|Final Fantasy - Retroview|
Birth Of A God
| Battle System
| Replay Value
| Time to Complete
Square just recently reminded us of its continuing success story
that is the Final Fantasy series by releasing Final Fantasy X and having
sales go off the charts. However, back in the day, Square was in dire
straights, and was faced with a difficult challenge: create a highly
successful RPG, or get ground into the dust, never to be seen again.
This was how the game Final Fantasy got its name. It was for so many
different reasons that it was not truly the "final" fantasy, and it has
earned its place as a true classic in gaming history.
Final Fantasy introduced a battle system that has held for over a
decade. With your party on one side of the screen, and the enemies on
the other, a turn-based battle erupts. The norm that most RPGs have
adopted was born here. However, the system was not perfect. The major
problem that has been uttered by all who have played it is the
"innefective" condition; if multiple characters are slated to attack a
single enemy, and the monster is defeated before all the characters have
had their shot at it, they will not move on to another monster - they
just won't get an attack in, and will waste a turn. However, it does
force the player to develop some strategy other than holding down
"attack" and waiting for the battle to end.
The Nintendo system was famous for providing games with the most
horrendous menus conceived of. While Final Fantasy does have a few
confusing commands in its menu, compared to games like "Swords and
Serpents" and "Ultima: Exodus" it is heavenly. One inconvenience is
that only one item can be used or bought at a time. Well, when
everything's at stake, you don't have the time or technology to fix
|Gathering info|| |
When the Final Fantasy crew was amassed, Nobuo Uematsu had not the
fame that he has now, and was picked as musical director/composer just
because. He is one of the very few who has worked on every Final
Fantasy to date, and has had the most impact on the series than anybody
else. Final Fantasy was the beginning of his fame in the gaming world,
and his compositions, while few, enhance the game like in no other for
the Nintendo at the time. Unfortunately, there aren't very many
different songs, and the sounds are not spectacular, but it is the
best-sounding RPG of its time.
As for originality, this game defines the very cliches that has
plagued games since its release. Nothing speaks for a game's
originality better than the cliches it sets, and Final Fantasy's have
passed the test of time. Desperation, apparently, was a great conduit
for creativity and innovation.
Compared, once again, to "Swords and Serpents" and "Ultima:
Exodus," this game has an amazing plot which has been redone countless
times. However, most of it is done in the prologue and epilogue. The
people in the game have one text box in which to talk, but Square made
that enough to make do. What it lacks in quantity, it makes up in
quality. However, the need for quantity leaves the player more
interested in destroying anything that moves than saving the world.
|The very first airship.|| |
Everything that can talk or leave a message in the game has but a
single text box to say what it needs to. However, that means one good
thing - easy translation! The translation is very well done, as a
simple job was needed. There were very few errors, and what errors
there were did not warrant confusion or notice.
Final Fantasy is a great game, and very addictive. One great thing
about it is that it uses the class system to determine your party before
starting. While the game is extremely linear and sometimes
disconnected, there are always different ways to try to play through the
game. There are literally hundreds of parties to play with, including
the infamous white mage party - a party of four white mages! VERY
difficult, but good bragging rights if you win with them.
The graphics were stunning for a Nintendo RPG. Final Fantasy
started to optimize the graphical quality that the Nintendo could
produce for them, and Square has continuously kept up that tradition
with every system it uses. The monsters, in particular, are very well
detailed and realistic. Compare them to the cartoony enemies in
previous games (and later games, for that matter), and you'd be much
likely to be more scared of these monsters than theirs. Colors are
well-used, and never disgusting, and movement is smooth throughout.
Now, back in the day, there wasn't enough memory on the Nintendo
cartridges to make different difficulties for most games. So, every
game was made hard. Final Fantasy is no exception, although it isn't
impossibly hard - that would have made Square unpopular and die.
However, there is a good chunk of necessary leveling, so the game was
not meant to be a piece of cake.
|Zeromus' cousin|| |
For a Nintendo game, five hours was usually more than enough to
finish the game from start to finish. Not so in Final Fantasy. It was
by far the longest game to complete in its time, although by today's
standards its just enough to get started. Had there been secret areas
or side quests, it may have taken longer, but twenty hours was
sufficient to make a thoroughly good game.
Overall, Final Fantasy was a huge success. This is most obvious by
looking at Final Fantasy's X and XI. It contributed to the RPG world by
creating massive amounts of cliche, plus the ascensions of Uematsu and
Sakaguchi. While, by today's standards, it looks cheesy, that view is
very mistaken. There are many historical reasons to play Final Fantasy,
but moreover, it's a fun, addicting game. If you manage to find
somebody with a working Nintendo, this is probably a game they still
have, sitting right next to The Legend of Zelda.