Is Agito What Final Fantasy Fans Want?

Final Fantasy Type-0 is getting a follow-up... of sorts. For mobile.

News by Pete Davison, .

I honestly don't really know what to think about Square Enix any more.

The Final Fantasy company was once one of my favorite publishers -- one that I knew I could count on to provide me not only with new installments in one of my favorite game series, but also to publish a variety of other interesting titles from both East and West.

In recent years, though -- presumably at least partly due to the company's recent appalling financial results and unrealistic expectations -- the Square Enix we knew has ceased to be, to be replaced with a company that appears to be flailing wildly, trying everything possible in an attempt to make money and never quite getting it right.

This is Ace from Type-0, who will apparently be returning in Agito.

The Final Fantasy series has borne the brunt of Square Enix's aggressive attempts to claw back its losses. Not only have the early games in the series been rereleased on pretty much every platform you'd care to mention, but the company has taken some significant risks with the Final Fantasy brand as a whole. Some of these -- like the recent Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn -- look set to pay off; others -- like the original incarnation of Final Fantasy XIV -- have been unmitigated disasters for the company, albeit ones most people seemed happy to forget about. Others still -- such as the unspeakably dreadful mobile game Final Fantasy: All the Bravest, possibly the worst game I have ever played -- have actively damaged both the series' reputation and that of Square Enix as a whole. While I fundamentally disagree with the assertion that "Final Fantasy is dead" it's honestly not altogether surprising that some people are sounding the franchise's death knell given the number of recent missteps.

2011's Final Fantasy Type-0 for PSP was seen as a recent high point for the series, especially when compared to the mixed reviews that the console-based Final Fantasy XIII (which shares Type-0's "Fabula Nova Crystallis" mythology) had garnered a year earlier. Much to the frustration of many English-speaking JRPG fans, however, Type-0 is still yet to receive an official localization, and there doesn't seem to be any information forthcoming on the subject, either.

There is some other Type-0-related news, however: the game is getting a follow-up. Dubbed Final Fantasy Agito -- a reference to Type-0's original title Final Fantasy Agito XIII -- the new game will feature a new character voiced by Haruka Tomatsu (Asuna in Sword Art Online, for anime fans), a customizable Class Zero cadet for the player to control, allies who will support the player according to their relationship values, and an interesting decision-making system that has the potential to see the story unfold in a variety of different directions.

Neat, right? Potentially. Here's the catch: it's a free-to-play mobile title. Exactly how it will play isn't altogether clear as yet, but it appears that the production values are at least somewhat higher than your typical free-to-play Japanese mobile game, with visuals certainly on a par with if not superior to the PSP game.

The game's story will seemingly unfold in real-time, with each chapter consisting of two weeks of communal playtime. 10 of these 14 days will be spent playing solo, taking on missions as individual characters, while the remaining 4 will involve team-based play alongside other players -- including the option to play asynchronously -- in an attempt to take down bosses. At the end of a chapter, the story will advance down a different path according to decisions made both by individual players and as a result of community votes. Once the story is over, it will start over from the beginning, allowing players to explore alternate story routes.

In the absence of decent-quality shots of Agito, this is what Type-0 looks like.

I have extremely mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the idea of the real-time story unfolding as a result of all players' actions is very interesting -- and something that MMOs have been keen to implement for a very long time but never quite succeeded. On the other hand, my feelings about excessive use of free-to-play mechanics in mobile games are well-documented, and it sounds as if Agito will incorporate one of those immensely irritating energy systems to throttle play along with premium items.

Of course, given that Type-0 still hasn't made it over to Western shores, there's no guarantee we'll see this, either, so all this might be a moot point. For those of you who do speak Japanese, however, Agito is set for release on iOS and Android this winter.

Are you up for this? Would you rather Square Enix concentrated on getting the mainline series back on track? Or did you leave Final Fantasy behind a while ago?

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Comments 8

  • Avatar for touchofkiel #1 touchofkiel 4 years ago
    Since I've lost much interest in console games in general (not just my former favorite, Square), I just have my fingers crossed that FFX will do well enough on Vita that they'll give the same treatment to FFXII (Zodiac Edition?!).

    I don't think FF as a series is dead, but I have much less faith in the company as a whole. It's not the main series that's the problem - it's the spinoffs, etc. Kingdom Hearts has chugged with mixed portable games, FF Tactics is all but dead (along with Ivalice games in general), there are less of those fun little Chocobo games... even the mixed Crystal Chronicles series is MIA. Less spinoffs means more scrutiny of the main games.

    Their handling of Eidos games is all wrong, they've barely put any support into the Vita, and (at least for the U.S.) their 3DS support can't match their old DS support. Their mobile support is pathetic and desperate, and to boot, doesn't show any understanding of the market at all.

    I was one of the few who defended the company when it became cool to hate them - after all, as a (mostly) portable gamer, they've put out plenty of great games while everyone else was moaning about FFXIII. But they seem to have given that up, too.
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  • Avatar for limbeckd #2 limbeckd 4 years ago
    I'd like to see a real FF game that doesn't take itself too seriously--FFIX style. I didn't play XIII because it sounded lame. I enjoyed the mechanics in XII, but the story was a melodramatic snoozefest (I never finished it). I didn't enjoy the mechanics in X, and the story was a melodramatic snoozefest (I don't think I ever finished it). The older stuff ranges from love (IV, VI, IX) to like quite a bit (VII) to like-a-bit-I-guess (VIII).

    The Persona games succeed in making very serious stories interesting. The Tales games succeed in lightening things up a bit. The recent FF games I've played succeed in blowing a lot of money on cinematics I don't want to watch, and having annoying characters I don't want to spend 20+ hours listening to.
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #3 SargeSmash 4 years ago
    FFXIII was great for what it was: a corridor RPG/RTS hybrid. I loved the battle system and the production values, and I particularly enjoyed the characterization, even if the overall story wasn't that strong.

    I think what Square Enix is going to need to do in the future is spin off some smaller titles that have the possibility of achieving some larger measure of success. Almost Atlus-style, to be honest. SquareSoft's PSX output was really strong, with a lot of games outside of Final Fantasy that were well worth playing.

    The other thing they need to do is back off the spectacle a bit. I know that production values became "the thing" with the release of Final Fantasy VII (and to a lesser extent, VI), but it's clearly hurting the overall product at this point.

    Who knows, though? They may figure it out yet. They're not the Square of old, but maybe they can be again.
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  • Avatar for GaijinD #4 GaijinD 4 years ago
    Honestly, what I really want is Type-0 in English. I've played both Japanese demos and it seems pretty fun, but I'm really not up to paying import prices to slog through an RPG in a language I don't understand. Also, this is all I can think of when I hear "Agito":

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  • Avatar for Shadowfire #5 Shadowfire 4 years ago
    "Is Agito What Final Fantasy Fans Want?"
    "Final Fantasy Type-0 is getting a follow-up... of sorts. For mobile."
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #6 MHWilliams 4 years ago
    @GaijinD I am right there with you. Ready to go, Count Zero!
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  • Avatar for Bla1ne #7 Bla1ne 4 years ago
    I'm pretty fed up with Squeenix on the whole. Crisis Core was never released digitally, so I could never play it (PSP Go owner); Type-0 looked really interesting, it's never been localized; been waiting for VERSUS XIII for a damn long time, and apparently we've all just been waiting for them to decide to make it multiplat and next-gen instead (and didn't Sony apparently lend a hand in development? Way to slap them in the face, Squeenix). Seriously, their antics have made me loathe them, and that doesn't help my impression of their lackluster games one bit...

    I'm actually surprised I've been positive about FFXIV: A Real Reborn's success--for a while, I thought I was kind of hoping it would fail miserably. I guess deep down I'm hoping for Squeenix to return to form (not sure there ever was a Squeenix form, though... just Square). But until they start treating their fans better (WESTERN FANS especially--remember you USED TO HAVE a lot of those, Square) and their games return to form, it'll take a lot for them to win me back.

    Strange how Capcom and Square used to be among my favorite developers/ publishers during generations past, and in the course of this single generation they've plummeted to my most loathed.
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