesting to read, by the way!
@themightyant If there are any lurkers out there known for having a controversial opinion: please consider creating an account with themightyrant as username!
@Kidfried If dual accounts weren’t against ToS I was going to do it myself with an inverted logo. 😂
But it’s a bit doom and gloom
I want to be excited for it and I will be watching. Next FF game for me will be the PR of 6.
I found Trails of Cold Steel and Persona and those series have been keeping me busy.
Some people seem to think the last Final Fantasy was turn based....
The last turn based Final Fantasy was 22 years ago! So why are people only now moaning about it's change in direction? Or have those same people been moaning about the same thing over and over with each new Final Fantasy release since 10? Or maybe it's because there's finally a great game coming out that's everyone else is excited for but they want to moan just to be that person.
@Ralizah I actually didn't mind the ending for the most part, but the PS5 version's extended ending is better. Maybe it helped that I had never played Crisis Core until Reunion came out, so Zack's portion of the ending went right over my head both times. I've only played a little bit of Persona 5, and it didn't click with me that time. I've yet to give it a second chance.
As a person that sadly never finished the original, I don't exactly know what to expect, but maybe it will be something similar to XVI where it is opened up but not an actual open world. Like you said, we'll see. In 2024 probably, as I don't expect it to be released this year like some are hoping.
They could work the airship in even if they choose not to have it be the same as it was in the original. It could be your method of fast travel. Who knows, but it's their job to figure out stuff like that and not us.
With all the criticisms and all the defense of this title by a myriad of people who haven't even seen or played it myself included; I do find it weird that even those that are stating Final Fantasy changes with every iteration aren't at least acknowledging some very clear shifts that have never ever taken place in a main line Final Fantasy title.
Specifically gear and items and crafting and stuff like that. Look at a game like God of War, which is basically just a loosely on rails playable movie, yet it has a much more intricate gear system than what we have seen and what appears to be likely the end product for Final Fantasy 16.
You couple that with the fact that it's going for this much more arcade like Devil May Cry combat, it's hard to believe that even the most blindly Allegiant Sony and square lovers cannot fathom why some people might be a little concerned or put off by that even if you're just an I love everything I love all things Sony robot robot robot voice type individual..... can you still not at least take a step back and objectively see how someone else might have a slightly different point of view and might not be as excited for the writing on the wall for the franchise?
@Kidfried My argument 100% is not a straw man. But it's funny because you've introduced one yourself. I never said, "that MOST people who are looking forward to this game weren't there from the start." I said, "This seems to be coming from a lot of players . . ." Notice I'm specifically avoiding attributing this opinion to a majority of players (as you accused me of), which would be a massive assumption on my part to assume "most" players think that. I'm intentionally referring to the comments I have read, as in "a lot", not necessarily just here, amounting to saying "I jumped into FF around 10, the series has always changed, this is no different." I am, of course, summarizing. I have also addressed long-time fans, maybe such as yourself, who have expressed comments that amount to, "I'm fine with any FF game so long as it's quality, no matter the genre and gameplay mechanics." You can believe me or not that I've actually read comments like these. I really don't care.
Now, this is all besides the point because the main thrust of my argument is that this game no longer holds the core attributes that defined Final Fantasy's identity that started from its infancy through the height of its relevancy. And since FF10, they have slowly chiseled away at that identity in an attempt to shoehorn the series into a different genre that is at odds with that identity.
@Shepherd_Tallon "I laughed"
It's funny cause it's true.😁
@NEStalgia It's all changing NES. Mostly for the worst. 🤑
Though I do like me some nice shiny new graphics. 😎
Zelda TotK is killing me on my 75" 4k TV. BotW on my 52" 1080p TV 6 years ago looked fine - before TW3, HFW GoW(2018) - but now I'm thinking, they waited this long, why not wait until Switch 2 where it can at least hit 30fps at 1080p. It's going to take awhile to get used to it right after PS5 exclusive Burning Shores.
$70 for Zelda. Even if it's not just DLC and it is it's own game proper sequel, it's still running on a 6yr old game engine on 6yr old hardware. Price just emphasizes that fact. 😩
@ILikeStake I may watch some more FFXVI stuff as I may not play it until Christmas, and I'd imagine it's a 50-60 hour game, but BS is next week and probably like 15 hours, so I'll pass, before I feel like I've already watched it all.
@Kidfried I think the issue is we're late in a long running discourse. Some of us already said what we think many articles ago and got continuously flamed by the staunch defenders, so you're joining in at the point we're dissecting what's going on with this bizarre wall of defense, fingers in ears, hands over eyes refusal to acknowledge anything wrong aboyt the release because it's very bizarre and is something I've seen from no fandom beyond Pokemon amid am unprecedented genre change of a major series the studio doesn't even have the integrity to admit is a total reboot of the franchise into a totally different genre and keeps pretending it's not. The discussion of what isn't liked about it is a dead end at it just results in the "you're wrong, ff always changes" refrain along with my favorite "it's a real ff game because it says it on the box."
@rjejr Every complaint about Sony policy I ever have is a comparison to how closely they emulate Nintendo. Tbf Zelda pricing is gross. I'm buying it and Pikmin 4 on a voucher and those may be the last switch 1 games I buy. Japan gets normal pricing. Doug Bowser comes from that American school of business through and through and it's finally killed 80% of my interest in anything Nintendo. Our Nintendo isn't Japan's Nintendo.
@kcarnes9051 You started much more efficiently than I did everything I've been trying to say!
@ShogunRok That still doesn't really tap into the idea, when, if ever is it ok for a series, to totally change into a totally other series? I can't think of any other example. Even the maligned saints row was more true to the series than this.
I don't see any problem with a dmc fan being hyped for this new gow/dmc series. But what if the in next gow was a slow paced anime styled party road trip game with waifus? Should fans embrace that because, "gow changed before, 2018 was so different from the PS2 games, they just went a new direction, and I love anime waifu tactical games so I'm so hyped for GoW 7: Kratos and the Magical Maidens everyone else just hates change!"?
It's just bizarre to totally change a series. End a series because sales suck? Sure. Change it into a totally different thing and pretend it's the same while recently advertising how different it is?
@NEStalgia I guess it depends on how RPG it feels in the end, which we are all just guessing until it's released. So far it seems very RPG to me, but who knows.
@bkeswick absolutely I agree, it's just that everything we've seen looks not at all rpg. Basic inventory and skill trees no more than gow. Not much in the way of side quests besides fetch the thing. They keep teasing more but so far we just haven't seen it.
@NEStalgia Yeah we'll see, I just hope it's a good game and feels about right, although that's a personal thing. This whole thing is a personal issue.
I think we all have something we connected with in the franchise in the past, and build our rationale differently. I loved old FF on Nes/Snes and I alongside many of my real life friends despaired with FF7; no proper gear slots, no selection of gear to buy in shops like in RPG, no proper castles or dungeons, or treasure chests, etc.
So what I perceived as the 'core' broke down before. FF has done that many times to me. For what its worth, times change - heck, I sometimes even hear a younger gen call Monster Hunter World a JRPG. But whatever. I moved on too and I've always been pretty open minded, so I ended up loving FF7 some years after its release.
My realization after all these decades is that, in the end, gaming is experiential; you start with an experience of playing a game and whether or not we instinctively enjoyed it forms the basis of our logic as to why we liked/hated the game. So our reasoning is ultimately reverse-engineered from that foundation.
So it's hard for me to encourage or discourage people to look forward to FF16 based on how I personally feel about the way the series changed, but personally I will be very happy if it's a good game. And yes, it is still an FF to me. An emphasis on 'to me'.
All that being said, it might be easier for me to say all that when I'm as comfortable with twitch action just as much as any other combat. It must be a lot harder to accept it for people who are less welcoming of action based trends. That's a harder issue to resolve, tbh.
@NEStalgia What you're saying is that you've did things the nice way, exchanging opinions. Then some overzealous fans flamed you, and even though there is no one in these comments section flaming anyone, you're lowering yourself to their level, by constantly focusing on these few extremists? Sounds like you've become the overzealous one here.
@Kidfried Is that not itself a strawman argument? I have not flamed anyone. But what I am discussing is trying to dissect the nature of an odd fandom surrounding this series.
@NEStalgia In the end, we can't have one ultimate yardstick when we don't all share the same idea about what the 'core' is; that's down to how you personally connected with the series.
But what we can do is to appreciate that we all bring our perspectives and share it on a level playing field.
@NEStalgia do you not think FF series moving forward to faster more fluid combat just seems like.natural progression?
Your example of GOW changing to slow paced, anime waifu thing is just not natural and nor even thr same world, but FF moving up into faster combat more linear cohesive destination seems fluid, from slow paced selective combat to freedom.
But thats my opinion as for some others saying only newer FF fans or dmc fans will be excited for this is just wrong, i been in FF since 4 and I personally can't wait for 16, I belive it will be one of the best
@Uromastryx where does the idea that action is superior to anything else or a progression?
Now to be clear, I don't think the majority of critics here do actually have an issue with an action rpg format over a turn based rpg format. Some do, but most are on with both combat mechanics in an RPG, the main criticism with this game is it appears the rpg has been entirely removed, replaced with the same kind of token-going-through the motions as gow (imo is pointless check listing in gow and the game doesn't benefit from it). I.e. Ys, Tales, Yakuza 1-8 + judgment 1,2, mass effect, Skyrim, fallout, jade empire, etc are all action based RPGs that are still RPGs while this appears to have little to no rpg in it. THAT'S the primary problem not turn based vs action. People seem to keep misunderstanding the criticism while some go insist it's turn based only, that's a subset of the criticism.
However humoring the idea, the idea that action is somehow a improvement ignores that we're talking about two different genres of play. The irony is that turn based is a NEWER design than action. Action games go way back. Most of the original arcade games were fast, flashy action games with lots of combat. Most original home console games were, albeit not as fast as what arcade boards could do, and that was the selling point of Sega consoles, keeping up with arcade versions of fast flashy action games. Indeed RPGs descended from table top board games, however the eldest computer RPGs, older than the jrpgs like ff that came later, were more action based. Wizardry, Ultima, etc. Action came FIRST, slower, not strategic play came later. So action isn't a progression or evolution. At best it's simply a different genre. At worst games are regressing.
@bkeswick Despite the rest of what your said you actually hit the nail on the head in your last sentence. "Trends". An established series is expected to remain true to what that series is. That the whole point of a series. That's why a name matters and a brand has value. You know what you're going to get. If coca cola changes their formula, it kills the reason to buy coke (see: new coke) if they make it sparking water and not cola at all nobody would say "well, times changed, water is more popular, so that's that coke became." No, coke remains coke so that people that do like cola continue buying coke, and another brand owned by coke exists to sell water.
If you've bought the first 15 ff games, you probably like RPGs of a certain format and presentation. Instead of making a new ff game for ff fans and a new series for hack and slash fans they just make an all new hack and slash game and called it New FF.
My expectation would have been broad backlash not celebration.
To be clear the game serves praise on its own. As a new series of action game from square. As an FF game, it's like new coke. A replacement nobody that bought the product for what it is desired. I like Bayonetta. I like ff. I like ff more. But this is Bayonetta. Yet says it's ff....
It's actually a bit longer for me. The last Final Fantasy I really liked was IX, but the sort of VI, VII, VIII, and IX run made Final Fantasy my favourite game series - at the time, anyway - and so I'm always interested to see what they do next. I've long since given up on the idea of them just doing a Final Fantasy like I want a Final Fantasy, but of the newer twists on the formula XVI is easily the one I'm most excited for.
Same here. I haven't been this excited for a Final Fantasy game since they first officially revealed the FF7 Remake during E3 2015!
Day one purchase/pre-order without a doubt, but I'll wait a few months for it to be decently patched before playing.
Wow, I don't know what else to say.. I can't believe your story is SO MUCH similar to mine. My favorite is also 12, and after 12, although I was excited for both 13 and 15, they both disappointed me greatly. Especially 15 ! After 15 I told myself that I would be very cautious with future FF titles, but man everything I am seeing with 16 I just cannot wait. I have really high hopes for this game, lets hope it blows !
@NEStalgia That's fine, I'm not denying your reality - not just because I can relate to it myself. Heck, I think we overlap a lot based on what you wrote.
I was just saying that there are multiple realities depending on people's relationship with FF, which makes it more complicated than food & drinks and other analogy where its meaning is decyphered through a single axis like taste buds - a yardstick is that little bit easier to come by then.
I grew up in Japan in the 80s and I went through so many versions of this debate in the 90s. Some said to me they want Job Changes in their FF, some said it has to have squishy chibi characters, some even said FF isn't a true FF if it isn't 2D.
I also alrealdy covered why FF7 wasn't a true FF to me for a while until I accepted it for what it is and went on to love it.
Some changes happened because of trends - like more realistically proportioned characters - others for other reasons. It makes no difference to my point.
Look across this comments section - we have spectrum of views and they're all real to them. Many of them (unfortunately not all of them) just state their view and leave it at that, probably because they've had a realization at some point that none of us has a sole ownership of FF.
I'm not here to deny any of those realities, including yours. In fact I love it because you are expressing your passion and I feel it. I love old FF and it feels great when somebody else reaffirms it.
But there's a difference between sharing your view and weaponizing it to put down other people's realities. And it is only on that part alone that I was making my earlier point.
Don't stop being passionate about what you love; this comment isn't me saying you are wrong and you should forget about your experiences. I'm just desperately trying to put across to you that none of us preside over the universal truth. We all have our "what have you done to MY Final Fantasy!?" moments.
@bkeswick Great post!
The only thing I can add that really bridges all the perspectives is that, once a brand gets to the point that there is even debate over which "reality" a brand is or isn't appealing to, the one similar objective truth is that the brand has catastrophically failed as a brand. That is the entire point of a brand! They failed to manage the FF brand if there's any confusion and debate as to what the brand is, and it's really time to retire that brand.
Imagine if someone says they want a PlayStation and they get tablet PC because in that future time PlayStation is more associated with productivity devices than video games. That's just disastrous failure of brand management! Maybe final fantasy should have been final a long time ago, or simply made a cinematic universe and several other series should have replaced it.
That's probably the core issue with this. It's not about ff16 or comparing to ff7. Is that if ff doesn't actually mean anything at all it's a pointless brand equating to "square project 16".
@NEStalgia I'm glad you've opened up on the fact that FF can mean many things to many people. I've always thought that a friendly exchange of views is what makes these discussions interesting. But it pains me to watch when people bash each other over it.
As to your conclusion about the brand as a whole, that is the truth which some of us who decided to remain as fans had to come to terms with at some point. You aren't alone. I think the series has been broken as well, and it happened very long time ago.
I used to argue with my friends about how the first 3 were related. You could argue that maybe even up to 5 or 6 may be linked, if you bend your imagination hard enough.
But FF7 was so "out there" that it ended any chance we had at putting them all together as one brand. There were dissidents before that time and they too have their right, so I'm not going to claim any authority over this, but I have no doubt in my mind that the departure from the Crystals being at the heart of the world was the killing blow for many of us; it shattered our dream of putting together one coherent series.
And so the notion that FF changes completely every game spread as the basic idea. You could even say it was a coping mechanism for us fans to still be fans, even when every FF might as well be a different IP.
Think about it. There's no reason why FF6 and 7 need to belong to the same brand; they would function just fine separately and be good games. So the rest is down to whether you could happen to tolerate and handle new features or mechanics in the next instalment.
Ultimately I can't tell you what is right and wrong, or where it went wrong, or whether it went wrong at all, because all that is your choice. I came to terms with it and I made my choice. I did it quietly on my own, without lashing out on other fans.
So somehow I'm still a FF fan today. Not sure to what extent, but enough to take time bothering to put my experience and what I gained through it across to you.
Next time you're irritated by FF, I just want you to remember that none of us has a monopoly over it and you certainly aren't the only one who feels strongly about it. It's just that many of us who were there at the start went through those trials and tribulations quietly at some point, in my case back in the 90s.
Heck, one might even say the entire series has been a long trial for us, post-NES. That's why I said all I hope for in any FF is that it's a good game and I enjoy it. If it "feels" about right, then that would be amazing for me. Same goes to FF16.
@Anti-Matter I don't hate M rated games especially after playing Like a Dragon games like Isshin.
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