Thursday, 27 July 2017 05:18

Final Fantasy Tribute

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     I am a fan of many things, from Bionicle to Pokémon; from RWBY to Harry Potter; from Lord of the Rings to Star Wars; and many other insanely awesome things. Even though it took a while for me to finally get into, Final Fantasy is one of those things that I love.

     Final Fantasy is a Digital Japanese Role-Playing Game Franchise. The first installment was released in 1987. At the time, it was a last ditch effort from game designer, Hironobu Sakaguchi, in the gaming Industry. Should the game have been a failure he would have returned to university, Final Fantasy was not a failure. It was more successful than he thought possible. Because of this, the second installment was immediately put into development. Unlike other series, each Final Fantasy installment features a new cast of characters, a new setting, and a revised battle-system. Each installment maintains thematic aspects from the previous installments such as the use of Crystal in nearly every installment.

     I love playing the games and talking about them with others who enjoy them. Even after mediocre games, Final Fantasy still has a way of endearing itself to me. Even when the stories are ridiculous, I still fawn all over each new installment. Even when parts of the game are forgettable, I still enjoy it. There is some part of each title that calls to me. I shall briefly explain my connection to each of the titles I have played, and why I feel drawn to the ones I have not.

 

Final Fantasy

     I had only played the first installment of this much beloved series after trying out some of the other entries of the series. My reaction to Final Fantasy is that I see how it became so successful at the time, and I can see how far the series has come by this point.

Collection of PS1 Final Fantasy

 

Final Fantasy III

     Final Fantasy III can sometimes be confused. At first North America did not receive Final Fantasy II, III, or V. When Final Fantasy VI came out on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), the North American release was subject to a name change to Final Fantasy III. This has been sorted out by now, and Final Fantasy III (not VI) was actually first released in North America on the Nintendo DS. It is a great game and very enjoyable to play and witness the story as it unfolds.

 

Final Fantasy V

    Final Fantasy V did not make it the United States until the PlayStation One era. The game’s story is mostly forgettable; although, the gameplay makes grinding at least a little bit more enjoyable and collecting items in this game is always fun.  Out of the Entries that I have played, I have enjoyed this one the least.

 

Final Fantasy VI

     I actually have not played much of this installment. I enjoy how emotional the story feels. Without giving everything away, there is a plot point of the game that has a Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back sort of Vibe. It is heartbreaking; yet, an enjoyable experience that leaves one with a desire for more.

 

Final Fantasy VII

     I had not played Final Fantasy VII until I was already grown, but I enjoyed it immensely. I acknowledge the praise and criticism for this title. However, I feel as though Final Fantasy VII has had perhaps the greatest impact of series to date. That being said, the mechanics and graphics that were praised at the time feel greatly dated and are far surpassed by the other Final Fantasy Titles released later on in the PlayStation One’s lifecycle.

 

Final Fantasy VIII

     Truth be told, I have not played much of this one, but what I have played of it makes it stand out as a great experience and one worth revisiting should I get the urge. The opening sequence remains among the best ever put into a game and one of the most intense pieces of music ever made.

 

Collection of PS2 Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy IX

     Final Fantasy IX is my personal favorite title, though not the one I have spent the most time on. By this stage, Square had mastered their technique of production on the PlayStation console, and it shows. The game is gorgeous, and the FMV though dated still looks amazing and holds up to later entries in the series. I love the multi-faceted story in this title, switching between multiple sets of characters is incredibly enjoyable and shows a mastery in storytelling that can sometimes be absent from games. The comedic and tragic are both present within the framing of Final Fantasy IX. While we wait for the next big Final Fantasy title, I am waiting for my Final Fantasy IX remaster or remake or port or what have you. To put it simply, this is Final Fantasy game that everyone should play.

 

Final Fantasy X

     Don’t get me wrong, Final Fantasy X is a good game, and many people truly enjoy it. I find the summoning in this entry of the series to be the most prominent. Even with the HD Remaster on the PlayStation 4, the game’s visuals are just not that great. Many of the cut scenes in the game are gorgeous, and showcase the work of Square well. Some of the cut scenes feel dated and are plagued with clichés and tropes now worn thin. This is not my favorite entry, but not my least favorite either. The super sweet love story is nice though.

 

Final Fantasy XIII

     Final Fantasy XIII is despised by many fans of the series. I see where they are coming from, I really do. The game does take a departure from the rest of the series; replacing the turn-based combat with action based combat with characters that are semi-relatable at best and offensive at worst. I have heard the full gambit of responses towards this game. I like it. It is a rather enjoyable game. The story takes center-stage and does not let you forget it. I find the characters to be inspired by other Final Fantasy characters from previous titles. The majority of the characters seem oddly similar to Characters from Final Fantasy VII, one of the most beloved titles in the series. Lightning the Main Character of the games seems like a female version of fan favorite Cloud.

 

Final Fantasy XIII-2

     Ah, Final Fantasy XIII-2, my first Final Fantasy game ever! This was the game that got me hooked on the whole series. I highly enjoyed my first play through. I had such fun with the fast-paced battling, and the lore was so rich to me at the time. Many argue that this game is one of the worst titles of the Final Fantasy series. I disagree. If it caught a first-timer in its grasp and kept them to experience other games in the same series, it is a worthy entry.  While I do not play this entry a whole lot at the moment, it still holds a fond place in my heart.

 

Collection of PS3 Final Fantasy

 

Final Fantasy XIV (A Realm Reborn)

     One of the two Final Fantasy games I experienced recently. It is a solid MMO, let alone a solid Final Fantasy title. Lots of fun to play with friends and tackle dungeons together; otherwise, one would be better off trying some of the other Final Fantasy titles.

 

Final Fantasy XV

     This is one that I have really mixed feelings about. Final Fantasy XV took the series into the Open-World realm of gaming. I wish that Square had not done that. The story told in Final Fantasy XV suffers from not being urgent enough to cause one to sacrifice side questing and exploring. I enjoy the fresh combat. I see it as a title that I am likely to pick up and play as I feel like it instead of it being a binging type game. I see Final Fantasy XV as an average entry into the series.

 

Finale

     That sums up all of my interactions with the main series of the Final Fantasy franchise. Countless spinoffs and spiritual successors have been spawned and have left an impact on my little world. Regardless of your opinion of the games or gaming; in general, these games have had a large impact on my life and have allowed me to further expand my storytelling and ideas. Many of the games have served me for stress relief and relaxation. The series as a whole has been one of the most influential in gaming history. Many of the staples in modern RPGs were established in within the confines of this venerable series. The legacy of this marvelous franchise will be felt for a long time to come. Regardless of how many screw-ups and false promises Square Enix makes, I will be a fan of Final Fantasy and continue to support their work.

 

Collection of PS4 Final Fantasy

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