5 GAMES THAT NEED TO BE MADE - Final Fantasy
(This new article series “Games that need to be made” is where I pitch 5 games that need to be made in a particular franchise, company, genre etc... If you enjoy and want more of these lists let me know in the comments on social media! Tell us which of these 5 was your favorite, and what franchise or theme you want to see next!)
Final Fantasy I feel is one of the more challenging franchises to pick for this series seeing as how it is already more of a multiverse/anthology. There seem to be less rules for what constitutes a "final fantasy" game other than Square Enix simply deeming it so. It seemingly just needs to be a JRPG of some kind. The art style, time period, gameplay style, lore, world, characters, all often differ from game to game. Another difficulty is that there has already been so many installments in the franchise, that offering new and original ideas will be difficult. That all being said, I have become a fan of the franchise and love many of its characters. It was what lead to our launch of Final Fantasy Infinite! Check it out for regular Final Fantasy news and content! I wanted the challenge of Final fantasy in the "5 Games" series. A couple rules: this will largely focus on new ideas and concepts instead of remasters or direct sequels, for two reasons. One, because a focus on original ideas is a theme of this series and two, because I am a newer fan only having played the newer games. As much as you might like seeing a remake of one of your childhood classics; I am just not an expert on those. I also will not be listing ideas for games that have already been announced but have yet to release like Final Fantasy 16, the upcoming Battleroyale game, or Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2. Also, in this series, I usually give a name to each pitch, but Final Fantasy is one of those few series that after such a long time has yet to abandon a number based naming scheme. When other long time franchises abandoned their numerical sequels, Final Fantasy keeps going. We are seriously expecting Final Fantasy "16" to be released in the coming year or two. So, in honoring that tradition, I have three pitches for Final Fantasy, all titled Final Fantasy 17, because the title in this series is more irrelevant than most.
We have a special thanks to Snowy Akamai a Final Fantasy XIV fan who has regularly supplied us with fun image content in the past. They have helped us bring some of this series installment to life.
5. Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy Enhanced Edition (PS5/XSX/PC): Real Time Combat Remake
In my multiple attempts at entering the franchise, Final Fantasy XIII was a big reason for my late entry. It was the newest game when I first had interest in getting into the Final Fantasy universe. I tried it, and I loved the visuals and Lightning was a pretty bad ass character. However, I couldn't get past one thing. I hated the turn based combat. To this day, I still can't stand turn based combat. I know that may be blasphemy to long time fans, but I just find it boring and emersion breaking. I hate clicking one button, and watching a character do a complex fight animation. Then I wait for the enemy to attack. Then I click my same button again. It doesn't feel like a game, it feels like a very repetitive movie. I find it so hard to get into a game if I find the gameplay boring. When Final Fantasy XIII was upgraded to be backwards compatible on Xbox One with 4K update, I went back and tried again. Again, I loved the visuals. I want to experience Lightning's story. Because the XIII trilogy is backwards compatible on Xbox One at least, and with that has free visual upgrades, the need for a traditional remaster is less so. I realize that this may be an unlikely scenario, but I have pitch for a Remaster/Remake/Special Edition that I think would add more value. In addition to having better 4K graphics and other visual improvements, this trilogy comes with a new mode. It would still include classic combat, but now it would come with a modern combat mode. I want them to transplant the hybrid realtime combat system from Final Fantasy 7 Remake and put it into Final Fantasy XIII. I realize this would be a huge deal. It would affect everything from the UI, to enemy animations, to Lightning's move set. It would be a relatively big overhaul which is why I am fine with this being a paid upgraded version. I want to experience Lightning's story without feeling like the combat is a chore. If you are a fan of turn based combat, that is fine for you. This could simply be a next-gen upgraded version of the trilogy with same classic combat just with improved visuals and load times. It would just have an option for real time combat for those of us who prefer it.
4. Final Fantasy XVII - Pitch #1
My first pitch for Final Fantasy XVII is very much inspired by this image from Snowy Akamai. The image of one of their character shots is of a hooded blonde female character, shrowded in mystery. She gives me major dark fantasy vibes, an assassin/rogue like character. I saw this image and said, I want that for a game. This version of Final Fantasy 17 centers around this character as the main protagonist. She exists in a much darker, gothic, universe that closer resembles Dark Souls than ever. She is an assassin like character who has a large focus on stealth and duel wields two magical daggers. Final Fantasy 17 Version 1 is essentially, Final Fantasy Dark Souls. It sees the protagonist on a journey through a dark and mysterious world, filled with darker, gothic aesthetics. It is a world filled with castles, dragons, and the game would be known for tackling the Soulslike genre in Final Fantasy with a focus on hyper-difficult boss combat. This would be the darkest and hardest installment in the franchise to date, and would be built to compete in the growing souls-like sub-genre.
(Image used with permission from Snowy Akamai)
3. Final Fantasy XVII - Pitch #2
There are often times certain sub-genres of games that I want other franchises to try. What I call "breath games" are games that exist in the cartoon open world sub-genre style and feel of Breath of the Wild. We have seen games like Immortal's Fenix Rising and Genshin Impact prove that style continues to work for other games. These three games give a really nice format for a more animated art style in the open world. Also, the art style of these three games prove that they can be gorgeous on high end consoles and pc but also look great on mobile and the Nintendo Switch! The last many installments from Final Fantasy have focused on realism or hyper realistic graphics. One way a future Final Fantasy 17 could differentiate itself would be to return to a more animated art style and make a "breath game". This Final Fantasy 17 could exist on more platforms than any other recent installment by coming to Mobile and Switch as well. It would maintain much of what we love about the final fantasy games, but take on a new art style in a fun and exciting open world. Genshin Impact has really made me love what other JRPG's could look like under this formula, and I think it would be ripe for a major visual change in a future Final Fantasy game to differentiate itself from 15, 16, and the 7 Remakes that will be played over the next many years. If Square Enix wanted to take a lot of what works in Genshin Impact and Breath of the Wild and adapt it for a quality Final Fantasy story, we could see something very fresh for the franchise.
(background art not original, entertainment only under fair use. Credit: Genshin Impact)
2. LOCKHART, from Final Fantasy
Lockhart, from Final Fantasy is a standalone spin off with Tifa Lockhart. I remember playing 7 Remake and in the very short sections where you play as Tifa, I remember thinking how much I thought she deserves her own game. This does not have to be a full game; it could be something sub $40, something that does not require Final Fantasy 7 Remake in order to play. However, it can reuse assets from 7 Remake, gameplay, and game engine, etc... It would look and feel like 7 in a lot of ways, but tell a Tifa focused story from before the events of 7. I picture it being 7-12 hours long.
Tifa is just one of my favorite characters in gaming in general and was one of the best parts of the remake of 7. She has a very likable personality, and her fighting style is just super addictive and fun. I also really loved her acrobatic gameplay aspects in the mission in 7 where she had to do a lot of traversal to make it to a destination. Where the main game felt like a action adventure game with a combat focus, this spin off could have an even greater focus on traversal puzzles and stealth in addition to combat.
When creating this list of "5 Games" for Final Fantasy, one of my first ideas was to give my favorite side character her own game and I think it is just low hanging fruit for Square Enix! Fans love her way too much for her to be relegated to side character status only. I think she is good enough to helm a full game if they wanted to put a full AAA budget into this spin off.
(background art not original, entertainment only under fair use)
Final Fantasy VolleyBall - (Don't hate me; It Works for DOA and would print money)
Final Fantasy Academia (Persona 5? My Hero Academia? High School anime sim?)
1. Final Fantasy XVII - Pitch #3
One thing that I think will make my number one pick and pitch for Final Fantasy 17 really stand out is picking a setting we shockingly have yet to see in the Final Fantasy multiverse. While not an expert on the franchise nor have I played every single game, I have noticed one thing. They tend to flip flop eras between a alternative version of "modern day" like Final Fantasy XV or 7 Remake and "High Fantasy" eras like in Final Fantasy 14 or the upcoming 16. We either fight in the past with swords and magic against monsters, or we fight today with well...swords and magic against monsters, only sometimes with cars and guns around. To my knowledge there has never been a more "future sci-fi" setting for Final Fantasy. I want to use swords and magic against monsters when on a spaceship, with the occasional laser gun or jetpack. We don't see them take place farther in the timeline of any of these multiverse locations. They are all pretty grounded on earth.
My final pitch for Final Fantasy 17 (no pun intended) takes place in a new near future version of the FF multiverse. The protagonist lives on a space ship, that is among a fleet of ships that travel in a convoy. I picture the setting to feel very similar to that of the Battlestar Galactica universe. There are a few dozen ships of large explorable size that make up the map(s) of this game. Different ships have different feels and environments too them. This convoy is the last known location of an escaping fleet of ships that left a dying Earth. I don't push this too far into the future to still give is a more grounded/realism feel. Perhaps only a few centuries from the equivalent of "now" in Final Fantasy. That being said, we would get to see so much potential for new things, such as space combat, an artificial/android based character, or even some unique takes on magic integrated technology. How does magic affect technological evolution at this scale? Most importantly, this is still a fantasy game, but with a healthy dose of sci-fi.
The story focuses on Zoe who is a security guard on one of the ships before she discovers that the corporation that runs and oversees the fleet is hiding something. She bands together with a small ensemble of fellow crew to discover what they are hiding. They eventually discover that the fleet is heading towards a lie, and that the villain in charge of the fleet secretly wants humanity to end. It is up to them to force control of the fleet in order to find a new home and save humanity.
(Image used with permission from Snowy Akamai)
If you enjoyed this article, stay tuned for more "5 Games" lists, and much more on Game Infinite social media. Tell us in the social's comments which pitch you liked best and what games you want to see get made!