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

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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, 3:07 pm

Stalvern wrote: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.


To ptdebate's credit, I can attest that his original draft stated that Final Fantasy was inspired by tabletop RPGs and "the success of Dragon Quest", but that line was changed up gradually during the editing process into its current form. But I think you make a good point, Stalvern, that maybe the line was more accurate in original form. If the VGC sees this, maybe he can throw that back in there.

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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, 3:40 pm

Stalvern wrote:
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.


D&D is a direct line of inspiration through the whole genre. The statement is accurate.

I would amend the line to be "perhaps inspired by the fantasy pencil and paper role-playing games of its time," however.

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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, 4:13 pm

If you're going to take that route (which seems to make the mention of pencil-and-paper games at all redundant, honestly), I'd expect you to have a bigger problem with the word "perhaps".

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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 15th, 2019, 5:12 pm

Alucard1191 wrote:Matchstick, you've beaten the original Wizardry? Major props, I could never get past the the floor with all the teleporter traps.


Man, what a test of patience that game was, Alucard. Didn't that teleporter level randomly send the entire party into the castle moat, where they'd all drown? That game took some tinkering at the start, or you were just dead meat. It was all about stats, "re-rolling" when creating characters at the start of the game until you got the party you truly wanted. Also did quite a bit of resetting once characters leveled up within the game, just to ensure they received the best stat boosts possible. You could also reset the game if your party started getting wiped out by a high-level random encounter. Not exactly "fair," but given how unfair the game was to begin with, I feel like any sort of trick you could use to your advantage was valid.

Still took an incredibly long time this way, but in my younger and more fragile years, I was way more patient with this sort of game. I was in junior high, playing D&D at the time, and was looking for a video game to give me that tabletop feel of creating a character and crawling through a dungeon. To that end, Wizardry succeeds, and I had a blast mapping out the dungeon floors as I went along. It also helped a ton that I had the box and manual to go with it. Like Final Fantasy, the manual was invaluable in explaining game terminology and giving you a leg-up at the start.

Don't worry, though, you aren't missing much by not completing it. The ending is just a screen of text against a plain black background, some massive cash for your next playthrough (yeah, right!) and then the credits roll. That's it. Worth playing through if you want a challenge, but if you're looking for a satisfying ending, this is not the game for you!

Oddly enough, Final fantasy's level-up stats are fairly random, as well. Each character receives a random HP bonus at a new level-up, leading to some infamous moments from my childhood where my White or Black Mage would receive 1 or 2 new HP. Once I learned what was going on, I gamed the system a bit by ensuring I saved my game right before the level up occurred. If I didn't like the stats I got, I'd re-load and try again. Sounds lame, I know, but tying to beat the game with a White Wizard who barely has 180 HP, while the two Knights in the group have over 800, leads to some definite balancing issues later on. Game's not much fun if your healer can't even survive the first round of a random late-game battle.

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, 9:47 pm

I don't question the love for Final Fantasy.

But I'd love to see the reaction to a modern game with this many broken or missing gameplay mechanics.

Especially without using FAQs to avoid them. Deliberately avoiding the subject in order to claim this version of the game is the best version? Even over the PS1 remake that fixes most of the bugs, without making the game too easy, and recommending a lesser experience to newcomers? It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and makes me question whether I can trust any future RPG reviews.

I mean, compare it to the rest of this site.

Agree or disagree with Dave's opinion, for years now, Dave's reviews tell you what you can expect when playing the game. And that allows people to decide for themselves, whether it's the kind of game they're looking for. I'm about to finally give Princess Tomato a chance, *because* of all the reasons he gave the game an F. (I can see why it got the grade, but at the same time, that kind of trolling makes me really want to see how far I can get, on my own.)

Besides, any game where a player needs to abuse save states before leveling up, just to keep the late game balanced and fun, is just poor design. It's possible to enjoy Final Fantasy's exploration, which is second to none on the system, and still caution players about what to expect, so they don't accidentally trap themselves into a bad experience, hours into the game.

Anyone still willing to give these older games a chance, at least deserves that much courtesy.

And besides, one of the most fun aspects of returning to the past, is learning about what makes these games unique. When compared to later installments, talking about what went wrong, is just as important as celebrating what goes right.

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

Postby Alucard1191 » April 16th, 2019, 12:30 am

ThePixelatedGenocide:

You don't need to use save states or anything to enjoy Final Fantasy 1. Wizardry 1 honestly needs that, which Matchstick and I are talking about in a side tangent a bit. That game is honestly much, much more "broken" in that way than Final Fantasy 1.

FF1 can be beaten with 4 white mages. ("Very Hard" Mode if you will.) I even know a guy who is an FF1 (NES version) nut and has beaten it with 4 white mages. (As well as many, many other character mixes including 3 Black Belts and 1 white mage, which he said was actually harder than 4 white mages... I'll just take his word for it.) And with no game genie help!

FF1 is clearly bugged, but I feel it almost adds to the charm. Many NES games have little bugs and glitches that add to the charm of the game. Not an 8-bit game, but Lufia 2 Rise of the Sinistrals is a fantastic game, and there are several areas that are GLITCHED TO HELL. Including where you get the ultimate weapon, the Dual Blade. When these parts come up in play throughs, I view it as a nostalgic throwback to times gone by. Modern day, a patch would have fixed the shrine you get the water capsule monster, the bottom floor of the ancient cave, the Dual Blade shrine, etc. I don't think it should hurt the rating all that much. If the game is overall really playable and enjoyable and playable (said twice for influence) than it honestly isn't that big a deal for me, personally in an old game review.

Should the glitches and issues make a game just straight up not playable, which it sounds like in Princess Tomato, than it needs to be included. FF1 is extremely playable and enjoyable despite its flaws. Other games the flaws make it unplayable.

MatchStick:

You're absolutely right about having to have multiple parties going, reloading things, and making maps with Wizardry 1. I made maps for it when I was young, but the teleporter level I just couldn't map. (Googling it I was at level 4 of 5. So damn close.) I also now remember doing back up disks on my Apple IIe, (how I played Wiz 1) for leveling up. With how insanely random the level ups were, a few bad levels and your character was just... worthless. They'd get HP and NOTHING ELSE sometimes. I remember having a party with 2 Samurai, a Lord, and 2 bishops, (Neutral thief just stayed a thief... since ninjas could only be evil) and I still had major issues in the later game.

Talk about making them hard back in the day. I never beat Ultima 3, Wizardry 1, or The Bard's Tale, and I've always wanted too. Holy shit, to have beaten some of those. Major, major RPG props.

About FF1 in general:

Unless you want the purist NES experience, which you can easily get on an emulator, I do think the PS1 version is probably the way to go. It is still hard, and plays more or less like a later gen 16-bit title.

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

Postby ptdebate » April 16th, 2019, 1:00 pm

Stalvern wrote:If you're going to take that route (which seems to make the mention of pencil-and-paper games at all redundant, honestly), I'd expect you to have a bigger problem with the word "perhaps".


Just to chime in on this - I'm the biggest Final Fantasy nerd in history and I know all about the Wizardry lineage and the fact that the connection to pen and paper is distant.

Only about 50% of the review is my own words. Unfortunately you kind of have to start agreeing to things to get the review posted. Our current system requires consensus among the members of the RPG board, even if only one person has played the game in question. The original Final Fantasy review was posted years ago. Some of my reviews are going on 4 years old last time I checked.

TL;DR - please join the RPG board if you have any interest so that we can get reviews out faster!

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

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 16th, 2019, 7:34 pm

Okay just catching up with the thread.

I fixed the Princess Tomato typos and changed the first line of Final Fantasy to:
Inspired by the success of Dragon Quest and the pencil-and-paper role playing games of its time...

I think that is truer to ptdebate's original version. Over my various editing iterations (for length and style) reviews tend to evolve and sometimes drift from their original intention. In general it sounds like most people generally agree with the review. I have played the game before, but it's been a long time.

I also added Matchstick to the RPG crew group.

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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 16th, 2019, 8:50 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I also added Matchstick to the RPG crew group.


Thank you, kind sir :mrgreen:

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

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » April 16th, 2019, 11:12 pm

Alucard1191 wrote:ThePixelatedGenocide:

You don't need to use save states or anything to enjoy Final Fantasy 1. Wizardry 1 honestly needs that, which Matchstick and I are talking about in a side tangent a bit.


I'll simply quote Matchstick's post.

Oddly enough, Final fantasy's level-up stats are fairly random, as well. Each character receives a random HP bonus at a new level-up, leading to some infamous moments from my childhood where my White or Black Mage would receive 1 or 2 new HP. Once I learned what was going on, I gamed the system a bit by ensuring I saved my game right before the level up occurred. If I didn't like the stats I got, I'd re-load and try again. Sounds lame, I know, but tying to beat the game with a White Wizard who barely has 180 HP, while the two Knights in the group have over 800, leads to some definite balancing issues later on. Game's not much fun if your healer can't even survive the first round of a random late-game battle.


Using masochistic runs of the game as a counter argument means little. There are also people who beat Pokemon just using just a single species, and they don't represent the majority of players either.

And again, I'm not against people who enjoy Final Fantasy's quirks. I'm against the mentality that an unironic "OMG BEST FINAL FANTASY 1 EVER!!!!!" belongs in the review. Or that it should minimize the problems with the game. Why not help people make their own decision, about whether or not they want to deal with these "quirks"?

I've still yet to see any defense of the unpatched NES game, beyond "It's old school charm." Using that argument, you can defend every bad arcade port on the Atari 2600. Why have review standards at all?


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