Ruining Memories – This Is Not About George Lucas

Earlier this week at Tokyo Game Show, Square-Enix announced that they are going to remake one of their classic Final Fantasy games in full, stunning HD for this current generation of consoles. They want to give one of their classic titles a chance to shine again, but now even brighter, thanks to high definition graphics and today’s even more advanced gaming technologies. This remade title will be Final Fantasy… X.

What? X? As in, “Ten”? What about VII, which is undeniably one of the most beloved JRPGs of all time. I don’t have anything against “Final Fantasy X”. It did prove to be a very popular (and good) entry in the series. It was the first game to jump to the PlayStation 2 and a new generation of consoles. It was also the first to be popular enough to garner it’s own direct sequel, “Final Fantasy X – 2”. Each Final Fantasy game has new characters and new worlds, but X was the first to get a direct sequel with the same characters in the same world, but facing a new challenge.

And history has even shown that “Final Fantasy X” and it’s sequel, “X – 2”, are the end of an era. They were the last traditional JRPGs to have the “Final Fantasy” name. XI, as amazing as it is, is an MMMO, which is a massive online RPG. XII, another very good entry, is a hybrid of classic JRPG elements and the online, mob hunting style of XI. It can almost be called Final Fantasy XI Lite. XIII is… well, I don’t know what XIII is. XIII felt like an experiment, one that will hopefully be refined in XIII-2, due out in a few months. And XIV is another MMO, the next generation of the incredible XI.

I digress. While X might be deserving of a remake, why, when considering a remake, would Square-Enix look any further than “Final Fantasy VII”? Fans of the series have been begging for a remake of VII since the PlayStation 2 came out. And then they begged for it again when the PlayStation 3 came out. As a business, Square-Enix is in this to make money. Call me crazy, but I think they’d make the most money by giving people what they’ve been begging for over the past 10 years. It just blew my mind when I read the announcement and saw X instead of VII.

However, as a big fan of the series, I’m still interested to see what they do with the remake of “Final Fantasy X”. Is it going to be the classic, JRPG formula that made the series a global hit, but with shiny new graphics and sound? Or are they going to take this opportunity to change the battle system to something newer, like we saw with XII and XIII, or one that is completely different, unlike anything we’ve seen before?

Now that I think about it, maybe having a remake of “Final Fantasy X” right now isn’t such a bad idea. Not only does it give Square-Enix an idea of how fans are going to react to the changes in a remake before attempting to do it to their golden cow, but it gives us as fans an idea of what to expect out of a “Final Fantasy” remake. It could help to set our expectations before picking up a “Final Fantasy VII” remake, being disappointed, and then going online to blast Square-Enix for ruining a treasured gaming memory.

Oh, who am I kidding? Even if the eventual “Final Fantasy VII” remake is perfect, people will go online and rip on it and Square-Enix. That’s the culture we live in today. And that’s an entirely different blog entry for a later time.

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