Okay, let's get the jokes out of the way first. Mistwalker's upcoming Wii RPG The Last Story sounds a lot in name like Final Fantasy, which itself was supposed to be Square's last game before the successful alchemy created by Hironobu Sakaguchi swept the company from death's doorstep. Now they're working on the fourteenth iteration of the series.
I guess it wasn't so Final a Fantasy after all! Ha! Ha!
Now that that's over, it's time to look at some interesting news coming out of Mr. Sakaguchi's updates on the Mistwalker site. Andriasang's translation of the latest post goes a little something like this:
This is a title that myself and the development staff are putting 120% of our energy into. [...] I'm fully pouring everything into this one title, and the feeling of it maybe being my last title is strong.
His last title? It's possible that Sakaguchi has a flair for the dramatic, or is trying to evoke the all-or-nothing feeling that made his first big hit. On the other hand, if he's serious, the Japanese gaming world will be the worse for it. Hironobu Sakaguchi's name appears in some of the most beloved RPGs over the past 23 years. To wit: Xenogears, Parasite Eve, Legend of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3 & 4, Kingdom Hearts, Vagrant Story, Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, Lost Odyssey, and, of course, every Final Fantasy through the tenth one.
With a history like this, maybe Sakaguchi can afford to retire while other big names like Miyamoto, Inafune, and Kojima continue their legacies in gaming. As much as gamers may like to keep playing the classic RPGs that this legend keeps producing, he also has as much a right as anyone to live his life happily. If that means The Last Story is the final game by Hironobu Sakaguchi, then we'll just have to look forward to it and hope it gets the recognition it deserves, rather than being a lost odyssey in this vagrant's story. (Ha!)