Some of my fondest memories growing up were of playing RPGs on whichever console we had at the time. We didn't always have every console and we couldn't afford many video-games so I rented them a lot, but my favorite games were always RPGs, and I considered Square-Enix games to be the best of the best when it came to stories, characters, and gameplay. In fact, Squeenix logo used to be all I'd need to see to want a game since at least early on the company tended to share things like magic systems and common items between the games even without being in the same 'series' and that was nice for me since I tended to play for the story and the characters more than the chance to have a completely new set up of battle screen, inventory, and leveling up every game. I mean, there were always some differences and there was some strategy and challenge to playing, but I always considered the random encounters to be a tedious but necessary evil, not something I wanted to be more challenging so it would take longer to get to the parts of the games I liked. Over the years though, even though the graphics have become absolutely amazing, games have been suffering from too much focus on the things I never really liked, story-lines that are too linear, and not enough focus on characters. Or maybe I've gotten picky. I hadn't realized how much had changed though, until I decided not to get a Squeenix game on sale super cheap after only seven minutes playing the demo and about ten browsing through the forums to see what other people thought about it. And I realize now that it isn't even just Squeenix but JRPGs in general that I've been becoming disenchanted from.
I think that the main issues are that: a) I don't have the patience for turn based or epically long battles anymore, b) most JRPGs feature main characters that are way too young for me to properly identify with anymore -and when you play a game and the first thing you think of is 'where the hell are these kids' parents and why the hell isn't anyone in the game concerned that these pre-teens are running around with dangerous weapons and without adult supervision?' than the characters are too young. c) I've become fond of actually fighting my enemies myself and not have a battle screen or a zillion menus- it's nice to just equip your weapons, set your party to fight the way you want and finish the battle right then and there instead of having to wait your turn and button mash for an hour. Final Fantasy 12 had the best battle system of all of Squeenix's games except maybe Kingdom Hearts (at least the KH games that didn't have those stupid card-game battles) in my opinion. If they'd done that with 13 I might have finished it. d) also JRPGs tend to have terrible voice acting.
Anyway. Nap time since I have to work tomorrow.