Review by GravitonX2000
"The game that created a series that you can never get enough of...What a Fantasy to behold!"
Final Fantasy is a classic Roleplaying Game, created by Square Enix. As hard as this is to believe, Final Fantasy was supposed to be their last game. They were on the edge of bankruptcy and wanted to release one final game. That is why they named it Final Fantasy. It is hard to believe since Square makes such good games, but I guess that wasn’t the case before their breakthrough game.
Story 8.5 / 10
Many people argue that the story in Final Fantasy is stupid and too simple. They always compare the plot with the newer Final Fantasy games like Final Fantasy VII. The simple truth is that you cannot do that. The NES cartridge could not contain such a story due to memory issues, so I will review the story based on the time when it came out.
I will admit it is simple, but it is fun and intriguing as well. The world is amazingly huge for such an old game, and it contains so much places in the story. With a wide amount of people to talk to and a good amount of towns and similar places, the story becomes more compelling. And for such an old game, it was wise to make a story simple. With barely any Roleplaying Games at the time, it wouldn’t be smart to make the game so complex. They wanted the players to get the feel of an RPG first I think.
Gameplay 9.25 / 10
Like the story, the gameplay is simple for a Roleplaying game. How you play the game is so easy to learn that it helps a lot. It gets you comfortable with an RPG. I know if the game doesn’t have enough depth to it, it won’t be that great. The difficulty of the game makes up for that factor though. This game could easily be one of the hardest Roleplaying Games out there. I always say a challenging game is a good game.
When you encounter an enemy a new screen comes up with your party and the monsters, with a background for graphics. The monsters are on the left and you on the right side. When in fighting mode you have five commands to choose from, all of them simple yet necessary.
Attack is the first command and the most important. When you choose this option, the character will attack with his weapon, and if he has no weapon he will simply attack with his fists. Weapons give you better attack, but also take away agility. This brings strategy into the game - you have to decide how fast and strong you want your character to be, because they cannot be both.
Magic is the second command. Only a few people can use this ability however, adding even more strategy to the game. Magic-users are physically weaker than fighters, both attack and defense wise. Magic lets you cast spells that your characters learn. Spells can either hurt your enemies or put status effects upon them, which hurts a certain part of their attributes. You can also use spells on yourself - they can cure you or raise attributes.
Items is the third command. Another important option as well. Throughout the game you can acquire items by defeating enemies, looting treasure chests, or buying them stores. Potions are an item that slightly cure one of your characters, an Antidote is an item that cures the Poison effect. There are many more items as well, adding a lot more fun to the game.
Equip is the fourth and probably the least important, though it can be necessary is some situations. This command brings up a menu so you can switch weapons and armor in the middle of a battle for tactical reasons. If you are fighting a dragon and are wielding a sword, you might want to switch to the sword Wrymkiller which is extra effective against such beasts - that is saying that you have the weapon though. Or maybe you want to switch to fire armor to protect against fire-based attacks.
Flee is the fifth and last option you can take in a battle. If you feel you don’t have a chance of surviving a battle, you will want to run away. This is what Flee is used for. It will prove helpful in these occasions, but not always. Sometimes the command will prove to be a failure, and you will loose that characters turn.
With all these options and what they can do, the gameplay becomes a little more complex. It adds strategy to the game, which you will need to use. Fighting is the most important part of the game, since that is what makes up an RPG.
Graphics 9 / 10
The graphics in Final Fantasy were very good for its time, but not perfect. They were the best I had seen in a Roleplaying game at the time though, but NES was still capable of making it a little better. But that didn’t happen, and that’s why the graphics rating is not perfect. The sprites when you fight were good, but not great. I really don’t believe graphics are important though, but Square made the game as if they are important. I am not complaining about this, I am giving my respect. They are showing how much they wanted to please us with their last game. For its time the graphics deserved a 9/10 rating.
Sound 7.25 / 10
The overall music and sound in this game was not great, but it was good. There are the few memorable music songs in this game that can even better current-day songs in games. Like the victory song after winning a battle - they still use this song in the new games, though in better quality, but it is still the original. If these few memorable songs were not in it though, I would probably have rated it 6.75 to 7. In that range.
Time 10 / 10
For an old game like this it certainly takes a lot of time. An RPG needs a good amount of time, and this is why this factor is rated 10. It could take you up to 20 hours, since there is so much exploration you need to do. It is very hard to find important things right away. And leveling up is a necessity and that of course takes much time as well.
Replay Value: Moderate
It is very rare to play an RPG that is worth playing more than once. Final Fantasy is not a game that I would play more than once. I will not incorporate replay values into the overall score of RPG reviews, due to this factor. I will only say that the Replay Value is moderate, because hardcore roleplay gamers will play the game more than once, but the rest will not.
Overall Score 9 / 10
If you love Roleplaying games and haven’t played this game and are not a collector, buy Final Fantasy Origins. It would be a better buy - better qualities in everything. If you are a collector this game is definitely worth buying since it is a huge classic. It would be a good addition to your game library I can promise you. If you do not like roleplaying games, do not buy or play this game. If you have never played an RPG though, it would be a good choice to try this game first to get used to an RPG.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/13/03
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