Re: The Final Fantasy Series Thread
Coincidentally, Balthier and Fran were my two favorites as well.
Another commonality we share is our opinion of SE. I've the same exact mentality as you do. I grew up playing Sqaresoft titles and I'm extremely critical of the products they put out. Each time I pick up a new SE title I do so with conflicting feelings of anticipation and skepticism.
Back to FFXIII, we'll have to wait and see. There's always been a pattern with the franchise, at least beyond the 16-bit era, where the first game on a new platform is always the most ambitious and therefore the most satisfying. FF VII was, arguably, the most satisfying FF experience on the Playstation; X was, undoubtedly, a far more satisfying experience than FF X-2, FF XI and FFXII. Hopefully this whole thing will come full circle and XIII (and all of its iterations) will blow our socks off - of course there's the chance that it could be too ambitious and end up being a huge disappointment, but I'm trying to remain optimistic.