Category Archives: final fantasy

Final Fantasy III

What have I been doing for the last few weeks, you ask? Why, re-playing the DS remake of FF3.

Now, I don’t know how much of it comes from the fact that this is a remake, but it seems that by the time 3 came around, the developers were hitting their stride. A nice, big world full of fun stuff to kill do, actual named characters, and a wildly replayable job system.

Once again, we have the old-school several hour final dungeon where if you die on the last boss, you lose several hours of gameplay. Lame.

From a plot standpoint, we’re looking at the same old “save the four crystals” thing, but it’s early yet. Considering how most games if this era had plots which consisted of simply getting higher numbers, we can’t complain.

Oh, and there’s a Scholar job. Know stuff, and KILL BADDIES WITH BOOKS. I am, perhaps unsurprisingly, a fan.

 

Final Fantasy II

Is this really a Final Fantasy game?

Sure, we’re introduced to such FF staples as Cid, chocobos, and dragoons, but where’s the confusing plot? Where’s the XP system? A very different feel from the first.

And then there’s the trick ending. Last night I spent altogether too much time running the the final double-dungeon only to find that defeating the undead emperor is impossible. I’m doing 200 damage a turn and he’s healing in the thousands with a move that both heals him and one-shots one of my guys.

Over to gamefaqs for some guidance, only to find that a sword which is otherwise completely useless is pretty much the only thing that can kill him. No indication given in-game that you’re supposed to hold on to this thing. Jeepers.

I whomped every baddie on my way to the boss, so grinding wasn’t the problem. So, what were the devs going for here? Keep every weapon, then try them one at a time as you die over and over again without being able to save. Or switch weapons midfight. Is that really the experience they wanted the player to have?

So, yeah, I watched the end on youtube. Screw that nonsense.

This game is grinder’s delight. Any character can learn anything you want — just keep ’em using axes, for example, and they’ll get good at axes. Since I was going for a plot play-through, this forced me to focus my guys on specific skills early on so they could keep doing damage at higher levels. But, if you like a lot of flexibility to customize your guys, you could make some fun combos.

On to III!

Final Fantasy I

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy, I am playing all of the main titles in order.

Yarrrr!

Final Fantasy I. It’s been a while. I picked up the PSX re-release as a PSOne Classic on PSN and ran through it on easy, fully prepared with FAQs and maps.

By all that is holy, did we really figure all of this out as kids? I mean, we must have had a Nintendo Power or something, right?

How do you play this beast?
Ask the locals. Clues as to what precisely you are supposed to be doing next are hard to  come by. You need to talk to every last citizen of these poor monster-sieged towns to glean rumors and half-memories about abandoned caves, desert caravans, and civilizations long dead.

Look around you. On foot? Walk the perimeter. Got a new boat? Sail the perimeter. And so on. This is a game about exploration — forget this new-styled business where you can just hop from point to point along the plot and only need to wander if you want the cool stuff. Oh no. You will see ALL the things.

Fight fight fight. Just like 4e D&D, if you don’t like encounters you better play something else. This game is all about surviving long enough to find what you’re looking for.

Compared to the platformer-heavy early NES library, FFI plays like Grand Theft Auto III. I can go where I want? Just run around exploring and fighting? Radical! This was early open-world gaming, and banked on the concept that we would love the freedom too much to care about the difficulty. They were right, if I remember correctly.

Top Five Final Fantasy Characters… on MSNBC?

Concept art by Yoshitaka Amano.What about me?

Apparently we live in a society in which mainstream news outlets care about Final FantasyMSNBC recently posted a list “the top five greatest” FF characters.  My feelings are mixed.


Pro: Hey!  FF on MSNBC!
Con: Isn’t “top five greatest” redundant?

Pro: Vincent Valentine!
Con: Tidus?  I mean… Tidus?  The crybaby?  Not Auron?  Or Yuna?

Pro: Balthier!
Con: Why aren’t there any characters from before 6?


Pro: Sephiroth!
Con: Sephiroth?  Obvious much?

While I am glad to see a big news site taking an interest, I am disappointed in the choices.  How were these characters selected?  Perhaps something more specific than “top greatest” would have been helpful.  Most memorable?  Coolest? 

The stories of Final Fantasy are certainly complex enough to merit actual literary analysis.  If you’re going to say “greatest”, I want to see a PhD involved.

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Final Fantasy XIII Music — Will You Preorder?

ViviImage by GogDog via Flickr

Now this takes giant balls of manufacted nethicite.  Square Enix sent a polite missive today, declaring that we now have an opportunity to preorder the soundtrack for FFXIII.

Experience the music from the latest chapter in the FINAL FANTASY series in a world filled with unlimited possibilities.

Composed by Masashi Hamauzu, the soundtrack is comprised of 85 tracks on 4 CDs, and includes the Japanese theme song “Kimi Ga Iru Kara” and additional song “Eternal Love”. *English theme song not included song not included

Directly imported from Japan, this is your chance to own the distinct FINAL FANTASY sound that the world has been waiting for.

Seriously?   They want us to buy a the soundtrack for a game we haven’t even played yet?  Their dominance over the minds of the gamer world is hard to question, but this smacks of hubris, even for them.  Have they realized they have become Shinra?

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Gamer Tattoo Tuesday: l’Cie Tattoo

UPDATED 3/29/10 — Somebody got the tattoo.  Check it here.

Any mention of the plot of Final Fantasy XIII sends me into a fit of ear-holding and “lalalalala”-shouting.  Really trying to hold out for the full experience.  But screenshots?  Oh, they’re just fine, of course.  Hence my knowledge of the l’Cie brand.

Like… ow brah. Totally
Found a different version over on the gamefaqs forums.
 
I think it can see you, Ray.
Fantastic.  I can only assume people all over Japan have this symbol tattooed on their forearms already.

The Phoenix Down Plaque

In case of emergency, break glass.

For a gamer, Christmas does not change from youth to adulthood.  Each wrapped package holds a potential game — like Schroedinger’s cat, it both is and is not until opened. 

This season, one of the gifts in my home was a glass ornament containing a single feather.  “How pretty!” the masses exclaimed as they saw it on the tree, but in the deep recesses of my heart I knew better.  This would not be relegated to the attic when the tree came down.  This gift was to be co-opted. 

A single feather protected in glass?  This could only be Phoenix Down, the ubiquitous Final Fantasy item which revives the dead.  A quick stop at Michael’s and a bit of time at the workbench and we’ve got ourselves some new decoration.