We shouldn't be surprised about the low quality of the last installment in one of the most popular franchises in the video gaming world.
After Final Fantasy X, all titles released by Square (already joined with Enix) seemed to be worse than the previous titles for PlayStation.
Final Fantasy XII had already lost the "magic" and started which we could call the "decline of Square". XII isn't a bad game though, but we could feel the absence of Nobuo Uematsu in its score, the scenery lacked the charm from previous titles and the characters weren't as original as classic ones like Lulu, Sephirot or Edea.
With Final Fantasy XIII, reviews were even worse. It changed the basic formula of the series radically to an extent that no pre-release talk hinted at and struck out on its own. Its linearity can easily bring us to boredom.
Now we have Final Fantasy XIV. I must admit that the graphics are the best in the series (though not as innovative as FFX's were at its moment), but its awful interface, quest restrictions and problems upon release make it clearly one of the worst installments in the series. Even Square Enix itself has sent at least two apologies to their customers, recognizing the poor quality of the game and asking for patience.
OK, we will wait for the PlayStation 3 version, though I don't expect too much. Now we can say for sure that the four gems of Square are Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy X (the last one being my favorite).
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