Note: I may (or may not) add pictures to accentuate this editorial at a later date. – pjs.
With Final Fantasy XIII finally hitting the Western world, early criticisms from numerous video game websites all point toward a clear and concise outcome. While the reception of the Japanese release had already foreshadowed the following to be true this past holiday season, now that the rest of the world has seen and spoken their thoughts about the game, I feel it is now appropriate to dissect Square-Enix’s debut Final Fantasy title of the HD generation.
In the words of Christian Nutt, it is clear that Final Fantasy XIII is one of the most polarizing games of 2010. To fully understand this statement, we must first unpack several important questions. Why Final Fantasy XIII? Or possibly more important: Why Final Fantasy? Trends have shown that while the game received mixed reception both within its home soil as well as international soil, the biggest polarization of the game’s reception comes between Japan and North America. For those who may already be clueing in to part of where I’m getting at, the rest may sound like self-indulgent rhetoric, but Square-Enix–who has been struggling for almost a decade to create the universal RPG–must know that their most essential design choices for Final Fantasy XIII, and how those choices were received by the masses, have hit (if not blindly unaware of it) the core of the problem regarding true international success. A polarization so significant, more than any title that came before it, has to have made Square-Enix aware that they’ve inadvertently experimented with an infrastructure (unforeseen or not) that has greatly defined the success of their video games. (more…)