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Final Fantasy Versus XIII: Dead or Not?

Recently, when Kotaku reported on rumors that Square Enix’s Final Fantasy Versus XIII had been quietly killed off, it was easy to believe that it had actually happened. After all, the game had been first announced in 2006, and since then, info on the game had been released at few and far between intervals.

Rumors swirled that the game would eventually make an appearance in another form. Kotaku’s source said that the resources for the game had been moved to another game, perhaps Final Fantasy XV. Kotaku claimed that the game was reportedly cancelled a few weeks ago, and Square Enix decided not to officially announce it.

However, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada quickly put that rumor to rest, saying over Twitter that the game is not cancelled, and commenting on the high quality of the game’s cityscape, according to a translation of the tweet.

So just what is taking so long with the game’s development? It’s hard to say.

In September, the game had reportedly begun full production. Designer Tetsuya Nomura told Famitsu magazine back in March, “We’re almost done with preparing the latest info for the game … Because of a totally unrelated reason, there are circumstances in which that info cannot be released.”

Yet, E3 2012 past without so much as an acknowledgement of the game, leading many to believe that the game was finally killed off.

From what is known about the game, the combat system will be party-based and in real-time, with each party consisting of three members. It has been hinted at that players will be able to freely traverse the world by airship.

Similar to Final Fantasy XII, the game will feature wide open areas for the player to explore. While it will be set in the Final Fantasy XIII universe, it is neither a prequel or sequel to that series.

The game focuses on Noctis Lucis Caelum, the last heir to a nation. The setting, described in the trailer as “fantasy based on reality,” appears to be a modern city, and similar to the real world. Square has described the game as possibly being the darkest Final Fantasy yet.

With so much already put into this game, it would seem that it should be set for a major reveal any day now.

Square Enix will hold a 25th anniversary Final Fantasy event in Tokyo on Sept. 1. A presentation entitled, “Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Saga: New Developments Presentation” will be shown.  The Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 production team, which includes director Motomu Toriyama, producer Yoshinori Kitase, and art directors Isamu Kamikokuryo and Tetsuya Nomura, will be in attendance.

While this hints at a potential Final Fantasy XIII-3, there could still be hope for a Versus XIII reveal, or at least an update on the game’s development. The game is set in the same universe, and since the focus of the event will be on the future of the XIII franchise, we can only hope that some news, even if it is one sentence, is revealed about Versus XII.

But will this wait be worth it? After six long years, the hype has built up so much that fans are setting themselves up for disappointment. No, I’m not going to mention Duke Nukem Forever … although I guess I just did.

The modern-day setting intrigues me, with normal-looking cars, skyscrapers and a dark, almost film-noir like look to the game. After years of light-heartedness in Final Fantasy games, Versus XIII seems to move away from this, if the trailers are any indications.

But with Square Enix’s recent obsession with sequels (Final Fantasy XIII-3 is inevitable), perhaps it’s better if they move on from the world of XIII and try something different (Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t exist in my book). Would the Versus XIII concept be better scrapped and turned into a full-fledged Final Fantasy XV?

If Versus XIII isn’t mentioned at the upcoming Final Fantasy event in Tokyo, the “vaporware” term is going to rear its ugly head again. At this point, Final Fantasy XV will be released before Versus XIII will. While I have high expectations for the game, I realize that, after so long, it just won’t be worth it anymore, and it will be time to look at the next big thing.

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