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

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

Postby Matchstick » April 17th, 2019, 5:43 pm

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:Why have review standards at all?


In all fairness, the review does state that, "the original NES version is arguably the best." Since we're here arguing about it, well, I feel that the review text is accurate!

I feel for ptdebate, really. From what I can gather, his review was edited quite a bit from its original state, with some re-wordings and re-phrasings making their way into the final text. Such is the nature of posting a review on a site such as this one. There are standards, even for guest review, as a guest reviewer does have to have their review edited and approved by a committee, including The Critic, himself. The standards are in place to keep the format of guest reviews in-line with those of The Critic, himself, and to that end, I feel the guest review format is successful.

At the end of the day, no matter how many times it may be tweaked, it is a guest review. I see them as a bonus, something along the lines of a "second opinion" to go along with the other reviews on the site. The reviewer in this case was knowledgeable about the game in question as well as its later remakes, and I do feel that context made its way into the review successfully.

We seem to have different take-aways from the review, TPG, and we can agree to disagree on the accuracy of its content or whether it fits in well with other reviews on the site. That's probably part of the reason we have these forum discussions with each new review, in the first place! I've honestly enjoyed reading your opinions on the review, as they've given me some context into how I personally feel about the game. I feel it's never bad when I'm presented with a different way of looking at things.

I feel that there is a lot to love about the original Final Fantasy, and even though it is dated, it remains quite a bit more accessible nowadays than then majority of role-playing games on the NES. It's musical score is well-done and appropriate, and I will take the 8-bit renditions of the tunes over those in any of the remakes. I've also always appreciated the game's brevity, as it can be completed in around 20 or 25 hours, and has very few parts that seem to drag. I also like the simplistic nature of the story, as instead of a lot of grandstanding and exposition, it follows a simple format, "We're heroes, here to save the world." It's a game I have never played for the story, but just for the experience, the simple joy of playing it while humming along with the battle tune or fumbling my way through a dungeon. I guess that's probably the game's greatest strengths: it's simple, straightforward, and enjoyable, and might have you tapping your toes while you play.

We may not agree on the review, TPG, but I think we both agree that the game is worth a play, faults and all. Especially for those that have never given it a go, or for those that started with a later, more-refined game in the series. I feel fortunate to have started my Final Fantasy odyssey with this original NES game, though I will concede that, for those that jumped in later, the original game may be hard to truly appreciate. At the time, though, it was such a breath of fresh air.

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

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » April 19th, 2019, 2:12 pm

Thank you for that post. And especially for that perspective. Looking at the game though your eyes, I probably would have enjoyed the experience too.

But we might as well have played two different games. The difference was that I enjoy complexity. And Final Fantasy's wealth of options immediately grabbed me. What did it mean that I could freeze the most dangerous enemies? Which were the most dangerous? How did their elemental strengths and weaknesses interact?

There was nothing else that was so eager to reward level progression. It was my first exposure to this style - the developers compare it to a toybox.

Only, I was punished for playing with the toys I was given. The more I tried to outthink the game, the longer every fight. And by choosing to learn spells that weren't programmed into the game, and preferring weapons that were only different from each other by name and the color of their pixels, I had unknowingly handicapped my characters. It was a soul crushing grind, to explore the map, just a few steps at a time.

The best way to describe it, is that it played like a game with sadistic DRM. Are you familiar with the way Earthbound dealt with pirates?

It was my first experience not having any fun, while playing a game. Because I can enjoy even the worst among them. (I know that's not unique or anything. I'm sure we all have our favorite bad games, that we don't even attempt to defend.) Seeing waves of the same static pictures over and over again, while watching the numbers?

How was that experience different from homework, and years later, when I was older, factory work? Except that I wasn't really being paid for it?

I still kept playing, because I really wanted to unlock the hidden power of my party, when they suddenly grew up. I'd just seen a Nightmare on Elm Street 3. These felt like my dream warriors.

In the end, it wasn't enough to change the experience. I beat the game, felt nothing, and couldn't understand why.

I would never knowingly inflict that experience on anyone. Not without a fair warning.

Anyways, that's my story, for whatever it's worth to you.

But with all of that said...it's a small miracle that this is a place where people can still agree to disagree, without censoring their feelings on the matter. And still remain talking afterwards, rather than just tearing each other apart. There aren't nearly enough of them, anymore.

The community here, is a large part of what keeps me coming back.


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