Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Introduction

In 1998, Square released Final Fantasy Tactics in North America – a strategy RPG spinoff of their flagship franchise. The game was met with a tepid response at first, but fans eventually warmed up to it. Retrospectives have since gone on to declare it one of the strongest titles in the original PlayStation’s library. A few years later, Square would reach a publishing agreement with their old affiliates at Nintendo. They would use this opportunity to create a sequel to their sleeper hit, intending to develop it for Nintendo’s newest handheld console at the time: the Game Boy Advance. The game that would result from this project was completed in 2003 under the name, “Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.”

Continue reading

The Fall of Squaresoft

The Fall of Squaresoft

Introduction

Squaresoft used to be one of the most prolific gaming companies and a legendary RPG house. Practically all of their works received near-universal acclaim; just seeing them associated with a project was enough to guarantee the sale of millions of units. Unfortunately, it was not to last. Sometime around the mid-2000s, the bottom fell out and, suddenly, the same people who were praising their games found themselves instinctually shirking away whenever they heard the name of Square, eventually turning what was once a respected group of developers into the punchline of every joke lambasting JRPGs. “How could such a lauded company fall so hard?” many veteran video game fans doubtlessly wonder to this day. Personally, I don’t think the answer can be pinpointed to any one thing, and with this essay, I intend to demonstrate the factors that caused their downward spiral.

Continue reading

Bravely Default

Bravely Default - Box

Introduction

Co-developed by Silicon Studio and Square Enix, Bravely Default was originally released in Japan in 2012. The game later received an updated version in 2013 titled For the Sequel, which included several improvements such as an additional two save slots. Though there were initially no plans to localize the game outside of its native country, the second version was eventually released worldwide in late 2013 and early 2014, one region at a time. Bravely Default was created by many of the same people who developed the DS remakes of Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV as well as Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, even featuring a similar art style. Indeed, it was originally conceived as a sequel to 4 Heroes of Light. Even though it eventually became its own IP, many reoccurring elements from the Final Fantasy series appear in Bravely Default, thus making it a spiritual successor.

Continue reading