Review by Pokejedservo
The best of the "First Game" in known RPG series' for the NES but is still quite the flawed game.
It is more & more apparent nowadays that the 1980s was a definite decade of change that initiated the molding of how a majority of our current pop culture is today. Whether it be cinema, animation, literature, fashion and of course Video Games and this title is far from an exception. As many of us know this late 1980s title was from the then-struggling Square-soft whom was more known for titles that only went average at best with gamers. Then along came this game in which had one of the most ironic titles in all of Video Game History namely Final Fantasy. (In which for those who actually dont know the original FF was going to be their final game despite the fact that it is now the start of a very long-going series. So in another words this game was to Square as what the Nintendo Entertainment System was to the US Video Games Industry.) However the irony does not stop from there. This seemingly unlikely challenger to the title of RPG King that Dragon Warrior proved itself to be a worthy opponent. (Especially in the US however it still fared well with Dragon Warri
Quest in Japan as well.) It didnt came in until a few years after the original Dragon Warrior did in the US but alike the original Dragon Warrior game this was a pretty good first game but the majority of the sequels are vastly superior. Then again to be fair the game series that usually had great original games on the NES were the 1st party series such as Super Mario Bros, and Legend of Zelda. How did these fair compared to its Enix-made counterpart? Slightly better but its also a rather flawed first entry as well.
In true Dungeons & Dragon-like fashion you are a small intrepid band of four wandering heroes whom are dubbed as The Light Warriors. Mysterious human beings with seemingly no background story or origins whatsoever but they definitely know their current purpose in life. To seek out and destroy the many monsters that plagues their world and put a stop to their dark intentions from being fully realized. You have the choice for picking the class of each Light Warrior from the following choices Fighter, Black Belt, Thief, Black Mage, Red Mage and White Mage. You can give them their names granted only 4 letter names but still. While you can only have 4 members the possibilities are still plenty of how your group will be. The amount of possibilities of customization in this game is not absolutely plentiful but it was good for its time and is still pretty good today albeit outdated but not bad. And unfortunately alike many other RPG of the day you barely have ANYTHING to start with and are very weak. (I mean okay I can understand not having a lot in order to maintain a good sense of challenge but still at least even the latter RPGs for the NES give you halfway decent equipment and stats from the start.) And also in true RPG fashion one of the first things you do when you start a new file is to go to the first village to gather any remotely decent supplies you can afford and information. While you can do that with the former pretty well, the latter on the other hand not so much. (There are a couple of people whom give you remotely decent info but not much.) However once you get into the Castle is where things really start going such as the fact that your first mission is to rescue Princess Sara from a deranged formerly heroic knight Garland holding her at the Temple of Fiends. So in another words youre actually very underpaid & under experienced hit-men out to kill a crazed disgruntled AWOL soldier from holding the Princess hostage for evil intentions. (But dont worry once you get that out of the way youll receive a reward thatll enable you to truly proceed on your quest.) While its far from being the last side-quest to go through your overall goals in the game became a lot clearer even more.
What improvements does this have over the 2 certain Enix-made RPGs that came before it? For starters it has a much larger and vast world and you can get a good full-sized party from the start. What really makes this a bit better then the first two Dragon Warrior games is that its Graphics and Music are much better and overall quite above average use of the NES technical capabilities. (Granted to be fair Enix of America altered the graphics for the Dragon Warrior games to be kind of sub par in the US.) Fortunately there are a good amount of twists and interesting surprises in this game (along with a few references such as one to Dragon Warrior) as well. Granted not quite as much as its vastly superior sequels but still its satisfactory enough anyways. But sadly alike the other early day NES games of its genre its difficulty factor is awfully high even WITH a Game Genie. (Granted its not QUITE as difficult as the aforementioned games but still pretty darn difficult anyways.) And while its not one of the best games for the NES ever its one of the few games that you really should buy in complete packaging. You see unlike most games that gave you an instruction manual in its packaging. This gave you full-fledge map of the world and a VERY good Rogues Gallery in the back of it alongside a very good Instruction Manual. (There was also a great full-fledge Strategy Guide from Nintendo and Square but good luck finding that.) While its hard to find like that and is expensive itll make things a bit more worthwhile for this game. (And besides while its not as hard to find or as costly just getting the game itself is not the most easiest and cheapest task.)
Overall I have good news & bad news, the good news is that its better than the likes of Dragon Warrior and the like. But its still an all-too outdated game with much better sequels. Though of course one should realize and be grateful over the fact that this DID set the foundation of how those great sequels will come in for years to come. (If only certain movies and their very long list of sequels could follow suit huh?) While it is a recommendable game its mostly for really dedicated fans of the genre and also pretty much for collectors. But to be perfectly honest Id more recommend getting more current re-releases such as Final Fantasy Origins for the Sony Playstation One and of course Final Fantasy Dawn of Souls for the GBA and the like. But still this early day Genre Classic is not a bad choice for your NES collection indeed even if it is really more for certain really big fans only.
+ Built the foundation of its series and in certain ways the Genre
+ The best of the first games in RPGs for the NES.
+ Great graphics and music
+ Pretty good amount of depth
+ Exceptional packaging IF you can get it in a full package
- Its sequels are much better
- Difficulty is awfully high
- Overall gameplay structure is very outdated
- Even if your willing to settle with just the cartridge its still pretty hard to find and not cheap
- You might be better off just getting its re-releases unless your some type of purist of some sort.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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