I moved from a smaller update last week to a slightly larger one this week. One game is fantastic and the other is still not a favorite. I'm glad to have finally found one I want to stick with so that I can quit having to jump back and forth between games for a while. That is at least until FFXI or FFXIV get another free login period.
If you want to catch up on my prior pieces, here's a link to last week's Issue 6.
Final Fantasy IX (PSP, PS1 Classic)
After a poor PSN showing for FFVI, I opted to play another favorite on my PSP: Final Fantasy IX. It's been a while since I last played through this one, as I think it's the FF I've not touched in the longest amount of time. When starting this up, the first thing that struck me was how great the opening section of this game is. The play that Tantalus puts on is just so perfect, especially when Garnet gets involved and everyone has to start improvising their lines. It's just grand to see it all come together.
I love that each character is unique and there is a reason to use each of them. It harkens back to my favorite aspect of early Final Fantasy games like IV and VI, so this is a huge plus for me. Steiner having sword arts and sword magic is great, Vivi fills the classic black mage slot, and Zidane handles the thief role. It's just what I want, but what would be great to see is an updated version that fixes the few minor problems with this game. The loading times between an encounter starting and the beginning of battle takes so long, so I dream of a port of FFIX that cuts that down. This and the slow moving ATB (even at the fastest setting) are my only complaints about this game, but they really do hurt things, especially early on. That said, I don't care. I'm working my way through the Ice Cavern right now and am going to keep working through this and finish it up because I love everything else so much.
Final Fantasy III (NES, Fan Translation)
I just happened to get really bored one night and decided to mess around with the NES fan translation of Final Fantasy III. As I said prior, FFIII has currently cemented itself at the bottom of my mainline favorites list, so I figured maybe this version I'd played briefly earlier might make things look brighter. It did, and at the same time, didn't. While I feel like this version cut down on the bloat that the DS version has, it's still super slow and tedious to get started. Having unique, named characters like Luneth and Arc seemed like a good idea to me at first, it really doesn't add enough to be worth it.
The NES version features four unnamed characters, which works for me because it slims things down, cutting out the meaningless dialogue. This version still suffers from NES era slow movement speeds and awkward UI issues. Why should I have to unequip my characters before I can change jobs? That's insane. I wish there was an in between for these two releases, but alas there is not. I don't think I can play much more right now, but who knows what the future holds.