Final Fantasy 1 - (NSW)

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Final Fantasy 1 - (NSW)

Postby Jonasbrother » April 11th, 2024, 4:04 am

My grade: B+

After spending the last few months playing the needlessly complex, feature-overloaded RPG that is Star Ocean 2, playing through Final Fantasy 1’s basic, easy to understand structure was nothing short of completely refreshing.

This was the first final fantasy game I’ve ever played and boy, what an impression it made. Crafted in an era where RPGs played like board games, and a mage was a guy in a blue pointy hat, Final Fantasy I both borrows and invents common RPG tropes, but where it especially excels is in the level of freedom it gives the player. You can create a party made up of any combination of character classes you choose, to build whatever team you like using in battle, or to compliment whatever backstory narratives you might invent for your party members. You’re able to personalize the names of your party members, so if you want Tom Cruise to be your black mage, this game is for you! Much like earlier Legend of Zelda titles, you’re even given some opportunities to complete dungeons in whichever order you prefer! I really appreciated the degree of customization FFI has to offer.

Dungeons, bosses, and environments can be humble in concept but are executed marvellously. No points for originality on the fire, earth, and sea based-elemental dungeons, but they are so well designed and fun to play, does it really matter? For the time this was made, it’s still very impressive. The pixel art character designs look totally bad-ass, a nice touch especially when you consider how often you’ll be looking them. I noticed the monster designs are creative and well varied. The music is endearing and catchy, reminiscent of an early amiga or dos title. The shop theme was my favorite track of all—it’s a very pleasant tune!!

What needs to be stressed most about FF1 is how great every aspect of it feels. Hacking away at enemies is great, the magic is fun to use, levelling is easy enough and frequent saves make the experience a breeze. You really get the satisfaction of seeing your characters grow into an elite squad of world beaters. Certain things are overpowered (looking at you flare spell!) but that feeling of power only makes the experience feel more epic to play. By the end of the game, you’ll be ready to take on anything.

Final fantasy 1 isn’t perfect: as much as I tried to play it without the help of a guide, there are some sections so confusing and cryptic you’ll waste hours without proper direction. Thankfully in the modern era you can solve this problem whenever you want to with an online walk through. If you don’t like to read about the games you’re playing, I cannot recommend FFI. Some puzzles, however, were respectably clever- using the roesetta stone to translate an elven language was an awesome eureka moment. On the other hand, obtaining an airship by using a flute in the desert was far less obvious. Grinding is necessary evil in sections but the ability to fast forward through battle sequences using pre selected attacks on the Switch edition is a welcomed feature that completely solves this issue. The ability to run in cities and dungeons as well as travel in diagonals saves a bunch of garbage time and I very much appreciate games which do this. On a final note, I found the games’s recycling of previous bosses in the final dungeon to be tacky.

Minor gripes aside, Final Fantasy I was bold enough to boast what would become standard features of modern MMOs way back in its day, and that is something which Is deserving of admiration. Its story may be relatively basic and somewhat forgettable, but this isn’t necessarily a negative; it allows the player to create their own stories and craft an adventure of their own making. Remember when games gave us the room to use our imaginations, or dare I say it, encouraged us to do so?

The fact that FF1 was initially released on the famicom began to astound me the more I saw just how huge this game is. There’s so much to do, so many items, spells and equipment. Very seldom does it come close to feeling at all repetitive.I spent 25 hours playing and never once felt bored. Final fantasy I is, at its core, an RPG that executes ordinary ideas extraordinarily. A complete blast from start to finish, Final Fantast I’s excellence in simplicity cannot be understated.

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