It seems that every week Square Enix has another announcement about one of their past titles receiving a remastered release or even a straight port to a newer console. Although I’m in full support of these games being available to a new generation of gamers, I feel as though they are missing a huge piece of the puzzle.
Recently, Square Enix announced that a legacy of Final Fantasy titles will be making their way to other consoles for the first time. To make it more clear, this announcement brought Final Fantasy VII out of PlayStation console exclusivity since it released in 1997. However, I think Square Enix could try just a little harder and bring the games that deserve to be on modern consoles, no I’m not talking about a Final Fantasy VIII Remaster, I’m talking about the Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy.
2009’s Final Fantasy XIII gets a bad rap for being a not so great Final Fantasy game. I’m not going to argue the point that it’s extremely good, but I will say that I played it to completion and walked away feeling fine. I feel like the issue with this series is that when Final Fantasy XIII was met with a critical eye, the industry didn’t know what to do with the new systems and gameplay features that Square Enix was trying to develop. This wasn’t the Final Fantasy they remembered, so it must not be good.
Now, did Final Fantasy fans ask for a sequel? No, I don’t remember needing one, but in 2011 that’s what we got. To the public, Final Fantasy XIII-2 wasn’t regarded as poorly as its predecessor. However, it’s not a title that is remembered or spoken about, ever. The game has pretty much disappeared into obscurity, which is the same that can be said for the third entry in the series, 2013’s Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
When Final Fantasy XV released in 2016 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, sales numbers showed that the Final Fantasy series was back in a positive spotlight. These numbers could be a huge reason why Square Enix has taken the opportunity to introduce this new generation of fans to the older entries in the series.
To me, this is the perfect time to bring the Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy Remastered to one single PS4 and Xbox One disc. Think about it for a second, those who were so burnt out by the dry character development in Final Fantasy XIII most likely never gave the sequel a chance, which hurt the sales even more of Lightning Returns. By bringing all three titles to one disc, returning players have a new chance to give it a try and complete the game’s story. New fans are in for a treat since they don’t have to wait years between each story.
Sure, the character development in Final Fantasy XIII isn’t great and the linear world, which is no different than Final Fantasy X, was never ideal, but there is some solid gameplay to be experienced in these titles. One of which is the action based battle system called Paradigms where players can switch a character’s fighting style at any point in a battle. I like to describe this battle system as an updated Gambits system that was introduced in Final Fantasy XII (which already received a remaster).
I’d also like to add that the Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy has a really great soundtrack. Every time I happen to hear a song I automatically feel the need to return to the game, but that would mean booting up my PS3 and dealing with the XMB menu.
The graphics in the Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy have aged extremely well. The games are some of the prettiest looking titles on the console so I would assume that bringing them to newer hardware would only make them better. Don’t believe me? Go back and watch some gameplay from any of the Final Fantasy XIII titles and you’ll see that the visuals hold up. Impressive for a game that is almost 10 years old.
At the time, Final Fantasy XIII was all Final Fantasy fans had during the PS3 and Xbox 360 era. Maybe that has something to do with why it received so much backlash. Back then, Square Enix made a lot of promises to fans but failed to deliver several times including leaving fans in the dark about Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Now that time has passed and fans have forgiven Square Enix for their back peddling and delays, it’s time to give this trilogy another chance.
I’d hate for this trilogy to be forgotten and only spoken about when longtime fans want to tell new fans what the worse Final Fantasy game is. I believe that putting all three games onto one disc would not only benefit new players, but it might even change players minds about just “how bad” the game is. As I said, I know the story is all over the place and the only character to show any development is Hope, but I think it’s time to give this trilogy another chance.
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