According to Tabata, Final Fantasy disease is when people “can’t imagine anything other than their own view of Final Fantasy.” He was referring to backlash, both from fans and from within Square Enix itself, to the direction Final Fantasy XV has taken.
While many people are excited for Final Fantasy XV, a number of fans oppose it because of the way it deviates from previous games in the serious. In particular, its battle system is a point of contention for fans who prefer turn-based combat to action combat. Others dislike the setting, which uses fantasy in a more contemporary world.
Final Fantasy XV is not the first game in the series to make major changes. Since each main-series entry stands on its own, they often differ from their predecessors. In particular, Final Fantasy VII came under heavy fire at the time of its release for its changed gameplay mechanics and the setting it used. Final Fantasy VII is now one of the most popular and beloved games in the series.
Tabata’s concerns about Final Fantasy disease are important to consider. Any series that becomes too set in its formula or too determined to repeat what it’s already done runs the risk of stagnating. And Final Fantasy has already lost goodwill with fans. The next game in the series needs to be strong, to make up for the damage done by the Final Fantasy XIII games.
However, some fans think Final Fantasy XV is taking it too far. They think making a main-series Final Fantasy game an action RPG is a genre shift, and that it would have been better as a spin-off or a new IP. They worry the series will never return to turn-based combat, and Final Fantasy may lose part of its identity.
Tabata feels Final Fantasy needs to “modernize” or risk fading away entirely. What do you think? Do critics of Final Fantasy XV’s direction suffer from Final Fantasy disease, or do you think Final Fantasy XV has made too many changes from the series’ traditional gameplay?
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