Happy birthday, Final Fantasy! You're 25. Good times. Now listen. We need to talk.
There used to be a day when seeing the name "Final Fantasy" meant we were about to play something fantastic, when your "brand" -- as the kids like to call it these days -- was a sign of something special. Those days are gone. Now you're a mess.
The problems started a while ago -- with that awful Spirits Within movie, really -- but the first major blow to the Final Fantasy clout was FFXIII. Granted, some people loved walking Lightning down the Tube, but many of your fans were disillusioned by the style-over-substance approach. Lots of people weren't happy.
Then there was the FFXIV disaster, the vapourware Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and the endless remakes of the first four Final Fantasy games. (Fun fact: There have been nine -- count'em, nine -- re-releases of Final Fantasy IV. FFVI and FFVII? Two.)
It's like Square Enix is teaching us all a crash course in "How To Make Your Fans Hate You Forever."
Now you're sticking the Final Fantasy name on just about anything. Look at Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade, the ridiculous mobile/social game that launched last week without sound. How do you release a Final Fantasy game without any sound? Nobuo Uematsu must be rolling in his cryogenic sleep chamber.
How the hell did you let this happen, Final Fantasy? Take a good, hard look at yourself. Think about what you've become. What you want to be. You're old enough to rent a car now. Time to get your shit together. Happy birthday.