Final Fantasy - First of Its Name

Final Fantasy - First of Its Name

Released in North America in 1990, Final Fantasy introduced many console gamers to RPGs for the first time. With 25 years between now and then however, is it still a quest worth taking?

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StewShearer:
Turn-based combat. Random encounters. Level grinding. If any of those sound unappealing to you, you might want to leave this one alone because Final Fantasy has these in abundance. If you're like me however, and actually enjoy these things, then Final Fantasy might be worth your while.

You know it's funny, I used to enjoy turn-based combat, random encounters, and level grinding just fine, but these days I find all of that extremely dull. Maybe I got spoiled after playing the Tales games and other Action RPGs and thus lost the patience for all the tedium, maybe not, but the tedium of all the classic turned-based RPGs means that a turned-based RPG has to have one hell of a good story to keep me hooked now.

Having said that, I did play one of the remakes of FF1 for the first and only time a couple years ago and it somehow manages to hold up despite it's age. I'm not sure if it's the retro charm, a sprinkling of nostalgia, or whatever, but it still works even now.

When I was younger, I still couldn't get past the marsh cave or Astos even when I game-genied all the gold and bought 99 of all items and every spell and weapon. It didn't help that I didn't understand the spell or weapon systems but I was an RPG virgin. I played it a couple more times when nostalgia would strike and actually beat it a few years ago. Still a fun game. I was blown away when your characters "grow up" and get new sprites and everything.

I just never could get through the glitchy mess that was the first Final Fantasy. I think my cartridge was busted too, as after I'd get the second orb I'd hit the glitch singularity and it would wipe my save. Damn you FF1.

Actually the guide from Nintendo Power is what got me into FF1. I didn't intend to buy the game initially but my love for reading and the construction of the stats and such just called to me, the same way that Dragon Warrior (Quest) called to me... I ended the fuck out of both of those games, power leveling my characters in FF1, the mighty all Red Mage evolved into Red Wizards (yes 4 of them... and I ended the game with them all). At 9 years old I knew no better but thought the mighty Red Wizard was the coolest... so I picked a party of Red Mages and sought out to make them stronger and better. And failed many times along the way, and yay it was good.
I defeated Chaos, though it was hell.
I have since never once put that game in again. But I did finish it.
Dragon Warrior on the other hand hath been defeated mightily many a time, for the evil Dragon Lord must be slain multiple times for his crimes. His evil must withstand. And of course thou must love the princess, and to win her love defeat the evil Dragon Lord.

"You walk around and kill stuff with swords,""It's kind of like Zelda."

They should have that as a quote on the box of the next FF game

It's not all that grindy. Aside from the build-up to take on the Marsh Cave, anyhow. That part's extremely grindy. Garland can be walked up to and punched out with nary a level gained.

There's also the option of taking things out of order (like Zelda!) once the Canoe opens things up. After Lich has been taken down, the other three fiends (as well as class-changing) can be tackled in any order.

I didn't play the original Final Fantasy until about a few years ago. I made it to The Ice Cave before giving it up but with the GBA update, I don't think I'll have as much trouble. The MP system is much kinder than I gave it credit for...

Anyway, I may have come into the game late but I also came into another NES classic late as well: Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior since I'm an American). I beat that one first and it was basically just a 20 - 35 hour gind-fest to save the Princess and kill the Dragon Lord. What I loved about Final Fantasy though was that you can save the Princess and kill off The Dark Lord Garland as your first quest; a feat that can be completed in under an hour. I thought that was a really awesome introduction to the game! It seemed to say, 'yeah, the Princess is kidnapped but there are bigger issues that you need to deal with!'

After FF3 (6) the first final fantasy is the one I have played the most, and was my second favorite of them all (at the time it was released).

I played, back in the day when it was released, the game all the way through with every combination of characters possible, even 4 white mages. I also re-played it a few times over the years and on different platforms. The only reason FF6 actually beats 1 is because I used to replay FF3(6) every year for about 15 years straight (it was one of my summer games along with the might and magic series that I would play during the summer game drought).

I was never a big fan of FF2 for some reason (I've played it through maybe 3 times all together. FF 4 and 5 where not available back in in the US...and ff3(6) was my third FF game. I loved it and played it to death. FF7 was massively popular and got a much larger crowd, but I didn't like it nearly as much as 3...and I have never actually completed it after the first time (I did get everything in the game done the first time, but I always get side tracked before finishing ff7 again). I finished 8 and 9 only once each, and 10 I think twice total. I still have not ever finished any of the final fantasy games after 10...or even started the last 2 released (Even though I own them).

For all that, the early games where amazing. I'll always rank FF1 up there as one of my all time favorite games.

I think the problem with many 'grind-fest' like these is that I just don't have the TIME for them.

I mean, why play a game that takes 60 hours for GRINDING needlessly when I could play a game where there's only 20 or so hours?

BUT...I still get a solid experience?

I've always liked Phantasy Star much more than Final Fantasy, partly because of the science fiction setting, but also the combat is more enjoyable. Instead of repeatedly mashing the A button, you select each party member to either use a technique, attack, or block. You can also select an enemy, and if there are many of the same enemy, your characters will attack through all of them. You make all these decisions, press C, and watch as it works out.

Hutzpah Chicken:
I've always liked Phantasy Star much more than Final Fantasy, partly because of the science fiction setting, but also the combat is more enjoyable. Instead of repeatedly mashing the A button, you select each party member to either use a technique, attack, or block. You can also select an enemy, and if there are many of the same enemy, your characters will attack through all of them. You make all these decisions, press C, and watch as it works out.

Which Phantasy Star are you talking about? I don't remember blocking showing up until PS2.

But yeah, I think the very first Phantasy Star was the first game I ever saw. Not that I realized it until around 15 years later when I picked up the PS Collection for the GBA, which sadly didn't include PS4, undoubtedly the best in the series. But seeing the start screen with Alis Landale? Yeah, that brought back a flood of memories, Ratatouille style.

As for Final Fantasy? I've owned 7, 10, and X-2. Never beat any of them, and don't ever plan to.

I played the original Dragon Warrior and Phantasy Star games back in the day, though I was too young to get very far and/or too many brothers to share the console with to really devote much time, but didn't get into FF until the SNES. Playing FFI on PSP a few years ago I felt it held up will, just had that classic simplicity and openness that appealed to my nostalgia, and I was spending a few weeks working on a ranch at the time so it was nice to relax and play in the evening.

For those who want some plot to go with their Final Fantasy, I would suggest checking out 8-Bit Theater. It's an early (2001) webcomic by Brian Clevinger before he went on to fame with Atomic Robo.

I played the NES, PS1, GBA and PSP versions of this game and I think that the PSP version is the best. It has the most detailed sprites, the soundtrack remix is awesome, and the new areas are very challenging. The NES version is a very flawed gem.

I didn't like that the stats were randomised when you leveled up.

I hate that about all RPG games, random level-up stats.

It serves no purpose other than to grief the player with RNG crap.

Nooners:

Hutzpah Chicken:
I've always liked Phantasy Star much more than Final Fantasy, partly because of the science fiction setting, but also the combat is more enjoyable. Instead of repeatedly mashing the A button, you select each party member to either use a technique, attack, or block. You can also select an enemy, and if there are many of the same enemy, your characters will attack through all of them. You make all these decisions, press C, and watch as it works out.

Which Phantasy Star are you talking about? I don't remember blocking showing up until PS2.

But yeah, I think the very first Phantasy Star was the first game I ever saw. Not that I realized it until around 15 years later when I picked up the PS Collection for the GBA, which sadly didn't include PS4, undoubtedly the best in the series. But seeing the start screen with Alis Landale? Yeah, that brought back a flood of memories, Ratatouille style.

As for Final Fantasy? I've owned 7, 10, and X-2. Never beat any of them, and don't ever plan to.

Call me out if I'm wrong, but doesn't Final Fantasy 10 feel like a rip-off of Phantasy Star IV?

To answer your question, I'm mostly referring to PS2, as that's the one I played first.

 

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