That's a legitimate question. The term "role-playing" is becoming more and more difficult to define with every passing day; many will claim Final Fantasy XIII was barely an RPG.
And based on current speculation regarding FFXIII-2, the skeptical believe it will be even more action-oriented and even less like an RPG. This is all the more troubling considering Square-Enix's recent track record, and their unending desire to cater to a wider audience, all the while alienating their hardcore long-term followers. Or perhaps it just feels that way; I'm sure many will argue this point as well. But in the past, I've often said I would always turn to Squaresoft for my RPG fix and they absolutely never let me down; in this generation, few are relying on Square-Enix for role-playing goodness. Most of us merely see blends; i.e., shadows of what used to be.
Now, I'm not predicting a bad game. In fact, I'm predicting a great game because I thought FFXIII was great (just not in a traditional FF RPG sort of way), but I – and many others – question if it will even be categorized as "role-playing." It seems unlikely, doesn't it? And all we're going on is that brief teaser trailer that doesn't really prove anything, and the ongoing S-E trend that cannot go unnoticed. And make no mistake: I'm hardly implying that FFXIII-2 needs to be turn-based in order to be an PRG; turn-based is dead in the console world, and we all know that. And yet, we still have great RPGs from the likes of BioWare and Level-5, so mechanics aren't the issue. The issue is whether or not FFXIII-2 will be closer to action/adventure than RPG…and we really don't know the answer yet.
If it isn't an RPG, maybe that will be the final nail in the coffin. The RPG aficionados will simply turn their backs on Square-Enix once and for all. The purists probably don't see FFXIII as an RPG and if FFXIII-2 heads in that same action-oriented direction, well… I just wonder how S-E views the situation, and what they really plan to do with FFXIII-2.
Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XIII-2