Final Fantasy Series

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Viper821
Posts: 1043
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Final Fantasy Series

Postby Viper821 » February 25th, 2010, 12:09 pm

In preparation for Final Fantasy XIII's North American release, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at the series. Here's a quick look at every previous game (except XI) and some short thoughts on them. So, without further delay..

Final Fantasy (NES)

Solid RPG that was impressive for the time. Take away the high difficulty and frustrating 'ineffective' attacks and this by far the best RPG on the NES in my opinion.
Score: B

Final Fantasy II (NES via emulator)
What happened here? Same basic idea as the first one, but practically ruined by a ridiculous level up system. Someone on this board giving me some helpful advice is the only thing that saves it from a failing score.
Score: D-
Final Fantasy III (NES via emulator)
This was a pleasant surprise. Introduces the job system used in later games and is a big step forward. Only major complaint is the severe lack of save places.
Score: B+
Final Fantasy IV (SNES)
What can I say? This may be the best game ever made. Balanced difficulty combined with excellent characters makes this one a classic, even though the manual is in Engrish  This is the only game (other than Super Mario Bros.) that I own two copies for and both get played to death (Side note: my original 1992 saves are STILL there on the "5 year" save battery)
Score: A+
Final Fantasy V (SNES via emulator)
Why on Earth did this not get released in North America? The characters are a little shallow, but this game is F-U-N! I enjoyed the job system and had a blast playing this one again and again!
Score: A-
Final Fantasy VI (SNES)
Due to it's incredible soundtracks and wide variety of characters, I really wanted to give another A+. However, this game slips up after a major event and feels like a pointless side quest. It also has several major bugs, which was unheard of at the time. Still, an excellent adventure I'll be playing again and again and an SNES classic!
Score: A
Final Fantasy VII (PS)
I was so excited to play this one as I was told repeatedly it was the greatest game ever made. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the most mediocre game ever made. Is everyone blind? Between the lame stereotypical characters, boring world (outside of Midgar) and ridiculous spelling errors, this is a game I'll never play again. I struggled through it twice just to find what was so great about it and found nothing.
Score: C-
Final Fantasy VIII (PS)
What can I say other than I hate this game. I hate the level up system, hate the characters, hate the story and hate the game world. Did Gamespot really give this a 9.5? I could have gotten it for free and turned it down!
Score:F
Final Fantasy IX (PS)
This was billed as the 'old school' RPG for the Playstation, and it comes close. Except for the excellent graphics and slow gameplay, nothing really stands out either way.
Score: B-
Final Fantasy X (PS2)
This is a game that has grown on me. I little too linear, but an excellent story with main characters I could really relate to. Excellent music and incredible graphics for an early PS2 release.
Score: B+
Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2)
This game is one where I make sure nobody is looking when I play it. The story is DREADFUL and it's downright embarrassing that adults put it together (i.e. the 'hot tub' scene. Still, the combat is excellent and I did play it twice, so it's not a complete waste.
Score: C-
Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
This game got excellent reviews (what FF title doesn't?) but aside from the excellent graphics and immerse in-town atmosphere it was a big letdown. The characters were paper thin and the only emotion they made me show was drowsiness. On the other hand, it was a surprisingly hard game and I did put 110 hours into it, so I couldn't have hated it that much.
Score: C+

So, to summarize my preferences are: 4,6,5,3,10,1,9,12,10-2,7,2,8


PSX1
Posts: 388
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Final Fantasy Series

Postby PSX1 » March 24th, 2010, 9:10 am

Nice reviews man. Big FF fan myself. It's seems that you have a strong preference towards the 2D Final Fantasy games, which I certainly don't fault you for. FF6 was the first RPG I ever played way back in the mid-90s (rented it and played about 20 hours), but I didn't enjoy it as much when I completed the game on PS1 in the FF Anthology release. FF7 was the single most influential game in my life and single-handedly turned me into a hardcore gamer, so naturally I have to disagree with your score there. Did you play it upon release, or did you play it years later? If it's the latter, then that's completely understandable because it's probably a game that doesn't hold up quite that well these days. But in 1997 nothing else like it had ever been seen before.

I also think 8, 9, and 12 were pretty lame entries in the series. Loved the ending of 9, but overall I don't think those lived up to the FF legacy (yet, nonetheless, these games were media darlings and received reviews that would indicate they were classic [an unfortunate phenomenon common among other high profile series as well, like Mario and Zelda]). FF7 and 10 were excellent and remain by far my two favorite in the series. Excluding XI, I have played every game from V-XII to completion (my ranking: 7, 10, 6, 8, 9, 5, 12).

I haven't played I-IV at all. Of those four, FF4 is probably the only one that I have a strong desire to play, and your review indicates that I've really missed out. We always have to consider the nostalgia factor (much like I have to FF7) that probably contributes in part to the A+ grade but, regardless, I know it's recognized as an RPG classic. I've considered purchasing the DS release, but just don't have the time in the near future to play through the game. Hopefully I eventually get to it.

Viper821
Posts: 1043
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Final Fantasy Series

Postby Viper821 » March 24th, 2010, 7:14 pm

Thank you for the feedback. I'll take this oppourtunity to respond to a couple of your comments.
[quote=PSX]Did you play it upon release, or did you play it years later? If it's the latter, then that's completely understandable because it's probably a game that doesn't hold up quite that well these days. But in 1997 nothing else like it had ever been seen before.[/quote]

I did not play the game at all upon release (combination of hard times and my love for 6) and did not play it until AFTER I got a PS2 and Final Fantasy 10 (I did see the PC version in 1998 and wasn't impressed with the graphics). I certainly respect the idea that I might be unfairly harsh due to it's age at the time of review. I did my best to compare it to similar games in the 1997-98 era, although I admit I still may be biased. My complaints about spelling, characters, etc would still stand even if it was a Game Boy title and trust me, I WANTED to love this game.

[quote=PSX]FF4 is probably the only one that I have a strong desire to play, and your review indicates that I've really missed out. We always have to consider the nostalgia factor (much like I have to FF7) that probably contributes in part to the A+ grade but, regardless, I know it's recognized as an RPG classic.[/quote]
I suppose you would have had to be playing this one back in 1992 to appreciate it. To borrow a line from user 'RPG Critic' on gamefaqs.com
[quote] Final Fantasy II (4) plays more like literature than a movie. It invokes imagination rather than spelling out everything through a loose shallow story and tons of FMVs and special effects[/quote] I would strongly recommend playing the GBA port (or SNES original!) and not reading any literature on this one before playing. It's simple, straightfoward yet gives you a great sense of exploration unlike any game of today. There was a scene where all characters (well, sprites) faced each other and one nodded. I immediately jumped out of my seat and yelled "Alright, lets go!" Games just don't invoke this sense of excitement and adventure anymore.

Oh, and in case you are wondering what I think about Final Fantasy XIII, the answer is simple: it's awful! I'll finish it before review but I think the series may have hit a new low at this point.

David

Final Fantasy Series

Postby David » March 24th, 2010, 9:00 pm

[QUOTE=Viper82]
Oh, and in case you are wondering what I think about Final Fantasy XIII, the answer is simple: it's awful! I'll finish it before review but I think the series may have hit a new low at this point.
[/QUOTE]
That's interesting.  I'd love to hear what your thoughts on it are.  Is it because of the no towns, no overworld thing?

PSX1
Posts: 388
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Final Fantasy Series

Postby PSX1 » March 25th, 2010, 6:14 am

That's too bad about XIII. Above all else, I play RPGs for the story. That's part of the reason I disliked 9 and 12, while enjoying 7 and 10.

FF12 was actually made by a different team, so I was willing to give it a pass and hope it wasn't a sign of bad things for the series. FF XIII was the first game made by the main team since X (which I thought had the best storyline in the FF series), so it's too bad to see that this may be a continuing trend for the series.

Dave1
Posts: 25
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Final Fantasy Series

Postby Dave1 » March 25th, 2010, 9:27 am

if you liked FF2 US (FF4 JPN), you should definitely check out the remake on DS.  it was completely redone in 3D with voice overs.  I loved FFX and played it through so many times just to watch the story as a movie.  It was way too easy as far as FF games go.  I completed it in a little over 10 hours almost every time through.  Obviously, I never did any side quests or got any aeons other than the main ones.

Viper821
Posts: 1043
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Final Fantasy Series

Postby Viper821 » March 25th, 2010, 9:28 am

Stay tuned to this board for my official Final Fantasy 13 review. I'm going to be fair and wait until I finish it before giving a bad grade, but a few things stick out, such as:
  • No introduction (Many confusing terms thrown at you like Pulse, Cocoon, l'cie, Fal'cie, Pulse l'Cie, NORA, Psicom, etc)
  • Lack of Weapons/Armour (As opposed to the large selection in 6 and 12)
  • Lack of Towns or interaction with NPC's (What's the point of even having people in the background?). There's nowhere to 'unwind' after a long, dark dungeon.
  • Enemies are practically the same.
  • Boring Story (which is supposed to be it's main feature)
  • Battles are practically automated and if only the leader dies, it's game over. However, since you can always retry a battle, there's no sense of panic or alert. Each battle is also graded and scored, which is pointless.
  • Ridiculously confusing level up system. Similar to FF10, but with only the illusion of choice. I still haven't figured out how the Weapon/Armour level up system works.
  • Inexcusably linear (unlike 10, it literally feels like a tunnel the whole game).
  • Way too much like the hated FF8.
Like FF7, I'm scratching my head reading all the overwhelming positive reviews for this game. I can only stomach about 30 minutes at a time before I'm bored to death. Even the 'amazing' graphics don't compare to Uncharted 2. All the overwhelming positive review from professional just show you how blinded they are by the Final Fanta$y name. How the mighty have fallen!


MappyMousePD

Final Fantasy Series

Postby MappyMousePD » March 25th, 2010, 11:55 am

I'm glad I'm not the only person who thinks FFX is the best post-SNES Final Fantasy. 

Oltobaz1
Posts: 1605
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Final Fantasy Series

Postby Oltobaz1 » March 25th, 2010, 3:23 pm

Classic Final Fantasy enthusiasts out there, you should download
Final Fantasy IV the After Years on Wiiware! It's truly worth it!

JustLikeHeaven1
Posts: 2971
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Final Fantasy Series

Postby JustLikeHeaven1 » March 25th, 2010, 3:25 pm

Nice little micro review of the whole series.

While I'm a fairly big RPG guy I've actually only played about half of the Final Fantasy games.  Here are my thoughts:

Final Fantasy I (GBA) - A very primitive game that has aged rather well.  It's very simple and easy to play.  However I never felt compelled to finish this one.

Final Fantasy II (GBA) - I agree with Viper...this game was ruined by the level up system.  Another game in the series I never finished.

Final Fantasy VI (SNES) - Absolutely amazing game.  I LOVE the characters from this game. Very diverse and so much fun to use.  I particularly enjoy some of the hilarious battle animations.  My second favorite game in the series.

Final Fantasy VII (PS1) - This was my introduction to the series and as such it holds a special place in my gaming heart.  Yes the story wasn't that great, but there was so much to do and experience that I still fell in love with it.  This had another great cast of characters with my favorites being Vincent and Red XIII.  The materia system was also very fun to play around with and finding ways to exploit it was enjoyable.  My favorite game in the series.

Final Fantasy X (PS2) - Wow what an amazing game.  This one told a great story and again had some really incredible characters.  The cutscenes were jaw drapping as were the in game graphics.  A couple of things I really didn't care for were the lack of the overworld (WHY has every RPG on the planet abandoned this?) and the Sphere system wasn't all that fun to level up characters.  All in all this one rounds out the top three.

Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2) - The first true sequel for a FF game and the first to prove why the don't need them.  The only reason I bought this game was because of the job class system.  Final Fantasy Tactics is one my favorite games and knowing that FFX-2 would be using a system similar to that game (also used in FF3) was enough to make me buy this one.  I didn't really the game all that much though. 

I own Final Fantasy IX and XII but I have never played them.  Something that I will try to rectify in the near future.  I still need to get my hands on III, IV, V and VIII. 

I'm sadden to hear that FF XIII isn't all that great (especially given it's crazy long development cycle), but I'm honestly not that surprised.  It seems like they have stripped out all of the things that used to be fun (the exploration, side quests, wacky charm) and replaced them with serious story/cutscenes and focus on battles.  Despite the games financial success it is getting the worse scores I've ever seen for a FF game (currently an 83 at Metacritic).  Hopefully Square will come to their senses and release something similar to there older games, but I honestly won't hold my breath. 



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