Have at thee, Square Enix!

Kotaku is reporting that Square executive Yoichi Wada has stated that Final Fantasy XIV “damaged” the Final Fantasy brand.

I haven’t played FFXIV. I heard it was bad, and I thought it looked bad, and I did play enough of FFXI to know that its MMO successor FFXIV probably would be bad. And now Square has admitted – more than once – that the game is, in fact, bad.

Now, how about Dissidia, Crystal Chronicles, Dirge of Cerberus, X-2, XIII, and whatever other bizarro offshoot Final Fantasy games? I’m about to commit an unforgivable cardinal sin, because for the most part I have not played the games I just listed above, but how did they not damage the Final Fantasy brand?

I think it would be harsh to say that Square hasn’t released a top tier Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy VII. Harsh, but fair. VIII was not my cup of tea, but a wide assortment of folks enjoyed it. IX felt more Mystic Quest than an actual Final Fantasy, although it was a solid RPG. X was good… just not as good as VII, much less VI. We could go on – XI doesn’t really count since it’s an MMO, I did enjoy XII, for what that’s worth, but XIII did not work for me.

And now here we are at XIV… which Square has admitted doesn’t rise to their standard. But where is that Square standard these days?

Frankly, in my youth, I didn’t think SquareSoft created video games. Square created epic interactive novels that feasted the eyes, ears, and mind. Now… Square creates Infinite Undiscovery. I feel like I’ve lost a friend.

Ten years ago if Square released a game, I would have bought it, no questions asked. I didn’t need a review, I didn’t need a friend’s opinion – I just needed the game. Now, I still don’t need a review or an opinion, but I certainly don’t need, or even want, the game, either.

I don’t know when Square fell off, but they just haven’t been the same company from their 90’s heyday in quite some time now. Hey, that’s fine, we’ve grown apart, Square. And I miss the times we had, sometimes enough to reminisce with a playthrough of XenoGears or FFVI or Chrono Trigger.

But we’re never getting back together, Square. Never.

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