There's no doubt about it, RPGs have been losing their flavor lately, and it's hard to put a finger on exactly what is causing this worrying trend. What is for sure is that Final Fantasy isn't leading the scene like it used to, and we're all left wondering how a company as renowned as Square Enix could let this happen.
A survey conducted by GameVision Research asked participants to point out what matters most when it comes to enjoying a game like Final Fantasy, and the results were staggering. A full 45% of those asked stated that they prefer "involvement in story" more than anything else. Almost as important was "exploration and discovery", which accrued tally marks from 33% of those polled.
I'm not really surprised by these results, but Square Enix should be. Instead of sticking with what worked in the older titles, the past few releases have had stories and exploration that's comparable to Call of Duty. Sakaguchi wasn't kidding when he said that gameplay is going backwards as the result of a high emphasis on eye candy.
You'd think that a second time around would be the charm, but Final Fantasy XIII-2 proved that a bad story can actually get worse. Okay, so it's not the end of the world, but it's been a painful generation for those of us who enjoyed the classic RPGs and thought that better graphics would be a good thing.