Review by Godai-Kun
"I much rather play this over FF7 or 8."
ABSTRACT: Well known for being the first game in the series (in both, Japan and America), Final Fantasy was originally released in 1987 for Nintendo's Family Computer as the Famicom's 2nd biggest RPG series (next to Dragon Quest/Warrior). Square was going bankrupt, until they sold millions of copies of this game in Japan alone. Since then they have produced seven sequels (with three currently in production for the PS1 and PS2) for the Famicom, Super Famicom and PlayStation as well as several spinoffs and variations such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Mystic Quest. However, you can always go back to the original to see how it all started.
STORY: You control a group of four Holy Warriors out to save their world from an evil demi-god by reviving the legendary crystals. It's not much of a plot compared to the later games of the series, but this was back when developers had to rely more on good gameplay than everything else.
GAMEPLAY: The gameplay was similar to Dragon Quest, but instead of being limited to one-on-one battles, you controlled a party of four, each could be one of six different classes: from the strong Fighter to the fragile White Mage, each of them has their own advantages and weaknesses. Each character could only carry a limited amount of equipment. Monsters also came in various shapes and party, from simple wolf packs to annoying wizards, each enemy had their own individual strength. The bosses (from Garland to Chaos) were challenging too. The monster designs (by Yoshitaka Amano) were much scarier and 'realistic' than Akira Toriyama's cartoony designs on Dragon Quest. Magic, Medicines, Weapons and Armors were expensive but worth it.
THE GOOD: Final Fantasy is a very challenging RPG. Don't expect to finish this game in one week. Lots of leveling up is required to be successful in this game. Unlike recent games in the series, where anyone can dish out multiple Ultimas, this one requires a well-balanced party. A group of four fighters can dish out just about every enemy on the game, but they will be hard to maintain and all of your spaces will be full of equipment (they can't use magic either). The graphics and music were decent for its time (1987).
THE BAD: People who are spoiled by the recent games in the series will be disappointed at the fact that a lot of leveling up is required in this game. Most of the basic items like soft were expensive in this game. Spells weren't any cheap either. The fact that a character would attack an enemy that was already dead was annoying as well. Resurrection potions (if any) were rare too.
VERDICT: Although, a bit overrated, Final Fantasy is still a fun RPG. It seems that the Final Fantasies of today are more flash than substance. Nowadays, Square puts more effort in making FMVs and movies than actual videogames. Most of the so-called RPGamers had never touched an RPG until they saw FF7. If you consider yourself a true RPGamer then try to find a copy of this game if you can. It will remind you of a time when RPGs were fun instead of 'interactive movies'. I hope Final Fantasy IX will be more like the older games in the series.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/11/00, Updated 05/11/00
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