I have Final Fantasy disease

final fantasy diseaseIt seems I’ve been diagnosed with a non-fatal yet terrible affliction. I’ve been struck down with what Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata dubbed Final Fantasy disease. What is this terrible illness and can I be cured of it?

Earlier this week an interview with Hajime Tabata was released in which he claimed that some of the staff members at Square Enix developers  suffered from what he calls a “Final Fantasy disease”.  A condition whereby developers and fans believed that they “can’t imagine anything other than their own view of Final Fantasy.” This struck a chord with me.

Final Fantasy XV is due to release in a few months, September 30th to be exact. It’s been 10 years in development and I’m not excited about it. The trailers looked nice, the gameplay demos looked fine, the demos were ok. I’m sounding enthusiastic, right? Square Enix have been bombarding us with marketing for FFXV for a while now. And as if demos, trailers, collector’s editions, an anime and a film wasn’t enough, there’s even a mobile game on the way. Everyone else is dying to see this next Final Fantasy game, except of course those of us who seem to have this accursed disease. But what is the cause of it all?

Final Fantasy XV is a gorgeous looking game, this is something  no one can deny. It’s an open world action game with a big emphasis on brotherly friendship and bonding. There will be real time action combat including elements of stealth. To some people the pitch for the game sounds fantastic. A change from the old, stuffy turn based combat. Me? I liked the way combat worked in FF games, but that’s not even my main gripe. Brace yourselves, for here is my very cynical view of the what we’re to expect so far.

final fantasy disease
Noctis and the boys after a hard day of cruising and singing harmonies

First of all, the characters. Noctis, a rebellious young prince, heir to the kingdom of Lucis. The Squall
Lionheart of the group. Next is Prompto another moody, rebellious young man who likes taking pictures on his cell phone. Gladiolus is basically a battle trainer for Noctis who seems to have more humour than the two emo kids do. Finally we have Ignis, the brains of the operation, there to make sure Noctis doesn’t do anything stupid. These four cruise around in their car, giggling, fighting, eating and fishing while they try to save the realm of Lucis. All while dressed in the style of a Hot Topic catalogue. None of these characters seem remotely interesting to me, and the kicker is that we’re stuck with them for the whole game because we won’t get a choice of party members.

I can’t get past this j-pop boyband view of the characters as hard as I try. I didn’t like FF-X-2, I didn’t even like XIII. The last single player game in the series I truly enjoyed was X. My view of what a Final Fantasy game should be does not fit with what FFXV is or what XIII was. I want unique and interesting characters, an interesting world like the medieval setting in IX or the steampunk setting of VI. I want moogles (more than just a token appearance), strategic combat, party member choice, airships and non-human races. I am thinking I might be a high maintenance fan. But it’s not all about me, I am not a special snowflake there to be catered for. And who knows maybe FFXV might cure me of my Final Fantasy disease.

The return of an open world is something I was really happy about, the linearity of FFXIII was something that annoyed me to a degree. Mini games are also making a comeback, with pinball and fishing being included. Cooking is now a thing, so your time spent fishing doesn’t go to waste. This might be fun, cooking was something I loved to do in Star Ocean for instance. The option to use chocobos as your preferred mode of transport is still there, for those of us who reject the notion of driving a car in a Final Fantasy game. Finally, and the only thing that made me feel a tinge of excitement so far are the summons. Below is a video showing Noctis and the gang fighting what looks like Behemoth in which they summon Ramuh who judges Behemoth with the judgiest of judgement bolts. All of these things are positives for me so far, so maybe there’s hope for a cure to my ailment after all.

Do you have Final Fantasy disease? If you or a loved one have been affected by this discussion, please leave us a comment telling us more about it. What’s your idea of the perfect Final Fantasy game? Are you excited for XV? Let us know!

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