@MFTWrecks XVI just looks weird. I can’t even tell if it’s an RPG at all. We haven’t seen enough to decide, but it looks like a linear action adventure with DMC combat instead of an actual RPG. We’ll see. But from the little we have seen XVI looks more like a spinoff than anything related to mainline FF, new number or not. People seem hyped. I remember being hyped for 13….I know to temper expectations
Like Robert said, from FF1-FF13, gameplay was traditional turn-based (or a sort of real-time/turn-based hybrid.) 13 was strange, different, not quite traditional but still generally turn-based. Then they went through a period of throwing everything at the wall with spinoffs, including the recent Stranger of Paradise that’s basically DMC/Ninja Gaiden branded as FF (from the Ninja Gaiden team.)
14 is the MMO everyone talks about as the best FF of all time, and I just can’t get into it even though I wish I could.
15 was truly strange. They tried to turn it into an action RPG, it’s not turn-based, it’s open-world, it’s slightly button mashy. I’m not sure what it is. The open world and questing makes it an RPG technically, but it always feels incomplete. Cool in a lot of ways, experimental, but also hollow, and combat always feels just short of engaging to me, and overly chaotic.
7R is kind of action, but it’s action that borrows heavily from the ATB system of old moved into real-time instead of menus. This to me should be the series standard. It’s a way of modernizing things into an ARPG without losing its roots and just becoming a generic action game. Unfortunately, this is Square-Enix, so they re-invent the wheel assuming round must not be the ideal shape.
16 now looks like…I can’t even tell, but it looks like a full on combat action game in the DMC/Bayonetta vein. Seems really wrong for a mainline FF game. Seems like a spinoff or new IP instead of a series-numbered RPG. Maybe the trailers are misleading and we’ll see a deeper look into it’s RPG aspects.
If you’re interested in a new combat action series with what looks like a very Western, serious story, and want to treat it as a new-to-you IP, it looks like it’ll be a solid game. If you’re interested in what FF is all about historically, 7R is probably a better jumping in point if you want a modern game that doesn’t play like a retro game. The classics are always classic, though.
Personally, I don’t think FF needs to stay like PS1 turn based games forever, but I’m also not sure a series should discard it’s entire genre for the trend, either. It would be like Uncharted 5 just being a battle royale just because.