Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Chances are, a lot of you have already forgotten about it. And who can blame you? It's been seven years. It was one of those games that I was personally very excited about, and one of the main reasons why I invested in a PS3.
Development started in November of 2005, and the announcement came on May 2006. It was intended to be a part of a three game trilogy of Final Fantasy XIII called Fabula Novela Crystallis, chronicling three unrelated stories within the backdrop of a single mythos involving gods, goddesses and crystals. This was widely seen as a bold new innovation for the storied franchise. Final Fantasy Versus XIII is groundbreaking in a sense that it was darker and more violent than previous Final Fantasy titles. True to Tetsuya Nomura's style, much of it takes place in a very modern setting---a far cry from Final Fantasy XIII with all its silly Fal'cie, L'Cie business. In Versus XIII, conflict erupts between powerful kingdoms vying for control of a single crystal that had been stolen by force from an isolated nation. The main character was a member of that nation's royal family, caught between these warring factions. Suffering a personality disorder, he must deal with the worldly crisis and fight to get that crystal back, all while suppressing his inner demons and confronting a host of personal issues.
Since then, Square Enix has divulged little to nothing of any progress made in Versus XIII's development. Some screenshots were revealed to assure people that the game was indeed being worked on, but the only factual information we were able to get out of it thus far were just snippets of its storyline, its few characters and gameplay mechanics that have yet to be fully explained. They were featured in a six-minute trailer; the only official trailer for the game at this point in time. Furthermore, Versus XIII was a consistent no-show at E3 and TGS within the seven year period. Outside of Versus XIII's development, Final Fantasy XIII, the first game in the Crystallis trilogy, met an undesirable response (not to mention a ridulous endorsement from Leona Lewis) , prompting Square Enix to complicate the Crystallis framework further by releasing two other spin-offs; XIII-2 and the upcoming Lightning Returns. Final Fantasy XIII was even ported to the XBOX 360 for the first time. The third game of the Crystallis trilogy, Agito XIII, had its name changed to Type-0 and ported to the PSP platform from mobile phone devices, entirely removing the XIII distinction and sequestering it away from the Fabula Novella Crystallis arc.
A lot can happen in seven years. So what has the world been up to during that time? Well.....
>> The entire Mass Effect trilogy was released, including the recently released compilation pack.
>> Skyrim is released with three expansions on the way.
>> Barack Obama is elected president, and serves the entirety of his first term in office.
>> The entire Assassin's Creed series is released, including Assassin's Creed 3. Oh, and don't forget the Ezio trilogy consisting of AC2, Revelations and Brotherhood.
>> The entirety of the PS3 Ratchet and Clank Future arc of games is released---with their Greatest Hits releases following shortly thereafter.
>> Prince William and Kate Middleton get married. And it was recently announced that Kate is expecting her first child.
>> The Wii's life cycle, leading all the way up to the release of its successor---the Wii U.
>> The birth and death of Guitar Hero.
>> Sony and Microsoft jump on the motion control bandwagon by releasing the PS Move and the Kinect---respectively.
>> Four subsequent Final Fantasy titles were released, including Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Final Fantasy XIV.
>> Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 got price drops, with XIII reaching Greatest Hits status and XIII-2 meeting below expectations. You can currently buy them both brand-new for $20 each.
>> George Lucas sells Lucasfilm to Disney, who in turn also bought out Marvel and Pixar. Plans are already underway for three new Star Wars films. Oh, and Rick McCallum departs Lucafilm after two decades with the studio.
>> Taylor Swift has dated 13 different guys.
>> Duke Nukem Forever escapes its own development limbo and finally sees release with help from Gearbox software and 2K Games. The game was poorly received by critics and gamers, and can be picked up from bargain bins for $5.
>> The entire life period of the PS3, including both console revisions.
>> The release of the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS.....AND the 3DS XL.
You're probably wondering if Final Fantasy Versus XIII had been cancelled given the seven years we've not heard about it. Well, not so fast. Square Enix President Yoichi Wada debunked rumors of its cancellation, saying that the game is still on schedule and should see release sometime in 2013. Likewise, Tetsuya Nomura has given updates on occasion through his Twitter feed, urging patience. As if seven years of waiting weren't long enough, no?
My message to Square Enix is this; cut the crap and stop screwing around. They've already let the banner loose and made the announcement, and all they've done up to this point is come up with excuse after excuse. Its repeated absence from E3 and TGS are giving false impressions to people who were anticipating the game to be released. The developers continue to urge for patience, but seven years? Patience is running thin. And with the PS3 edging close ro retirement, time is running out. It would be enormously costly and time-consuming to migrate development to the next console, and the quality will likely suffer. Great games have spent considerable time in the development oven, but I don't know of any that have reached the plateau of seven years or more. That said, it's time for Square Enix to make a decision regarding Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Either kill it off, or make the effort to get it done. So, what do you think? Do you believe Final Fantasy Versus XIII should be cancelled? Or do you hold hope that it will eventually see the light of day?
Don't rule it out, but don't bother crossing your fingers either.
Nice,not to forget bin laden got killed,Syria civil war,... :D JK .let's not forget that some games took too long time and result was disappointing such as Duke Nukem Forever. So longer doesn't mean better always. Maybe they are worried about the sale and money ? In that case release it on X360,WII U,PC,PSP,... as well but just release it. I highly doubt if it's cancelled,even if it's cancelled they can't simply announce it,because FFXIII wasn't good enough,so if they cancel this one too you can only imagine the reaction of fans.let's just hope for one last time that it will be released and let's hope 2013 will be the end of this long wait,but more importantly let's hope it's a great game,better than XIII at least.
@peytonpanzers So many things happened during that time period that I couldn't fit it all in one blog! I would have liked to though ;)
What pisses me off is that i bought XIII(piece of crap) because they decided not to release Versus at the same time as it was supposed to be, so i used the money i had reserved for versus in XIII at launch.
And since then they've released a sequel to that piece of crap and are planing to release another sequel and have yet to release the game that i wanted in the first place Versu XIII.
They've fooled me into buying XIII the first time, didn't fooled me twice with XIII-2(even more piece of crap than the first) but fooled my friend, we are not getting fooled by this new sequel now.
It pisses me off that they are investing they're time in sequels for XIII and not finish the product they've told us about seven freaking years ago, that they claim is not dead. After all this wait they better not cancel that game, after 7 years of wait and they still giving us hope that the game is going to be released, if they crush that hope that has carried on for 7 years it is gonna be VERY difficult to trust them ever again.
@Dreizel It's because SE is a different company, with mostly different staff than ones who made the titles you're probably fondly remembering - all they're doing is sitting on some really valuable IPs without most of the creative talent that got them where they are. It's sort of hard to unravel all of this in the video game industry as opposed to other media because of the sheer number of people involved and the relatively high turnover rate, but if you're looking for classic Squaresoft, rumor is you should start following Monolith Soft (which is made up primarily of former Squaresoft employees).
Well, they can't cancel it, if they cancelled it could you imagine how people would react to that? If they spend too much longer though the impatient ones will get fed up and quit caring for it, but if they rush it and It's bad people will hate it! Problems, so many problems..
My theory: They're not sure about their own game anymore since we've put so much pressure on them since FFXIII. People are like "if versus xiii turns out to be shitty like xiii, that's it I'm done with Square Enix", so of course, being afraid to lose a major part of their original fanbase, they would do everything in their power to make this game meet up to the expectations.
Now, I've read that Lightning Returns (release in 2013?) will use a HUGE CHUNK of the same game mechanics as versus XIII. Supposably it will feature a same kind of battle system and a bunch of other stuff similar to versus. So reading of this and putting the pieces together in my tiny little head, I've come to realise that (again just a theory) they are actually testing versus XIII with lightning returns. They want to know if it'll work, what would the critics make of it and how would the people handle it. And all this ONLY BECAUSE they are under so much pressure, that they want to be sure before releasing it.
Should I be right, we won't be hearing from versus xiii before lighting returns's release, and should so happen that lighting returns is dummed down by critics and fans, we won't yet be hearing of Final Fantasy Versus XIII in a looooooooooooooooong time.
@Quality-Control Seriously? Any idea what specifically they're going to use?
@kohle36 Can't remember it all, but it will take place in a mix of futuristic and natural world with day and night changes like in versus + the combat system will be work by assigning four commands to the controller's face buttons, allowing lighting to execute actions with precise timing while being able to move at the same time like in versus. There was something about customization too but should find that article. Anyway, sounds like a versus prototype to me.
It's gotten to the point where I don't really care whether this game comes out or not. When I first saw footage of it back when it was first announced, I was pretty excited. Nowadays I almost refuse to acknowledge its existence.
I guess that's the price of trying to expand outside of their comfort zone by buying out companies such as Io, Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, and more. You lose a sense of direction because you're basically firing at all cylinders with well-known IPs like Deus Ex and Tomb Raider (and recently, saving Sleeping Dogs from being cancelled altogether). Eventually, even projects like Versus XIII (or even the possibility of a FFVII remake, which I think is a waste of everyone's time anyway) gets put aside. I mean, there's nothing wrong with expanding; I feel Square Enix expanded a little too much, and they're just putting their people all over the place and don't know how to keep everything stable.
And idk, I have mixed feelings as to how Versus XIII is going to turn out (IF it's actually in development as they have stated). I played XIII-2 and wow, what a disappointment that was, so I'm skeptical more than interested because of it. But hey, maybe Versus XIII will actually be worth the wait with fun combat, actually likable characters with little to no melodrama, and an engaging story. Who knows? The only problem is I just don't care anymore.
Suggesting Square Enix to flush out 7 years of progress, time and resources spent is a ridiculous demand, I believe this will be the best Final Fantasy of all time and one of the best if not the greatest game of this generation, I know that this is a bizarre judgement but Tetsuya Nomura has delivered perfection before and i'm sure with 8 years he can do it again then he will finally be able to make progress on the long awaited Kingdom Hearts 3 which would definitely have to come out next gen
KH games were good but we've had enough of silly characters. Put its combat system in Versus along with a good story and everyone will be happy. And i hope SE just forget XIII. It was a bad game, then they made a even worse game to correct things now we will get another. Less than 8 years we got 3 ff XIII and no Versus.
I would be happy just to see Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy was ruined for me when they released Final Fantasy XIII i would go as far to say that i enjoyed Final Fantasy X-2 and was a better game than XIII yeah i said that and what
I agree, for all the badness of X-2 at least it had a good combat system with jobs.
Taking longer to develop than each World War. I wonder if anyone in the gaming press has ever sat down with the people in charge of SquareEnix and asked them "Why? Why Lighning? Why is she SO important that she needs three games to tell her story?"
@catsimboy It's probably because it's the protagonist they've spent the most on to develop and market. Cynical, maybe, but it's typical reasoning for management. Shame too, because she's flat and not particularly interesting or sympathetic (though pretty much anything would have been an improvement over Vaan)
You know a company is pretty much dead when the best they have done in years is a rhythm spin-off game on a portable system.
Ah yes i still remember i was a 360 player back then and got really happy when they announced FF XIII for the x-box
Then some PS3 fanboy came shouting "AH you can have it we are still getting FF versus XIII as exclusive thats the real deal HAHAHAHA"
So i padded him on the back and told him to have fun with it (guess he is still waiting)
I was never a fanboy i own both consoles now because i love RPG games, but this delay is getting insane.
who wants to challange me on waku waku 7 game or king of fighter 2005 unique any one worth it then tell me this is my email and send the link where we fight be a good fighter ok
I believe they are planning on releasing it on the the PS4, possibly even a launch title. That explains the lengthy wait, probably had the game on schedule then decided it would be best to wait for next gen.
@MotRFalcon Taking a game that you've announced and worked on for one platform, and then suddenly canceling that version and releasing it for a newer platform will rarely end well. It would be incredibly stupid for Square Enix to pull a stunt like that. It would be easier to cut their losses and cancel the game outright rather than spend even more resources developing it for a new console. I would hope that a large publisher like Square Enix wouldn't make that kind of mistake.
@MotRFalcon If they did that it would be more work for them converting to a new system. I would be pissed off if they did that because this game and kingdom hearts 3 (If it ever gets made) are the only reasons i bought a ps3.
I got a PS3 for very little games, one was FF13, I loved the free rooming fields.. but that was kind of it as I found the characters just so... 1 shaded and rediculus..not all but most. These systems are too many years(8?) and I would be much happier seeing them on PS4, with improvements on what they were limited to on the ps3... althoe i far more much rather have a PC release(then they could drop everything in the game down to 1/10th so it plays on consoles)
Thats because square has gone from making few but amazingly brilliant games to chugging out mediocre stuff like FFXIII and its sequels assembly line-style. Sad as it is to say, square isnt what it once was, and final fantasy might never again rise to the quality that the earlier games in the series are remembered for.
There is truth in the rant that I am sure most share outwardly or are at least agreeing to this on the inside (e.g. me) but at the end of the day, if we get it, we get it, if we don't, we don't. Just chill and go back to forgetting about it. SqaureEnix will remind us when the time is right. There is obviously a resource problem in the company. I'd rather they kept releasing games albeit slowly, one at a time than all games taking several years to come out.
Whilst I was looking forward to the release of Versus XIII, I'm not holding my breath now. When XIII came out I wasn't crazily disappointed with it like so many others were, it was a great game but just not as great as other installments. With that being said I just can't understand the over hype Versus XIII has garnered in the wake of the mediocre reception of XIII and subsequently XIII-2. One of the biggest gripes I heard and read about XIII (besides being linear) was the battle system being 'dumb', 'simple' and needing a return to turn based combat.The combat shown in what little of Versus XIII that has been shown seems to be the direct opposite of the old battle style these people want. In fact the whole game doesn't look Final Fantasy, it looks like Kingdom Hearts. Whilst I hope this does well if it ever comes out, I feel that people expectations will crush and I believe that Square-Enix is scared of that and wouldn't be surprised if that is a contributing factor it's inactivity. Final Fantasy: Vaporware XIII.
I still can't see why anybody would be looking forward to Versus XIII when XIII on its own was so terrible. I usually tend not to regret purchases at all, but that has been one of the few that has stuck with me. Such potential to fall so flat on its face right from the get-go.
@flammable_zeus versus actually takes place in a different universe seperate from FFXIII, it doesn't matter though if they can't get it out before the ps4 then it is true that squaresoft and anything that was left of it will have died out like the dinosaurs.
@flammable_zeus It's because Versus seemed NOTHING like XIII that we were eager for it.
@flammable_zeus but that's, like, your opinion man.
I definitely agree that they should be making some progress with the game - and give the fans at least some kind of clues from time to time what's going on, and of course, when. I still would like to see the game someday, 'specially after waiting for so long :P I still can't believe they made the fourteenth installment before even finishing up with the thirteenth. -sigh-
Yeah at least when they finish Versus XIII, they can finally start development on Kingdom Hearts III but i doubt we'll ever see that game until 2025.
not to mention that over this time period, several KH games were released, three 007 movies came out, the end and resurrection of Halo, and the fall of MegaMan.
It seems like Square Enix is just spreading itself too thin these days. They've bought up a number of Western development studios to broaden their catalogue, they've may efforts distribute Western games in Japan (I believe they published Black Ops II in Japan), and their working on numerous projects at once. I know gaming is a business, but spreading resources too thin causes all productions to suffer as a result.
Thing is: it seems that this has caused quality to suffer. The XIII games thus far have been met with generally lukewarm reactions. I don't know if the same team is responsible for all the games in this subset of the franchise, but if that is the case...it's time for some new blood. They can't expect a team whose ideas haven't been embraced by the community to sudden strike gold. Blaming the community for "not getting" said ideas isn't helping either.
Worse still: all these XIII games are partially to blame for Versus XIII's delay. They keep pulling staff from a project that has already been long in development, and all we fans see is another game we didn't ask for while nothing of the one we've been waiting for.
My first reaction to the announcement of Lighting Returns?
"Great. Another few years added to the wait for Versus and Kingdom Hearts III. Hope the Playstation 4 isn't as expensive as the PS3 at launch."
@Yomigaeru Well said! You nailed it. In fact, I should have elaborated on many of the things you brought up -- like the dev teams being pulled away and their efforts in making Western games. The FFXIII spinoffs (XIII-2 and Lightning Returns) were all made by the same team pretty much and were likely sequestered away from Versus XIII's development. Those said spin-offs were in response to the dissatisfaction of fans who felt XIII didn't measure up. Same with Realm Reborn FFXIV---the game was completely overhauled because people were not happy with how FFXIV turned out. It caused Hiromichi Tanaka, who's been with Square and Final Fantasy since the very start, to leave. Few people, if any, from the old Square team exist anymore.
Although I am genuinely interested in what Lightning Returns has to offer, I didn't ask for it to be made, yet I hope it will at least tie up a lot of loose ends left behind by XIII-2.
@Asagea_888 I'd also like to see what LR has to offer.
While they're not my favorite games of the franchise, I'm glad I played through XIII and it's sequel. It a bit strange, though. Despite Lightning being the current face of franchise, she's been overshadowed in XIII series by other characters. Arguably, you could say that she wasn't even the main character of XIII (Vanille and Fang seemed to both fill that role, particularly in the later portions of the game).
I should clarify that I've nothing against the XIII games. My "nobody asked for" comment with regard to the sequels refers to the fact that Versus was announced around the same time as XIII, and yet the later gets two sequels before the former even receives a release date. It really struck me as odd when they announced XIII-2.
Personally, I'd just like the franchise to move beyond menu driven combat. Battles just seem more satisfying when I have full, active control over my characters (something Tales of... and Star Ocean seem to do well). Kingdom Hearts is a step in the right direction, but having a menu to scroll through instead of pure button shortcuts feels a bit cumbersome to me.