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Missing the Magic

Sam Marchello

I use to be a very loyal Square fan. After playing Chrono Trigger, I found myself attempting to nab any and every RPG I could find at my local video store. Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy II and III - these games became a staple of my childhood. As Square merged to become Square Enix, I was still a continuous supporter of its games, but I found myself bored of Square-developed titles, and tri-Ace essentially is what continued to keep me buying Square Enix products. In the last few years, however, I have found myself becoming less impressed with the titles being developed and published by Square Enix. Although I had one positive experience last year with The World Ends With You, it still left me hungry for something greater.

I can freely state that the number of Square Enix titles I've bought in the last three years has significantly dropped. For me, it feels as though the magic that once use to be in a Square Enix title has somehow become lost in the fray. Although Square Enix continues to develop and publish some of the most gorgeous looking games to date, there is something about prettiness that comes across as lackluster to me. I've never been one for prettiness, but uniqueness is something I hold in the highest regard when playing a video game, especially in RPGs.

I feel as though Square Enix is missing something now in its newer games. Even though it has some great franchises it publishes such as Star Ocean, Dragon Quest and Valkyrie Profile, people are craving new and different titles. I'm not saying Square Enix should take a lesson from Atlus or NIS America in spoiling its fans, but I feel that it might be time to go back to its roots and somehow figure out how to regain the charm it once had.

It use to be that when you picked up a Square title, you were guaranteed something decent, above average, or amazing. Yet now it seems as though the reigning champions of the RPG genre is slowly slipping. Last year, Square Enix took a risk, and while The World Ends With You was praised for its innovation and overall style, Infinite Undiscovery and The Last Remnant were unable to generate the income that Square Enix had been hoping for. The money it did make came from the various ports and remakes that came out. A company known for making some of the best games in the world should not be relying entirely on them for its income. By pumping out so many remakes it makes me question if Square Enix is hiding something.

I suppose I'm nostalgic for the Square I used to know and loved, but I recognize that for me, the good times are gone. I only hope that, one day, Square Enix will regain the magic and charm that it once had to make me a loyal customer again.

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