What Did Square-Enix Learn From Final Fantasy XIII? Quite a Bit, Actually

on November 21, 2011 8:00 PM

One of Square-Enix’s Crystal Tools developers says it took the publisher too long to release Final Fantasy XIII. By the time the title had been published internationally, the PlayStation 3 was in its fourth year and the Xbox 360 had just turned 5.

“When you think of Western triple A titles like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Assassin’s Creed, they seem to work with a lot shorter turnaround — they make a new game in 1-2 years,” Yoshinoro Kitase said. “That is something we need to follow up, because that seems to be the best way to keep our fans interested and attracted to the franchise.”

Kitase says the 1.5-year turnaround from Finall Fantasy XIII to its sequel is an advantage sales-wise. The Square-Enix staffer also discussed time travel and using monsters in combat in the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Yoshinoro told Game Reactor the development team behind XIII-2 wanted to include more than 150 monsters — I wonder why that number, specifically? — and that time travel in the game wouldn’t be the standard “drain the river in the past to access the dungeon in the future” mechanic.

“In Final Fantasy XIII-2 [it’s] not like if you do something in the past that would have a consequence in a future world in small aspects such as treasure chests and small items in the environment – it doesn’t really work for that,” he said.

If there was one complaint I had about Final Fantasy XIII it’s that it wasn’t fun enough. And I don’t mean that in a gameplay sense. There’s a reason Final Fantasy IX is my favorite in the series. You get this sense of light-hearted adventure that’s missing in the two console titles that followed Final Fantasy X. In our latest ShockCast, we also pointed out that, story-wise, there was no sense of urgency in the plot due to the ubiquity of the title’s central villain. This is what I would recommend to Square-Enix to “fix” Final Fantasy: make it fun again.

Besides, do we really want Final Fantasy to turn into Call of Duty? If you’re going to do that, you might as well release the game in chapters and call it episodic content.

Thanks to Joystiq for the tip.

 /  Staff Writer
Eder is a journalism major at the University of Oregon and copy chief of Flux, the School of Journalism and Communication's flagship magazine. When he's not playing video games or writing about them, Eder enjoys going to concerts, walking the UO campus with his trusty iPod, James McCloud, and climbing steep hills in running shoes. His favorite games include Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong Country 2, Bioshock and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.