zConnection's Jorge Fernandez writes: "In 2003, Square Enix took a bold step with their acclaimed Final Fantasy series, releasing the first ever direct sequel to one of their numbered titles with Final Fantasy X-2. This move was met with financially positive results (along with years of forum bitching by fanboys), leading Square to adopt a more sequel-friendly policy. Naturally, the next series to follow suit would be their legendary cash cow, Final Fantasy VII. The "Compilation of Final Fantasy VII" soon followed, with a CGI movie, a cellphone RPG, a third person shooter, and an action-RPG prequel. Your opinions may vary on which, if any, of those titles were of merit, but there are plenty of forums and blogs out there on which to voice to your unrelenting rage.
"In any event, the Compilation proved to be a success as well, which meant that Square wasn't going to relinquish their sequels and spin-offs anytime soon. It's still surprising, however, that for their next sequel, they've decided to venture far back into the SNES era, by releasing Final Fantasy IV: The After, an episodic sequel to their classic 1991 series. The original Final Fantasy IV has seen many ports and remakes over the years, including a recent 3D remake for the Nintendo DS, but the core game has remained the same in every version. The After was the first attempt to expand the classic story beyond a mere bonus dungeon and into an all-new adventure for Cecil and friends, introducing new allies and new enemies alike."