An interesting aspect of gaming is its generational quality. There are, at least for now, certain touchstones with which most can identify; key titles from our childhood, when every console had an essential catalog. Few other mediums can offer this, as their libraries are too diffused, their patrons too diverse. Gaming is moving toward this state of maturity as well, but for those of us who were born into the hobby and keep its candle lit today, there are common pillars from which we communicate. Memories of Nintendo properties and of seminal PC games are eminent examples, of course, and while I plan on a Zelda column in the future that will likely bear similarity to this one, what I find most curious at the moment, particularly in the wake of its most recent polarization, is the traditional Japanese RPG, emblemized by by the Final Fantasy series. If you’ll excuse my generalization, I’m inclined to say that virtually everyone agrees that their luster has faded, yet there lacks a clearly defined reason for their deterioration. While many have been asserted, and should be addressed, it remains my opinion that the series owes its decay to the very ground it walks on.