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04-26-16 10:37 AM
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Final Fantasy - not quite the last one was it?

 
Game's Ratings
Overall
Graphics
Sound
Addictiveness
Depth
Story
Difficulty
Average User Score
8.8
7.9
8.1
8
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7.8
7.4
geeogree's Score
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04-26-16 10:37 AM
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Final Fantasy for the NES was made in 1987 and ushered in a new era of gaming for the console. It is one of the first (if not the first) multi-character RPG for any console to date. Having 6 classes to choose from at the beginning of the game is a great start. I can not say enough about this game or the influence it had on gaming going forward. Honestly though, taking this game alone and ignoring what came after, it is a bit of a shock that it was able to do so well and spawned the resulting game franchise that it did. The first game, while good, on its own is not amazing.

Graphics 7/10 – even this first rating is a tough one to make. The over world design is pretty basic. There is only a bit of variety in the kind of terrain you encounter and the castle and villages are pretty simple. The over world sprites are also pretty simple looking in comparison to the battle one. Not sure if it is because the over world one had to be shown from 3 or 4 perspectives but more could have been done for that.

Where Final Fantasy excelled in looks is in the battle window. The main character sprites in the battle window look great. And not only do they look great but they also move and have some basic animations and stuff. When they get hurt they fall down while the rest of the party battles on. And the monsters look fantastic. Of course many of the monsters are reskins of each other but even so there is more than enough variety in monster design to keep things interesting visually. I also liked that there are special boss designs on top of the regular monsters which helped you to know when things were really serious. I also liked the little detail in the battle at the top which showed the kind of area you were in. Sometimes it showed plains, or forests or pillars. Little variation based on where the monster encounter happened is not a big deal but shows the extra effort the developers put in to make the game great.

Sound 7/10 – Final Fantasy is known for having absolutely awesome music and while this game is stuck with NES sounds it still manages to build up some really awesome themes that continue throughout the series of games that follow. Again, because of the limitations I do not think this game deserves an overly high rating I still think that the music quality, in 1987, was high enough that it deserves credit for that. Not many games coming out around this time got music that has ended up being as iconic as Final Fantasy managed.

Addictiveness 6/10 – Final Fantasy is a good game to play and beating it once has made me want to play it again in order to accomplish everything the game has to offer. The open world concept is really great for a game this old and leaves you open to explore and discover all sorts of things the world has to offer.

However, the game takes quite a while to beat especially on your first try so it is not something you are likely to come back to right away. More than likely if I do play Final Fantasy again I’ll play with a walkthrough of some sort in order to experience as much of the game as I possibly can. At this point I do not want to wander around the world for hours on end trying to discover some secret in the world anymore. I would rather be able to find all those things easily so I can have experienced everything but without the hours of gameplay it took people back in the 80’s.

Story 7/10 – for the age this game was made the story for Final Fantasy was quite involved. You start out as 4 “Light Warriors” each carrying an Orb. In order to restore the Orbs the heroes must defeat the 4 fiends. However, the story is not that simple. There are multiple things that must be accomplished on the way like saving Princess Sara, retrieving a stolen crown, collecting a special herb to wake a sleeping Elf prince and so on. Each step in the process is required in order to progress through the game. Many of the things they heroes do is not integral to the original story but because they are required to gain access to new areas of the map there is no way to avoid many of them. I like this sort of thing because it keeps the story from being so simple minded in its goal of “beating the bad guys” and allows the heroes to do good things outside of the main quest. And for 1987 this sort of story was not a common thing. Most RPG’s of this time had a basic save the damsel beat the villain story that went no further than that.

Depth 10/10 – this game redefined depth for a video game. You start the game picking 4 characters from 6 possible classes. Each class has access to certain types of weapons and armor which vary from class to class. Some weapons and armor are magical and when used in battles will cast spells during the fight. There are also 2 types of magic (white and black) in the game and each type has a myriad of spells available to it. Each magic class and 2 combat classes also have access to a different number of spells with each type of magic. White mages and black mages have access to all of their respective spells. Red mages, ninjas and knights have access to variable amounts of white and black spells and can not use most high level spells.

There is also an experience system in the game for leveling up and later on there is a way to upgrade each class into a better version of that class. There are multiple villages to visit and items to get from those villages. There is also a boat and airship to make use of which make travelling the world much easier to do. Overall, for a game made in 1987, this is about as in depth of a game as you could imagine.

Difficulty 7/10 – with most RPG’s the difficulty limit is only as high as you are unwilling to grind levels. I based my rating on playing the game through without grinding levels. It is far from an impossible game to beat but it is still a challenge. It does not take much of a mistake in a fight to turn it from being an even fight that you are likely to win into a desperate fight that you are only barely surviving. Still, if you have any experience playing RPG’s then this game should be a straightforward experience for you. There is nothing about this game that makes it insanely difficult to play.

Overall 7.3/10 – a lot of people are likely to disagree with my overall rating (I just average out the 6 ratings I gave) but I think this is an accurate rating. There are a lot of aspects about this game that are good for its time but overall are not outstanding. This was the first game that eventually spawned a series of games that were MUCH better in many ways compared to this game. It is still worth playing this game because of its history. It is a fun game to play and well worth the effort to play it all the way through. Plus, if you are a completionist like I am then you will want to play this one to say you’ve played all the Final Fantasy games.
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04-26-16 11:03 AM
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Keep the great reviews coming. :3
I think it's really amazing that this game has as much depth as it does, considering it was a last ditch effort by Square before they went bankrupt.

IMO, this Final Fantasy was better than the 2 that came after it.
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04-26-16 11:09 AM
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Another great review, I personally love this game as well as all the 2D Final Fantasy games (I - VI). My favorite would be number IV but the first is definitely a close second.
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04-26-16 11:14 AM
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Vanelan : true. Final Fantasy 2 was almost a carbon copy of the first game. Visuals barely changed. I don't remember #3 very well but I think it was for the SNES after that. I liked all the SNES ones I played more than the NES ones.

18mlivingston : thanks! I enjoyed this one for sure but it definitely is not my favorite from the nes or snes eras. I personally liked Final Fantasy 4 the most but that's just me
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04-26-16 12:22 PM
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geeogree : Did you find Warmech? 
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04-26-16 12:25 PM
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endings : clearly not because I had no idea what you were talking about until I looked it up. That is the sort of thing that I would want to use a walkthrough for. I like experiencing as much of a game as I possibly can but I do not have the time now in my life to search for it blindly.
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04-26-16 05:57 PM
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geeogree : You would be correct, sir.
4-6 (II and III in the US (never got 5)) were on SNES, and were both excellent games... so I hope you will review those as well. 

I don't really remember 3 too well either, but I think that was because it was rather lack-luster, much like 2.
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04-26-16 06:01 PM
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Vanelan : I would have to replay most of them if I were to review them fairly. I played Final Fantasy in the last 6 months or so which is why I picked that one. The SNES ones I haven't played for a few years and I would need a refresher. I know I liked 4 though. If I were to play and review one it would be that one.
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04-26-16 09:04 PM
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Your review skills are highly admired sir. Hopefully one day I will hone my writing ability as much as you have. Keep the good working coming
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04-26-16 11:13 PM
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Wonderful review. We must all remember whence we came.

Fun Fact: It was called Final Fantasy because that was Squaresoft's last game,due to money issues. But we see that is not the case anymore,hmm? Although I do not hold such hopes for the future of Final Fantasy.
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04-26-16 11:16 PM
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Oldschool777 : I do remember reading that somewhere as well. I didn't feel it pertinent to the review but it is interesting.

I don't hold much hope for the future of RPG's as it is. The Final Fantasy style of RPG's are not nearly as common as they were during the late 80's or 90's.
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04-27-16 12:24 AM
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My issue with them is they forgot what made them great. Characters you care about,enemies that challenge you,the conflict and resolution within all characters,items that were actually helpful,and a good balance of store bought stuff vs. found items,and a wonderful story that you want to hear.

Sorry for getting off track there. I just wanted to put my 2 cents in.
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04-27-16 11:16 AM
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The hard thing about reviewing a game like this is that it's essentially one of the first of it's kind... it has a lot of bugs in it and the story is obviously lacking... but it was one of the first games to have a story as well... so it's like... a badly written story.. But one of the first stories written etc... 

geeogree : Did a good job in my opinion and in a weird way he's age helps a bit with this game... Mainly because of how different this game was at the time.. And what it developed into... he grew up with the game.. And some people may claim nostalgia helped the review score... but despite how it is today.. And the issues it has.. It's still a good albeit grind mania RPG lol... obviously my opinion means nothing but ssh  

Oldschool777 : There are still characters like that in every Final Fantasy game. Even 13, a game I hate pretty much had characters that had conflict and resolution etc... it even had a story and a cool world lol... its just it wasn't portrayed well at all.  Also challenge in a RPG is almost self inflicted... its really about how much you grind etc... Some final fantasy games require it like the first couple.. And others pretty much require.. None.. Like Final Fantasy 8...  

My point is... is that the things you point out are still there... you just don't notice them as much as it's the standard... the more rpg's that continue to be made.. The harder it is to make a decent story from original ideas that hasn't been done before... It's why 15 is going to be a lot different as well.. They want to find something different and "ground breaking" again... 

Sorry that this turned into a massive post... just I feel strongly for the series as a whole.. And well...Final fantasy games aren't done being good yet... 14 is amazing... 

TLR good review geeo, especially considering the age of the game,  and that final fantasy games are still good... just people's standards are far too high.. 
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04-27-16 12:01 PM
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I grew up watching my Dad playing the first Final Fantasy, and I was hooked after that.  I have played that one, as well as all of them besides the online games.  I loved them all and the first is one of my favorites.  I would have to say that American 3 was my favorite besides 8.  2 was completely different from the first one in that you had to level up your weapons and armor, and even had some hidden side games.  As for not having to grind in FF8, I cannot agree with that at all.  The card game Triple Triad has the items for some of  the best weapons in the game, and that in it's self is almost impossible to do, and if you want max stats, you have to sit there and draw magic from some really tough enemies sometimes or fly back and forth between the islands closest to heaven and closest to hell, and the monsters there, not only difficult, had the other items to make the final weapons creatable.  I spent many hours farming in 8, but I spend many hours farming in any rpg I play because I like that edge against my enemies.  I am really glad that it was not THE Final Fantasy.  So many good games have come from them
and I hope some more come soon.  The latest have been rather disappointing for sure.  Just graphics and lack of anything different.  Anyway, although I would have given the first one a higher rating, I loved the review and you were spot on as to how awesome it was for it's time.  Keep up the good work
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