Review by Mastermind2k
"A prophecy has been told... darkness rules... a legend begins!"
Everyone remembers their first RPG. For many people, this was a non-console RPG, or another familiar name, Dragon Warrior. For me, and many others however, Final Fantasy One was their first. Back before square made RPGs, they were having failures in making action games, and racing games as well. Well before going bankrupt, they decide to try one last game- Final Fantasy. This game was their final fantasy, or at least it could have been. When the game was finally released, it became a hit. It was a great game, and it saved a great company. Final Fantasy is more than that however. Final Fantasy is a start to one of the best RPG series on the market. Beginning such Final Fantasy traditions as Bahamut, the black and white magic’s, and even a class system. This game began everything, from Garland, to Sin.
The game is like many other RPGs; it’s a turn-based game, which you must use strategy in order to win battles. There are 6 class systems with which you start out with. Each has it’s own distinct advantages and disadvantages. For example, a white mage can heal others with relative ease, but has low attack, and HP. How good your character is based on stats, which is based further upon levels, and equipment. Compared to Dragon Warrior, this game has much more equipment available, and more characters. You get to use 4 of 6 classes as you go along. Each class can equip distinct items. The gameplay in this game is excellent, and good even by today’s standards!
I don’t like rating graphics in an older game. It’s not good to say that the graphics are great, and thus fools the reader, by letting him think of today’s standards. Let me say this, an 8/10 does not mean that it looks as good as Final Fantasy X. In no way, can Final Fantasy 1 be compared with Final Fantasy X. For one thing, the systems used are entirely different. For another it is unfair. For their time, they were good. They were better than Dragon Warriors, in a sense as how they were made. They looked more realistic, and had better backgrounds. To say that they were the best for their time is an overstatement. It’s hard to grade a game without speaking about graphics, but for an 8-bit game, they were fine.
Not the best story in a Final Fantasy game, in fact it’s quite simple. It does have a plot twist here and there, and a few surprises. It’s nothing to keep you on the edge of your seat, but it’s something that will keep you going. It’s simple, 4 light warriors, as predicted by the prophet/sage Lukahn, come in a time of darkness. First they save the princess, and yes this cliché` is old, but that’s not the only point of the game. It is in fact only the beginning. After saving the princess, the warriors must save the world. Along the way, they will find helpful strangers, and powerful enemies. They will find surprises, that may shock, and even amaze you. As you get closer to the end of the game, you find out more about what the story is really about. The story may not be the best ever, however it is very good, and fairly underrated.
While the game isn’t impossible, it is challenging. That’s the keyword. Many people give impossible games 10’s or above, because it’s impossible. But that would be “Improbability” rating, not challenge rating. A challenge is something that you can overcome, if you try hard enough. It takes effort to beat this game. You’re not going to walk through enemies, and finish off the final boss, if you don’t use strategy. Each class has weaknesses, if you find these, you can overcome the barriers. However, in order to do that, you must level. Many may say that leveling makes RPG’s too easy. But leveling takes time. If you’re willing to put that much time and effort into it, fine, but it’s still challenging because, you have to put effort.
A musical masterpiece, by the one, the only Nobuo Uematsu. A great composer, who starts the traditional themes, such as the battle music, the victory fanfare, and the title screen. The music is pleasant to listen to, and changes according to where you are. It fits well with the plot, and allows you to get a true feeling from the game. The music in this game is wonderful, and will continue to bring nostalgia for many final fantasies to come!
Overall, this is an amazing game. It may not be a tragic tale of woe, it may not have 3-d environments, it might not even have a single save spot, but this is a great game. The game brings the best out of the NES, and will continue to do so!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/13/00, Updated 04/10/03
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