Review by D'Hoost
"It's so ironic that the final fantasy was only the beginning..."
Many people may read the title and not quite understand it. Squaresoft was not naming their game Final Fantasy in the attempt to make a pun. In truth, Squaresoft was going bankrupt, and Final Fantasy was supposed to be their final videogame before disappearing forever. They never expected what was to happen next. Final Fantasy was not a flop; it was not only a success, but it was an AMAZING success that rocketed the company of Squaresoft into video game legacy.
You start the game by picking four characters. You can choose from several different classes, most famously of which are the fighter, the black mage, the white mage and the thief.
The fighter, well.. he fights
The black mage handles black magic- that is, magic that allows you to attack your enemies.
The white mage handles the lighter magic- magic that will heal your party.
The thief can steal... Yea, big surprise.
ANYhow, once you have your four characters, you begin your game. You start on a world map, and there's a town for you to visit. The world map is projected from above with ridiculous proportions- you're the size of a house, or bigger. However, once you step onto the town, you are shown a new screen where your character is the right size, again.
In Final Fantasy, you don't do a whole lot of different things. One of the first things you do when you get to a new area is visit the town. In town, you find other people whom you can talk to as well as a variety of stores. In the stores you can buy magic spells, weapons and armor for each of your characters. Once you've talked to everyone and done some shopping, you leave town and complete a quest.
Quests vary in story, but they all involve the same thing- go to a new area (a dungeon) and kill something. While Squaresoft was incredibly clever in masking what you really have to do, it ALWAYS involves killing a boss. Still, each boss adds to the storyline, so while it's morbidly predictable, at least it isn't boring.
Once you finish your quest, you return to the village for a reward and trek on to your next quest.
The battle system was your run of the mill RPG battle system. Menu based, you input the command of attack that you want for each character. HP, or hit points, makes a return in this game; HP is something that RPGS have been using since their dawn so many years ago. MP or Mana, a popular gauge of the ability for mages to use magic, was replaced in this game with spell points. You can use each spell a limited number of times before you must recharge it in a village.
Of course, there's also the promotion aspect of the game, but I won't go into details, as it is a rather important turning point in the game.
There isn't a very complicated storyline in Final Fantasy. Your four characters, the four warriors of light, each have a crystal. You four are destined to stop the shadow that is over running the world. That shadow... is Garland. Oddly, he's the first boss that you defeat. From there, you go from town to town, dealing with everyone's problems. As I said earlier, you get to go from place to place killing enemies. The story doesn't really have much depth.
Based on the limited memory space in the game, and on the fact that you pick your own characters ( destroying all chance of character development ), there isn't any back story to be created. Instead, the game focuses on one point at a time- the storyline that you should worry about is the one that is at hand at the time. I'm sorry to say that the Final Fantasy legacy of a brilliant story line doesn't fit the description this time around... sorry!
The graphics were actually pretty good. Granted, they're not PS2, but no one expects that of them ( I hope. ) The world is MASSIVE, and while the graphics aren't a whole lot better than the original Mario, the sheer magnitude of the game makes it quite an awesome spectacle to behold.
The music was excellent. There were several different songs that they used, and each one, while being INCREDIBLY 8-bit sounding, was memorable in its own way. Most of the songs found their way into a sequel somewhere or another. The introduction song ( the scales up and down as the game is introduced ) has been used in all Final Fantasy games.
The gameplay was great for its time, as were the graphics and sound. The story wasn't anything spectacular, but then again it's the NES. This title definitely doesn't rank as one of the best games of all time, but it should always be cherished. This game was the start of a legacy, and it took a broken down nothing of a game company into the limelight for over a decade, making it the most well known 3rd party company in the world.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 08/01/05
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