2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

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VideoGameCritic
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2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 14th, 2019, 6:43 pm

These two new NES reviews have been a long time coming! Your comments please!

Paul Campbell
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Re: 2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Postby Paul Campbell » April 14th, 2019, 11:22 pm

The Princess Tomato review is missing the words "that" and "a" in the fourth sentence. "THAT is set in A magical..."

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: 2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » April 15th, 2019, 6:48 am

The Final Fantasy review is sort of misleading.

The increased difficulty in the NES port of the game mostly comes from bugs and broken features, not any kind of intentional design choices. The INT stat does nothing. A bug prevents the game from calculating the added effects of elemental weapons. That kind of thing.

And when magic does the exact opposite of what it's supposed to, it's not unpredictable. You'll get the same result every single time. The unfinished game engine ultimately leads to the most repetitive and dumbed down combat in the entire series. There are homebrew patches available for those who want to experience the game the way its creators originally intended, but otherwise, it's probably best left for the nostalgic, the morbidly curious, and the masochistic.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: 2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Postby Gentlegamer » April 15th, 2019, 7:18 am

Final Fantasy spawned one of the best webcomics of all time.

Image

Re: Princess Tomato - "reproduction" is an euphemism for illegal bootleg. Please correct the review text

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Retro STrife
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Re: 2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Postby Retro STrife » April 15th, 2019, 10:05 am

Nice to see Final Fantasy reviewed on the site -- thanks ptdebate. I actually played this very recently. I only played like 30 minutes or so, but I was impressed with it. I bought the NES cartridge a few years ago, and popped it in for the first time just a few weeks ago. However, there was a game save at the very end of the game (amazing that these batteries still work all these years later!), so I was hesitant to delete the game save. Instead, I loaded that save, and just explored around and experimented with the mechanics. Like most NES RPGs, the mechanics are very antiquated, but I was still impressed by them and could see the B grade as being legitimate. In terms of the best way to play the original FF, I have heard that the remade version on PS1 is best, because it corrects many of the major issues while still retaining much of the old-school charm. Any thoughts on that? Still, if I played this game it would mostly be for historical interest, so I think I'd play the NES original.

As for Princess Tomato, I downloaded that game on the Wii Virtual Console just before it went offline earlier this year, mostly because of the off-beat nature of it and the cost-prohibitive price point of the cartridge. I haven't tried it yet, but I appreciate the review, Critic.

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Re: 2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Postby Stalvern » April 15th, 2019, 11:48 am

Final Fantasy wasn't really inspired by tabletop games; it was a response to the original Dragon Quest, released a year earlier. Both built on early-'80s American computer RPGs like Ultima and Wizardry, which were very popular in Japan.

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Re: 2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Postby Matchstick » April 15th, 2019, 12:51 pm

I can't comment on Princess Tomato as it is a game I've never actually played. I did see it available to rent at several video stores when I was younger, but its claymation cover art, combined with its hot-pink packaging, never interested me enough to actually pick the game up and look at it. Funny how now, years later, I have an incredible soft spot for the bright, day-glo colors of my youth. If I saw the same game in the store today, even knowing nothing about it, I would't hesitate for a moment to pick it up and give it a look. How times change.

I think the Final Fantasy review is pretty accurate, and I appreciate ptdebate for taking the time to write it. Though I have played many other NES RPGs of the era, including some considered to be superior (Dragon Warrior 3 / 4, Ultima 4, even Final Fantasy 3) I always go back to the original Final Fantasy every decade or so for a playthrough. Along with the OG Wizardry, it remains the only NES role playing game to hold my attention long enough to see through to the end.

I find many of its faults charming. Holding the reset button while you turn the console off, which was common for any NES game with an internal battery, is something the game reminds you of every time you save at an inn. Certain areas in dungeons are so-called "spiked squares" that always contain the same monster encounter, usually bosses. You can use these to your advantage to grow levels and gain GP very, very quickly. I even don't mind that some spells or items are fundamentally broken due to bugs and glitches, as your party members can't even learn every spell in the game, forcing you to pick and choose.

As far as the D&D influence, I have always felt this in the game, as well. Spells work on a sort of "spells per day" mechanic that don't use up MP. Instead, the spell caster can use a certain amount of spells at a certain level, a number which increases as the character gains levels. It keeps the game simple, and is a system I always thought was very fair. I also like some of the translation quirks. Who can forget the infamous "Here Lies Erdrick" that is written on a certain tombstone? Or the way the game taunts you for investigating a well in the first town: "... You may think it's important, but no, it's just an ordinary well." Some of the monster names make me laugh, too, especially Sea Hags, translated as "SAHAG" in the game. Unforgettable.

The B score works for me. It's a B. It's not perfect. It translates to roughly a score of 8/10. For a game as old and influential as the OG Final Fantasy, it's a fine score. And that 8-bit chiptune soundtrack just sings, especially the battle theme and certain dungeon tracks. Matoya's cave, full of living brooms, has one of my favorite 8-bit songs ever, even if it is just a 20-second loop. Very fond memories of this cartridge, and though I have played a later remake on the GBA, I still feel the original NES version is the way to go. Sort of a "rite of passage," if you will. Now, for its follow-up, Final Fantasy 2, um... feel free to play that remake, instead!

Real talk, for a moment: what does one have to do to be a guest reviewer on this site? I'm glad to see that Final Fantasy has gotten a review, but the Phantasy Star superfan in me would love to see more representation for Sega's beloved role playing franchise. I have my own ideas for reviews and scores for PS 2, 3, and 4 on the Genesis, as well as PS Online for the Dreamcast / Gamecube. And, spoiler alert, though I enjoy the games, they certainly only improved with time. These reviews will be pretty critical, as some of the earliest entries in the series, despite their charms, are rife with faults.

Scotland did a great job with his review of the OG game in the series on the Master System, and I have been waiting for a series of follow-up reviews since that one was posted nearly two years ago. If nobody else is planning on filling the void, I would love to take a stab at writing a guest review, even if it's just for one of the games in the series. Who should be contacted in order to get the ball rolling on this?

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Re: 2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Postby Gentlegamer » April 15th, 2019, 1:13 pm

Stalvern wrote:Final Fantasy wasn't really inspired by tabletop games; it was a response to the original Dragon Quest, released a year earlier. Both built on early-'80s American computer RPGs like Ultima and Wizardry, which were very popular in Japan.


Both Ultima and Wizardry are inspired by [tabletop] role-playing games, specifically Dungeons & Dragons.

That is the lineage of this video game genre.

Alucard1191
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Re: 2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Postby Alucard1191 » April 15th, 2019, 1:57 pm

A few things

- Another call on "yes this is inspired by D&D." We really owe a lot to that old game. (Which not to brag or anything, but I've played every edition out.)

- Matchstick, you've beaten the original Wizardry? Major props, I could never get past the the floor with all the teleporter traps. It's either 3 or 4, I forget. I tried to revisit that recently on an emulator, and the first round of leveling up most of my characters lost stats instead of gaining them... and that was it for me, back to Wizardry 8.

- As for the PS1 remake, it is great. Some bugs and minor things fixed, but for the most part just a cosmetic update. It plays well, only has 1 load at the beginning of the game and then you're good, and just like the NES one the game is hard and requires a lot of grinding. There are extras like bestiary and things like that, I just wish it had difficulty levels, a hard or very hard mode would give this more replayability.

Having said that, the NES one is the harder one to play. In part because of the glitches and the spell screw ups, but also because you have to be so precise with your orders. In later games, if you order someone to cast a spell on someone and that creatures dies beforehand, your character targets something else and moves on. The original is not like that. It is split into 'groups' and if that entire group dies your character will attack air, completely wasting their round.

I very much agree with the B grade. Good review ptdebate

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Stalvern
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Re: 2019/4/14: NES: Final Fantasy (Guest Review), Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

Postby Stalvern » April 15th, 2019, 2:13 pm

Gentlegamer wrote:Both Ultima and Wizardry are inspired by [tabletop] role-playing games, specifically Dungeons & Dragons.

That is the lineage of this video game genre.

Yes, but that's not what Final Fantasy is directly drawing on, which is how the review paints it. It's inspired by a game that was inspired by games that were inspired by tabletop games; to say that it was "perhaps inspired by the fantasy tabletop games of its time" is a misleading jump. The review implies that Final Fantasy had the original (or at least independent) idea of putting tabletop games on a screen, which is not the case.


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