FINAL FANTASY’S ROMANCE VS. ACTION: WHAT DEFINES THE SERIES BETTER?

Final Fantasy is Square Enix’s award-winning series of RPG titles. Starting from 1987 with the simple NES title, the Final Fantasy series has come a long way, spawning movies, cartoons, manga and se...

Final Fantasy is Square Enix’s award-winning series of RPG titles. Starting from 1987 with the simple NES title, the Final Fantasy series has come a long way, spawning movies, cartoons, manga and several spin-off titles. The next year will see several new developments in the franchise with the Heavensward expansion for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for the PS4 and Xbox One and a demo for Final Fantasy XV.

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However, if you’re even the least bit familiar with Final Fantasy, it’s for two reasons – the romance or the action. The romance has been defined by couples such as Tifa and Cloud (Final Fantasy VII) or Squall and Rinoa (Final Fantasy VIII). The action, on the other end, was a major factor for the success of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a CG movie taking place after the initial game that had some of the best fight sequences in cinema history.

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It’s been a topic of debate since then especially given the overt emphasis on action lately. Final Fantasy XV is an excellent example: Not only does it tell the tale of invasion and rebellion in a fantasy world of crystals but also focuses on the relationship between protagonist Noctis and Stella. This is further highlighted by the fact that both characters share a deeply personal relationship but are forced against each other when war breaks out in the world.
However, for games like Final Fantasy VII and X, romance has been the core driving factor of the story. Where would the plot go if Squall hadn’t been trying to save Rinoa? Would there really be such a happy ending to Final Fantasy X’s story if Yuna and Tidus never re-united? Whichever direction one leans in, there’s no denying that action and romance are two of the core elements for Final Fantasy. Will they continue to ensure success for the series? We’ll find out in the coming year.

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