I think there's now a lot of us who grew up with the series and are now late 20s or early 30s. We've been here for the ride and have seen the best bits.
We're the ones who saw SE grow, who played all the games, got the T shirt, thought about naming our kids cloud, can still recite some of the lines from ff8 and still wonder why FFX-2 was kinda good in its own way. We spent too many late nights awake in FF11, partying in Dynamis, died many times, and well, just kept at it again and again (and hid our geekery with alot of friends, family and workmates!!).
It's us now though who don't have the time any more, but have been dedicated fans for years. We've got kids, jobs, all sorts of stuff that'll stop us playing if 14 isn't bang on the money. I know a lot of people who feel this way, but back in aplha we were saying '***** it, I'll play 14 because I don't want grow up, need some escapism in my busy life and hey, I'll love it anyway, it's final fantasy. We were also maybe the target audience of the 'casual gamer' refs in all the interviews. Maybe not, but we fit the bill.
Arguments go on, but I felt with FF13, SE lost its way. However at that time I didn't care because 11 was still fun and 14's development was all over the forums. I thought 13, however flawed with its linear style, was just a change in direction to see what the ps3 could do. It was ok, but something wasn't quite right.
I kept thinking they'd learn so much from 11 and 13 that 14 would be amazing. I Genuinely believed all the hype, I bought into the press conferences, I told everyone I could about this great game on the horizon. I did it because I have history here, I have memories, I have something that was kinda mine.
Now 14 is out we can see what's happening, what it's done to SE and done to many loyal fans - things are not good. The reviews are poor, the game hasn't sold well and the forums are rife with Flame. I've been fighting SE's corner but something has hit me this last few days.
The whole way the game was released just 'disappointed' so many of us. I wasn't angry that I'd spent so much doing my PC up, it needed it anyway. I'm not bothered I spent £50 on a game basically still in beta, I wanted the fancy box and the collectors bits. I really don't care that much about the auction house and surplus, they'll probably sort it eventually.
I'm just honestly really sad by how SE hasn't developed things into the future like they should have, they haven't leaped forward. They've almost gone backwards and haven't really learn anything. They haven't listened to us.
To me, a once dedicated and almost obsessive fan of the series, they've screwed it so far they won't get a lot of us back. And before you say 'hey, hang on a sec!!', I know - It's great still for many players. That's cool, really cool. I'm happy some people say they love it, the game needs that.
However, honestly, even for those that play still, it's a let down, admit it. It just is.
Now, think of the innovative games that are coming out soon and the way the on-line world has evolved. Think of Black Ops out this month and its multiplayer options, incredible graphics engine.... its swagger. See what Dragon age did for the Role paying genre last year. Think of little big planet, flower and Heavy Rain on the PS3 in 08 and 09, changing the way we interact with games for good. They were was so 'different'. With MMOS in particular, I hate to admit it but think of cataclysm out soon. It's an old MMO, loads of us hate it, but they really do know how to do things well for their target audience, they get their players.
All these guys are pushing boundaries, bringing new stuff to the table. They are taking the best of the old ways and revamping, polishing and innovating. They are fresh air and we could think of examples all day - most I hasten to ad with better graphics that won't kill your PC.
I think I have just lost faith that SE know what they're doing. I don't think they will regain our trust for a while yet if at all. They lost it about 2 years ago, but we've just been hanging on really, hoping it'd be OK.
I believe that it'd take a huge leap in 2 or 3 BIG patches to sort out the game's problems. If I'm wrong, superb. I'll eat my words, my hat, my arms. Bring it on. I'd love to see things change by xmas, even by March.
It's just not going to happen though, because if SE knew what they were doing there is no way they would have released 14 in October. Can you imagine what that's done - a flagship title, THE best game they have for the next 2-3 years, and they fudged it. Would Bioware, Blizzard or Bethesda have done it? I doubt it.
At least with Gran Turismo 5 polyphony has the balls to stall it and stall again, because if it isn't perfect it can bring the house down. They know that.
I'll leave it at that. I'm gutted, disappointed, and probably won't be playing again until the patches are done. Even then, well....
I've read this forum since it's been up, never posted much. Sorry If you disagree with me, I'm not looking for arguments or to get people down. I just have no-where else to say how I feel. I've grown up and it's not what it used to be.
Over and out