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Above: Blacksmithery, I choose you!
Okay, maybe FFXIV needs multiplayer – it is an MMO. Gamers, on the other hand, don’t. Hear us out: Final Fantasy XIII was announced at E3 2006 and is finally being released in the states in 2010. Final Fantasy XIV was announced at E3 ’09 and will be released in… 2010? What the f***?! How could developing an epic massively populated RPG, worthy of the Final Fantasy name, possibly have been 1/4 the task for perfectionists like Square Enix?
Above: Who need summons?!
Let’s look at Final Fantasy XI for a second. Nevermind that plenty of people played it and a monthly subscription gouge accrued enough revenue to technically be deemed a “success,” FFXI was a clunky attempt at a genre just finding its legs, but was sold upon one of the most respected pedigrees in all gaming. Furthermore, most Final Fantasy fans were none too happy that a main entry in the series strayed so far from convention and required additional fees to play.
Dull XP grinds and a lack of PvP were just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to why FF fans have written off the eleventh entry in a series known for epic stories with a definitive beginning, middle, and end. FFXI’s greatest offense is the resources it sucked out of Square Enix, making FFXII as the only traditional Final Fantasy offering during the NINE YEARS in between FFX and FFXIII.
Above: Hey kids, remember Final Fantasy XII? It was a great RPG unceremoniously dumped onto the PS2 within days of the launch of the PlayStation 3
Could you imagine having to wait for Super Mario Galaxy 2 to be released so Nintendo could fix bugs in Mario Party 9? Square will most certainly have to allocate an ongoing and sizable amount of resources to keep FFXIV, so what of the million or so Final Fantasy fans who don’t want to play an MMO and have to hold out for the nebulous FFXV?
We haven’t confirmed that Red Dead Redemption will have multiplayer, but you can bet that Rockstar isn’t going to not use their Social Club. Was that a double negative? Yes it wasn’t not.
Redemption is a massive single-player experience, and a multiplayer mode would only serve to diminish its epicness. Multiplayer modes kill mood… they’re like anthrax for ambiance. Thrilling stories are deconstructed, rebalanced, and smooshed into robotically emotionless competition. Even GTA’s multiplayer, despite being very competent, didn’t really grab us. Oh, and if any degree of realism is maintained, how fun can a multiplayer Western be?
Above: Can this really translate to entertaining multiplayer?
The Western genre is all about lone wolves, dangerous convicts, and shitty old guns that jam all the time and are as accurate as Tom Cruise’s world view. So… what? Stick a bunch of rough-n-tough western characters in a town and let them have an old west style showdown… in which they run around aimlessly, respawn, and spend half their time trying to jump on polygon outcroppings to find glitchy high ground? Sounds brilliant.