While Square Enix has a rather decent line-up on the publishing side of things with games like Hitman, Tomb Raider, and Kingdom Heart 3D, they did something today that is bound to make many gamers unhappy. In 2006, Square Enix announced a group of games known as the “Fabula Nova Crystallis” which would include 3 Final Fantasy games titled Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and Final Fantasy Agito XIII. These games were promised to be some of the best Final Fantasy games ever made, but there was an issue, promises were broken.
Square Enix promised us that FF XIII and Versus XIII were to be exclusive only to the PS3 platform while Agito XIII would stay exclusive to the Sony PSP. While this would follow what SE has done in the past, many rumors were abound that FF XIII was headed for the Xbox 360. After months of denials, Square Enix announced at E3 2008 their plans for an Xbox 360 version of the game, albeit a tad downscaled and put onto three DVDs instead of one. This brought on questions as to whether or not Versus XIII was going to get the same treatment. While SE has been saying no Xbox version, many rumors are still abound as to whether or not they are lying through their teeth again, but since Versus has become what people believe to be “vaporware”, only time will tell.
Second promise that seems to get broken often comes down to release dates. While exclusivity upset some fans, people were ultimately more interested on when the games would be out. Tetsuya Nomura has gotten himself some bad rap over the years due to this issue. He has become famous for his work on Final Fantasy, but nowadays he is famous for telling gamers planned release dates and info sessions that never happen. He, and SE for that matter, kept telling gamers that they would get Final Fantasy XIII during the Holiday 2008 season, which then changed to Holiday 2009 (which was true for Japan). After several delays, Final Fantasy XIII hit store shelves in the U.S. on March 9, 2010.
Agito XIII was released as planned in Japan, but under a different name called “Final Fantasy Type-0” on October 27, 2011, and now rumors of an international version could be coming to the PS Vita, but who knows if that will end up being true. Versus XIII has been on the backburner for years, while SE worked on a sequel to FF XIII called Final Fantasy XIII-2. This upset MANY people because XIII was considered a rather mediocre game, but nonetheless Square decided to make a sequel for it instead of shifting priorities to Versus. While XIII-2 was considered an improvement over XIII, it was ultimately unnecessary, almost to the point that people felt it was created to atone for its predecessor.
Now you may be asking, why is Versus XIII a broken promise? Well, considering that Nomura and SE have been telling us that this will launch, hope just keeps diminishing. Whether it be a lack of release date, lack of information, loss of exclusivity, or insert disappointment here, many fans feel betrayed by Square Enix. What is probably the saddest thing about this game is the fact that the majority of information given to us has been from journalists who got behind the scenes viewings several years ago. If we were really lucky, it was given to us via crappy cell phone videos. Nomura has promised that we will get more details, but these promises feel quite empty considering he shouldn’t say anything unless he means to execute within a month or two after his statement. You could almost say he is the bane of Versus XIII, which is harsh, but could it be true?
One final fact about Versus is that the general consensus has been wanting this more than XIII. With the promise of a possible M Rating, this would be a first for the Final Fantasy series. Not to mention getting a much more mature setting and theme would be a welcome addition. It goes to say that Square Enix needed to give us details this week at E3, but unfortunately did not. The next best thing we have to wait for is Tokyo Game Show in September, which if SE does NOT give us any more details, then expect this game to be done with, or end up like Duke Nukem Forever which had a long development time and turned into utter trash.
The purpose of this article was brought up by Square Enix’s move made today at E3. Today, Square Enix showed off something new, a promise of sorts of next-gen proportions…. a tech demo called Agni’s Philosophy. While many people want Versus XIII, Square decided it would be a better focus of time to create a tech demo showing off what Final Fantasy may look on next-gen systems. While the tech demo was quite nice, it brings up the question, where is Versus XIII? Why did Square give us a teaser of next-gen when what people want now is Versus? Anyways, you can view the tech demo above and marvel in how beautiful it is, but keep in mind, Square Enix should have made a better move by showing us something of Versus. Call me bitter and upset, but showing off something we may never see is not the right thing to do Square, just stop before you dig yourself deeper (much like Capcom has done).