I’ve always been a big fan of the Final Fantasy series. You could say that I’m kind of addicted. I own every game in the series, a few toys and have devoted a few hundred hours of my life to playing the games. I name all of my electronic devices after their mythology based summons and love reading the latest rumors and gossip. (I am really excited for the possibility of an HD redo of FFX.) After talking about it and playing various titles over the past two years, my girlfriend asked to play one of the games. Her only real stipulation was that it had to be pretty. Sadly that ruled out my favorite two games in the series (IV and VI), but still left a few great options open. Deciding to skip over the much hyped up Final Fantasy VII, I instead went for one of my personal favorites in the series, Final Fantasy VIII.
The graphics are pretty enough (although I underestimated how crappy my HD TV would make it look), the story is intriguing enough and there are some pretty good love stories in the game. She started playing one day while I was at work, and got pretty far on her own. I gave her some tips and helped her out in a few of the more maze like areas, but this is her game and I am letting her make all the decisions about it. She seems to be really enjoying it. She texts me throughout the day to ask about certain strategies she has devised and to ask for clarification or advice on some of the game mechanics. She is most of the way through the third disc right now, and really she has only had one complaint about the game so far. She wants to know why we can’t play it together.
It isn’t that we aren’t spending time together, I’m right there beside her on the couch while she plays. She wants more than that. She wants me to be able to help her fight the tough bosses, she wants me to help her take on the hordes of enemies and she wants me to help her with the vast customization the game has to offer. Basically she wants an option for the game to be two player. I know she isn’t alone. When I was in New York last year during NYCC I got to chat with Khail Anonymous, Segment Producer and Host at Machinima.com. Khail, who is a fan of the series, had the exact same complaint about the lack of the two player option.
I don’t think this would be terribly difficult thing to do. The feature was available in both Final Fantasy VI and IX. Users could choose to control certain characters, and allow a second player to control other characters. I understand that the main Final Fantasy series is designed to be played by a single player, but why does it have to be? I also know all about the Massive Multiplayer Final Fantasy games out there (XI & XIV), but why count out the more casual gamers?
It just seems kind of sad that Square would leave out such an easy option for players who might want to share their gaming experience. I love the Final Fantasy series, I really do. I just don’t understand why I can’t easily share these games with inexperienced players. Come on Square, make Final Fantasy have a two player option!