After last week’s TGS trailer for the upcoming (eventually) Final Fantasy XV, fans were divided between those who favored the new action gameplay and those who pined for the traditional RPG combat. Now come a third party, pleading Square Enix to make FFXV the Kindom Hearts-esque combat experience they sought from the original concept.
Final Fantasy XV was initially announced back in 2006, then dubbed Final Fantasy XIII Versus. With development teams split between the FF Lightning saga and the Kingdom Hearts series, Versus was put on the back burner until just two years ago. It was then that Hajime Tabata joined as the project’s new director, ushering in a new direction for the game. Along with these changes came the decision to launch the game on the PlayStation 4, instead of the originally planned PlayStation 3.
The project’s hiatus and development upheaval bring us here, eight years later. Though the game is now half complete, some fans are still fighting for the original Versus they were imagining nearly a decade ago.
A Change.org petition has risen from public discontent, calling to question Tabata’s direction and the game’s overall theme. It argues against the complicating move from the PS3 to the PS4, the removal of character switching, and a combat system based more on holding a button than action gameplay.
These fans are appealing to Square Enix for gameplay resembling Kingdom Hearts, while Tabata envisions a seamless experience. In all honesty, the two viewpoints may not be altogether contrasting. While there’s likely to be critics of Final Fantasy XV and its unique style, our lack of information places us far from being able to condemn the title. Fan discomfort is still reasonable, given the drawn, evolving life of Versus, but hopefully the next Final Fantasy installment won’t leave the majority with a bitter taste in their mouths.