Review by swarm553
"First, the skies became treacherous. Next, the oceans grew foul. Finally, the earth, scorched and barren, quaked."
The very first Final Fantasy to come to the United States, stepped up the the genre of RPG's to a whole new level during the early years of video games. When thinking of this game, a lot of memories flood my mind. It was one of the first game I played and took me close to 4 years to eventually beat it (I was 5 when I started to play it.) 'Why?' You might ask. Well, the short answer is 'because I like it', but let me go a little further in detail...
To be honest, when I started to grow older; I felt that there was absolutely no story to this game. So, I dusted off the old cartridge and NES and took a trip down memory lane to see if I was wrong and I sure was.
You don't have the story simply given to you. You have to explore, talk to the townspeople, and fight bad guys from all over to fully grasp the story. As the prophesied Light Warriors, you must guide the chosen four in righting the wrongs and restore light to the darkened orbs. In the first few towns you visit, you must save a princess, rescue a town from pirates, awaken a sleeping prince, and open a blocked canal. All of this serves to strengthen the people's belief that you are truly the Light Warriors.
With the people behind you and the world opened for further exploration, you eventually begin to light up the darkened orbs. To further validate that you are the Light Warriors, you are tasked by the king of dragons, Bahamut. You also obtain a flying ship and time travel.
Though by today's standards, it may seem rather bland compared to what is out nowadays. But taking into consideration that is game is over 15 years old, Square Soft, now called Square-Enix, did a fantastic job of with the story.
This is definitely the weakest aspect of the game, in my opinion. There may be many reasons as to why the main heroes are so 'blank.' Blank characters allow for the player to imagine that they are those character. The money issue. Too lazy to give characters personalities? Well, whatever the reason, I don't think it hindered the game, unless you are someone who wants personalities given instead of having to insert your own...
Varies from person to person 7/10
Considering this game is on the NES system, it gets high marks for not be blindingly terrible, variety of color, and it is easy to distinguish what is what. Probably my favorite aspect is that the weapon swinging and spell casting changes from weapon to weapon and spell to spell. Most disappointing aspect is the battle backgrounds that only occupy a small section at the top, the division lines between the characters and monsters, and the blackness everywhere else.
The overhead view makes it easy to move the character around the world, towns, and dungeons. The battle menu and normal menu are easy to use. Nothing fancy but nothing glaringly wrong. The game uses turn-based and sometimes the order of who goes next is rather odd, causing some major problems without any planning. Also, damage fluxuates very wildly, which I personally see as a good thing instead of expecting the same range over and over. Plus, healing is rather weak in this game. The magic spells you can use are very minimal and the potions are good at first but so weak later on. It can be frustrating, which leads me to my next point...
This game can be rather difficult at times or it can be extremely easy, luck has a big part in it. A good example being the Ice Cave, where there are monsters that have the wonderful ability to kill in one hit. It can be a terribly irritating dungeon and there were many times as a kid, where I wanted to eat my controller in sheer rage because of those monsters. However, I do believe the difficulty of this game is nice because it is something that can eventually be conquered by leveling up or equipment changes. If it were a much easier game, I don't think I would have enjoyed this game. The difficulty gives this game a nice flavor and any harder, it would have been annoying. If it were any easy (I'm looking at you Dawn of Souls), the game would not be as fun in my opinion.
So, let's look over it one more time:
-Overall- 9/10 (Not an average)
Final Note: This game is hold a special in my game collection and I hope it can survive all the rehashes that are being pumped out every 3 or 4 years.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/09/08
Game Release: Final Fantasy (US, May 1990)
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