Sunday 20th August 2017,
Project Crystallis
Tetsuya Nomura

The Final Fantasy Versus XIII Fascination

Few franchises can claim to have a more fanaticized fan base than Final Fantasy. Reeling from the disappointing recent iterations of their beloved franchise, Square has sought to produce sequels to two of the most disappointing Final Fantasy games in recent memory: Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIV in the form of Lightning Returns and A Realm Reborn respectively.

All of this casts Versus XIII, by far the eldest of the unreleased projects being revealed in 2006, in a limbo as Square seems keen to keep to their one major Final Fantasy release a year schedule with 2009 being the year of
Final Fantasy XIII, 2010 belonging to Final Fantasy XIV and 2011 owed to Final Fantasy XIII-2. 2012 is void of any major console release of the Final Fantasy franchise as Square scrambles to rebuild the poorly received Final Fantasy XIV and prepare Lightning Returns for a 2013 release.

In the time it has taken Square to not release Versus XIII since its reveal, Square has released Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel, released FFXIV and re-release it. In that time we have seen two Seasons of Game of Thrones, the end of House M.D., nearing the conclusion of Breaking Bad. In that time we have seen the rise and conclusion of the Gears of Wars series, Assassin’s Creed, Resistance, Uncharted, seen a sequel and expansion pack to Starcraft II and Diablo III in addition to four expansions to World of Warcraft. In that time we have seen America elect its first black president twice, observed two Olympics, discovered Epic Meal Time and burned through enough memes to fill half of Encyclopedia Dramatica. For more information about all the things that have happened since Final Fantasy Versus XIII was revealed, click here.

But how, despite over half a decade of virtual silence punctuated by brief and irregular releases of information has Versus XIII managed to maintain such a fascination within the industry and consumers alike. To many, Versus XIII appears as the savior to the Final Fantasy series, one that will reverse the trend of declining sales within the main numerical franchise and return Final Fantasy to its aesthetic roots while pushing the frontier in the evolution of its battle system. To others, it is but a hindrance, one that denies Kingdom Hearts III the light of day due to the commitment of the Kingdom Hearts team to the Versus XIII project. To a sizeable minority, Versus XIII is just going to be another failed Final Fantasy in an ever growing pattern of disappointing Square releases reflecting the failure of the Japanese industry to adjust in the face of globalization against Western RPG makers.

The ravages of time, however, matters little as Versus XIII has inspired a small but noble resistance to its continual bowing to the backdrop of publicity: Project Crystallis. For various reasons, its members have come together pooling sweat treasure and occasionally but very rarely blood in its effort to bring Versus XIII to the forefront of Square’s development agenda and marketing. At the very least, have Square-Enix answer the question: why the hell is it taking so long?

Written By: Amy Millard
Edited By: Swaz

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