Double Take is a series where we take recent announcements and occurrences in the gaming industry and offer our immediate thoughts on them.
Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct let loose a number of announcements. One surprise particularly out of left field was the reveal of Cloud Strife coming Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS. Yes: the same Cloud that was in Final Fantasy 7, a game that never hit Nintendo consoles. Now, of course Cloud has appeared in games that did hit Nintendo consoles (like Final Fantasy Tactics), but it was not in a huge role. Final Fantasy 7 was what made the character famous. And that makes me wonder if the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake is headed for the NX.
Let’s rewind a little bit. Square Enix and Nintendo haven’t had the greatest relationship since Square started partnering with Sony during the PS1/N64 years. Even so, it’s not a bad relationship by any means; Dragon Quest X is Wii U console exclusive, Square co-developed some games with Ninty, and their handheld support has frequently been superb — but the biggest Final Fantasies and externally developed games haven’t hit Nintendo’s recent consoles, among others.
Now, a month or two back, Square let slip a comment about potentially bringing the newly announced Dragon Quest XI to the NX, which was followed by a comment about Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn possibly hitting as well. These were certainly not confirmations, but it certainly seems like Square is actively looking into bringing some of their games to the NX. Nintendo is at least trying to court them, and Square certainly does not seem disinterested. And on a totally different note, it is worth mentioning that Final Fantasy VII is not exclusive to Playstation 4, though it will appear on the console “first”.
With all this said, let me ask you a question: why is Cloud Strife in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS? Why would Nintendo choose a character made famous from a game that never hit one of their consoles over a character that was on one of their consoles? Is it simply a random choice, made because Sakurai wanted a cool surprise? Or is it because, with Nintendo and Square Enix working together to bring titles to the NX, the Final Fantasy VII remake is on the way as well? Does Nintendo want to get people familiar with the character, or to tease the idea of Final Fantasy VII heading to their consoles?
Cloud joining Smash doesn’t quite make sense no matter how you look at it, and this is clearly rampant speculation, but with Square’s recent comments, the evidence lines up: the Final Fantasy VII remake could very well hit the NX. At the least, it’s something to think about.