Final Fantasy Versus XIII: Totally Not Cancelled
The bitter stew that is internet rage hit boiling point when Kotaku reported that an anonymous source tipped them off about Versus XIII being shit-canned. The continued absence of the title from several major gaming expos paired with a – so far – six year development span was enough to convince the press and fans alike that the rumor was true.
But who better to squash a vicious, nearly sentient rumor than Square Enix, the game’s publisher and financer? The company’s president, Yoichi Wada, took to Twitter (a veritable spring of information for people that are quick to fire “tl;dr” at anything and everything), and outright confirmed Versus XIII was alive, kicking, and well into production. “Just a minute ago, the regular Versus meeting ended. If you saw the presentation of the city, it’d knock you off your feet,” Tweets Wada, after laughing off the damnable rumor.
Well, this series certainly dodged a bullet. If you’re a casual spectator and are curious, mayhaps even confused, as to why you heard a dull roar the moment this very spin-offy sounding title flashed a red warning light, then I’ll try to be brief: Final Fantasy Versus XIII has smacked of ambition the moment it was announced. Straying away from the more traditional aspects you’d find in this RPG franchise, Versus roots its gameplay in a freer, more realistic style that harkens to Kingdom Hearts to a degree but draws inspiration from other titles like Mass Effect both graphically and in how you interact with the world and its inhabitants.
And unlike its forefathers, Versus looks to put unprecedented control (for an RPG) right in your hands. Battles unfold in real-time and don’t take place in confined spaces – you’ll fight in the streets, on rooftops, anywhere you can get hit. Plus, the whole package – or what we’ve briefly seen of it – is visually astounding, evoking comparisons to Square’s CG films more so than any of games carrying the XIII moniker. It’s a major shift in direction and a bold gamble for a series that has grown especially stale this generation.
Square Enix swears they have something special cooking for September 1st’s Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary presentation. Even if a bare minimum is shown or announced there, new rumors have it that the Tokyo Game Show exhibition taking place at the end of that month may be our first satisfying Versus blowout. Time will tell. I’m simply stoked this project isn’t dead.