Allow me to preface this lil’ bashing with a quick factoid. I’m a Final Fantasy fanboy. I will bend over backwards to try and enjoy just about any final fantasy based just on the name. I even tried crap phone games like Final Fantasy ATB and Airborne Brigade. I have dropped more time in Final Fantasy games than I would like to admit. I maxed out the clock on Final Fantasy 7 and played for several dozen hours after that, and I would gladly do the same thing all over again if given the chance.
That being said, Square-Enix brought very little to the table for this console generation. I’m talking just xbox360, ps3 and Wii. They had a number of handheld hits. If this was Handheld Heroes/Zeroes they’d be a hero, but unfortunately this isn’t and they’re not. They’ve helped publish and distributed a number of hit games. I’m sure they’ve made money, but as a developer for consoles they’ve kind of stunk lately.
Nier was a flop. Star ocean: the last hope was good, but it didn’t make as much of a splash as I’m sure they wanted it to (If it did I'm sure we'd have "Star Ocean: The Last Hope- 2: Edge's Revenge" by now... complete with in-game transactions to resurrect Aerith's corpse).
Final Fantasy XIII was a shallow pastiche of a game. Much like Final Fantasy: ATB you spent time acting like you were actually playing but the game pretty much played itself. At least with Final Fantasy XII you controlled your character movements on and off the battlefield. XIII just autobattled. XIII was just hollow compared to its predecessors.
I haven’t played XIII-2, but after Final Fantasy X-2 and wasting 10 hours of my life on XIII I felt no need to play it. I’ve heard good things, but nothing so great that’s made me want to go out and pick it up. (creature collection? Really? I’d rather play pokemon.)
Kingdom Hearts: ReCoded was just as fun as the first time I played Kingdom Hearts, but it’s just a polishing of the ps2 game. Very little was added (especially if you played final mix before), and its presence serves as a reminder of the quality that Squaresoft used to produce.
It’s astonishingly clear that Square-Enix has put ridiculous focus on pay to play (Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn) and micro-transactions over making quality games.
That’s not to say that they won’t put out some quality in the future, but you can tell that they care more about making money than making amazing content. They’re a company out to make money, I get it, but as a gamer who fell in love with their games growing up I resent it. I resent the fact that every game of worth they’ve put out lately has been made to milk just a little more money out of their fans. I resent the fact that I can pay to give lightning extra costumes in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
Above all else, I resent the fact that they deliberately messed with their fans by making the Final Fantasy 7 tech demo for PS3 and then never remade the game.