Review by djg40
"An incredible start to an incredible series."
Final Fantasy was released in Japan in 1987 by a fledgling company then known as Square Company, Ltd. Because of the enormous success of Enix’s Dragon Quest video game, Square decided to try and make a game much like Dragon Quest, while improving the basic formula. All of Square’s resources were placed into the development of this game. If the game was not a huge success, Square would no longer exist. Needless to say, their idea worked. Originally, it was released as a game for the Famicom system in Japan. Later, in 1990, the game was released in the United States for the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES. In 2000, Squaresoft released this game in Japan for play on the Wonderswan Color. In October of 2002, Final Fantasy was released in Japan for play on the Sony Playstation. Sometime in the Spring of 2003, the United States will be able to experience the Sony Playstation remake of Square’s original epic—Final Fantasy.
The gameplay of Final Fantasy is amazing for its time period. To play the game, the player is given a choice of four characters to make up their adventuring party. Each character can be a Fighter, a Black Belt, a Thief, a Red Mage, a White Mage, or a Black Mage. Each character has their strengths and weaknesses. For example, a White Mage can cast curative or defensive magical spells to help the party, while a Black Mage can cast offensive magical spells to harm the opposing party, with the Red Mage being able to cast a smattering of both colors. Beware, as some parties make it easier to complete the game than others. A party of four White Mages will have a much tougher time than a party of four Fighters. The right combination of fighting ability and spell-casting will make the game easier to complete. Final Fantasy is an extremely fun game to play, because any number of people can play it any number of ways. I could play the game completely by the guide that comes with it, and I can do everything it says to do, when it says to do it, while someone else could just figure everything out for themselves. I think a game that allows different styles of play is much more fun to play than a game where only one way is acceptable. The controls are not difficult, since it is a regular Nintendo game. There are only four buttons, plus the directional pad, so they are not too hard to figure out. Overall, the gameplay of Final Fantasy is one of its major successes, and therefore earns a high score.
Final Fantasy has an immersive story. The four characters that make up your party must go on many quests in order to complete their adventure. The quests which must be done were new and interesting, at the time. There was nothing cliché about Final Fantasy. While the basic premise was similar to Dragon Warrior (another great game), the way in which the objective had to be completed was brand new. Several items had to come together in order for the adventure to continue. Everything was there for the player to find, but the player had to figure out how to get everything to work together in order for the game to progress. The story of Final Fantasy, along with Dragon Warrior, defined what the RPG genre was going to be about. Nearly every Role-Playing game following had the same basic story, the same goals, and the same roundabout way in which these goals are achieved. Final Fantasy had an amazing story, which has continued to live on in the newer Role-Playing games.
The graphics in Final Fantasy were simply mind-blowing. Never before had a game looked so good on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Each character had their own look and feel, and different non-player characters had unique looks. Sure, every city had similar people, but within a city, there was an amazing array of diversity, never before seen in a video game. The multitude of monsters all looked different as well, and if some monsters did look the same, it was only because they were different, advanced versions of the same monster. Final Fantasy had some of the best graphics the regular Nintendo had to offer, and few games, before or after, matched Final Fantasy in this regard.
Final Fantasy for the regular Nintendo started a tradition that continues to this day—a great soundtrack. Every dungeon has a unique feel to it and the music it what allows the game to accomplish this. The battle music is upbeat; it lets the player know that there is definitely some action taking place. When the character is in a town, the music is melodious, letting the player know that nothing is wrong and that there is nothing to worry about. The music of Final Fantasy is memorable, and makes the game that much better.
Final Fantasy is a fairly short game, requiring only fifteen to twenty hours to complete. However, it is the replayability of Final Fantasy that makes it such a great game. Once you beat the game, there is always something to do. Was it too easy for you? Try having a party of all White Mages. Was it still too easy? Try a solo game, in which you complete the game using only one character. Only when all six solo challenges are completed can this game possibly lose its replayability, and that will take a long time. I have only completed solo game for three characters, and believe me; those take a while to complete. Very few games have withstood the test of time, and Final Fantasy has done so.
Final Recommendation- 9/10
I definitely give this game a high score. It truly is one of the greatest games available for the regular Nintendo. I would definitely buy this game, and it will take some searching to find. However, at the end of the day, all the searching will pay off by giving you a great game to play over and over again.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/24/03, Updated 05/21/03
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