To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy, the staff has brought together our memories and thoughts on the series. We share the good, the bad, and the memorable.
The celebration starts here.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy, the staff has brought together our memories and thoughts on the series. We share the good, the bad, and the memorable.
The celebration starts here.
Celebration good time come on!
aw it takes off my caps now. this post doesn't have the same effect.
Last edited by noodle; 12-13-2012 at 11:56 AM.
Everyone that played FF9 finished it. It may not be everyone's favourite, but I think that's a pretty amazing stat.
Final Fantasy1. This game holds nostalgia for me in great ways. The first time i played this game was at my dads house one weekend. He had borrowed it from a friend at work. I was about 6 or 7 at the time. I remember watching him play it and begging him to let me dive into it. I remember getting that first boat and sailing the seas, getting the canoe to get to the fire dungeon. The hardest dungeon of all time being the marsh caves. The thing i remember the most is my brother and I couldn't turn the game off because my dad had to make sure he held the reset button down and then press power. He was so afraid we were going to ruin his friends game. Well about two weeks later on our next weekend with our dad he had bought Final Fantasy for us. Happy times i tell ya, happy times.
Where's Final Fantasy Tactics?
I'll recall my own memories as I read through this.
I first played it on the GBA at the very beginning of 2005 (it was a Christmas gift; I think to my little brother, though that did not stop me). I was 14 at the time, and it was one of the first in the series I played. However, very quickly, I found myself completely lost. I was impatient, so I dropped the game and just played FFII instead. I did eventually return to FFI, though. That would be in spring of 2006. I really enjoyed it this time. I had a guide, so I could check to make sure I was running in the right direction across the continent or ocean. I played it with my headphones in, and it really changed my perception of its soundtrack. The GBA speakers are crappy, but the arrangements for the game are awesome; the headphones brought out all of the nuances and made the battle theme among my favorite. Probably my favorite memory from the game was finishing it. It was 1:30 AM (late then but now pretty common for me). For a game devoid of plot for the most part, the ending surprised me, and I still count it as among my favorite finales for the series. I eventually replayed it in summer of 2009 for The Year of Final Fantasy event I held here (and kudos to those that kept the Year of events going after all that time). I really liked the PSP's graphics for it, and I was surprised at how much I kept playing it despite having no depth. That said, not much challenge to be had once you've trounced the bonus dungeons. I think only the Sand Worms posed a threat.
FINAL FANTASY II
As I mentioned, middle school me dropped I and moved onto II. I spent the rest of 8th grade playing the crap out of II. I was really engrossed by it. My best friend would occasionally borrow it, and we'd slowly progress through the game together on separate files, competing to see who could make the better team. I liked a lot of the side characters, and I really digged the character designs. The game could be hard at times (especially the final dungeons--DEATH RIDERS!!), but I somehow won. Took forever to beat the Emperor of Hell though; Firion duel wielding Excalibur and Masamune did nothing to him, so I had to rely on spamming low-level endgame magic like Ultima, Holy, and Flare. I wish I'd known about the Blood Sword trick... Anyway, for years, I looked back fondly on it since it was the first game in the series I played to completion. I was worried I'd lose my love of it during my playthrough for TYoFF, but, instead, it reaffirmed my love. Armed with internet knowledge of all the secret stats and tricks, I grinded my way to total victory, and I loved every minute of my 50 hour playthrough on the PSP. This is were my fond "childhood" memories of the series lie, if I can even used such a term for any part of my affair with this series.
FINAL FANTASY III
I was excited to get the DS remake in 2006. I had just finished FFXII and was awaiting FFV for Christmas. FFIII was cool at first; reminded me of FFI. However, in time, I started to really dislike the game. Eventually, I hit a nasty brick wall: Garuda. No matter what strategy I tried, nothing worked! I eventually rage-quit and sold it. Of course, when I started TYoFF, I planned to rectify that. I rebought the game and, in a week, completed the game. I still did not enjoy it; it was more like a vengeful bout where the winner would be who broke who first. I won, but barely; Cloud of Darkness nearly broke me when it caused me to lose THREE HOURS OF MY LIFE. I hate that thing and always will. I wish I could slap the hack that thought the game would be ruined if they added a save point to the World of Darkness (yeah, they seriously considered just one for that place, but thought it would ruin the old school charm--there's nothing charming about losing time).
FINAL FANTASY IV
I got the GBA version at the end of 2005. I was really excited for this one, since I had been following Matt on RPGamer's Q&A column. He was a huge fan of the game, like some of the other staffers. He made the game sound like an awesome classic fantasy game. Goddamn was I disappointed. I don't think I have ever been more disappo--wait, no, FFXIII. I was totally underwhelmed by the plot, which seemed a bit of a step back from FFII in some ways, and there was no character progression beyond mere level ups. The graphics were nothing amazing for 2D sprites. Really, the only thing I thought that had aged well was the music and the idea of a 5-man party. I was otherwise not a fan. I still beat the game, but it was not until the summer of 2007 around the time my paternal grandfather died. I was not looking forward to replaying it for TYoFF, but I came to enjoy the DS version quite a bit for adding a character progression system and adding some real challenge to battles, even random battles toward the end. I have never used Stop and Slow more than in FFIV DS. Still, I will never be able to understand the incessant love this game gets beyond the notion of nostalgia.
FINAL FANTASY V
After being burned by FFIII, I played FFV (a lovely Christmas gift) in 2007 (my brother and I had received a 360 for Christmas as well, so I was more focused on beating Enchanted Arms; poor priorities, I know). I was hoping this game would have a better use of jobs. And it did! Hell, it had the best, and I wish they would try to top it in a main offline game. I was hooked. I also digged the plot and characters for their sense of humor. I was getting a bit sick of the constant grimdarkness of the series. FFV was a nice laugh, and I'm glad I played the GBA version and not the apparently dry PS1 version. Truly, what I remember most was how awesome the dungeons were, especially that pyramid level. I wish more dungeons in the series had such care put into them. My second playthrough in TYoFF was more of the same, though this time I had better job combinations planned out. I still had fun, and that's what counts.
FINAL FANTASY VI
I first played FFVI in 2007, when it came out for the GBA. By this point, I was scared. I was really hurt by hype backlash with FFIV, and I feared that FFVI, a game that sounded awesome, was also being trumped up by older gamers with very tightly tied nostalgia goggles. However, seeing as I had at that point played ever game in the series except it and XI, I had no choice but to except the challenge and be ready for a broken heart, again.
Nope. This game is my favorite. Period. It's damn close to perfect, with really only the magicyte system lacking. I just adored it and everything it did. I just could not believe this game could so easily outdo everything else I'd played and have played, though some games have given it a decent challenge (like Chrono Trigger, which I played for the first time in 2009; good times). I think one of my most vivid memories was on the Floating Continent. My party was Locke, Setzer, Mog, and Shadow. ...Not exactly the best team. So, when I ran into the Gigantos in that one treasure chest, I nearly had my party whipped out... and I had not recently saved. In no time, only Mog was left. However, Mog was in the back row with the Dragoon Boots. Through well timed jumps and heals, I eventually soloed that cruel beast with Mog, winning him a spot in my heart as a gaming MVP. I actually did not play this gain during TYoFF, since I had played it a few months before hand at the end of 2008. I still enjoyed it, and I got Gau's sidequest completed that time. Boy was that a touching little scene...
FINAL FANTASY VII
This was one of the earlier ones I played in spring of 2005. Oh boy. Here we go. OK, my first thoughts were: Holy crap, this looks like ****. I had "grown up" on a PlayStation. We got one when I was nine for Christmas 1999. During that time, though, we only played the Crash Bandicoot games, with only the racing game being the one I was any good at (I actually suck at games; go figure). I was shocked at how bad the models were in FFVII; I could have swoon the first Crash game, which is older than FFVII, looks slightly more polish than this attempt at weird, super-deformed Popeyes. Anyway, I had heard how good the game was, and I was intrigued to see how Aerith died (yeah, spoilers for that were already none existent by 2005; it was common knowledge a la "Rosebud"). P.S.: I did name her Aerith. I always do.
So, as I played away, I came to like the game anyway. As mentioned in FFV, I like a touch of humor. I think the reason I really like FFV-VII was that each game had some real tongue-in-cheek moments that allowed you to relax and have fun BEFORE launching you into the depths of melodrama. Anyway, my fun with FFVII eventually reached a wall. I got to Corel... but I couldn't figure out how to advance onto the railroad; the angle to progress to the next screen was really weird for me. I though I was missing something, so I stopped playing and ordered an old guide book online (silly me... why wasn't I religiously using GameFAQs yet...?). I restarted so I could do this right (like get Yuffie). I had a lot of fun, and I got a date with Aerith. Everything was going well. And then came the end of Disc 1. And it froze. Five seconds from the impalement. ...My used copy was damaged.
Naturally, I began to scourer local GameStops/EB Games, looking for another copy. Somehow, I found one, in the original black label box (keep in mind this is the summer of 2005). With my new copy in hand, I finally got to finish the game. And then I partially replayed it again, to get the Barret date scene since that sounded funny (wasn't; just got called a pedophile by the guy, claiming Cloud was after Marlene--weird). I would later replay it again a few more times to get the other date scenes, with Yuffie's being the best. I also kept trying to do better in completing sidequests. See, in my original-complete playthrough, I barely beat Sephiroth while severely underleveled and with no final Limit Breaks or elite Materia. It was just a straight out bout with Cloud, Tifa, and Red XIII. That was July 4th, one that is memorable to me for different reasons; we set off fireworks in the street with my oldest best friends and their dad, shortly before he died of a sudden heart failure.
I tried to get the Golden Chocobo and everything in my Yuffie playthrough but somehow screwed up, though Cloud, Yuffie, and Tifa still did wonders. So, I tried again and succeeded in my Tifa playthrough. Interestingly enough, I did not use Tifa for the final part of that playthrough, since I had already used her for my final party in the past two playthroughs. So, instead, I used Cid and Vincent and leveled Cloud up to 80. It was here that I finally beat the WEAPONS. In TYoFF, I kind of did not want to play through it, since I felt I had nothing left to do. Thus, even though I was suppose to complete it for Oct, I did not really start until the last week of the month and was still finishing it up in November.
I'll post the second half of my memories while reading the staff's later tonight; I have to get some stuff done today.
This was fun, looking through each game through this legendary franchise's history. It took me down a fun memory lane.
One thing that has always fascinated me with this series is the fact that everyone has their favorite, and everyone's top 3 could be so different. What I consider to be the worse game in the series, is certainly someone else's favorite, and vice-versa.
All I can say is:
To this day I still think that with FF8 had they changed the draw system and magic system to where if you drew a spell, you learned a percentage of it, and kept the traditional MP, the battles would probably have been a lot more enjoyable. Not to mention it would be a slight nod to the Magicite system from FF6.
Last edited by DarkRPGMaster; 12-13-2012 at 01:54 PM.
My biggest gripe with FF8 has and always will be is that enemies level with you. This lessend my enjoyment of the game severly. One of my favorite things to do in rpgs was to grind my guys to make them stronger. Took half the fun away from it. Just my two cents on the matter.
FF8 pretty much made you not want to use any magic ever. Especially since you can't actually permanently discard magic, you picked the strongest for each stat and left it there forever. Want to make the game very easy without leveling too much? Buy tents, turn them into curaga, apply curaga to HP. Every time the story heals your HP you just un-junction and re apply and you're back to the magic yellow where limit breaks is almost always available. Get some quakes or something early to add to your strength and the whole game just pretty much bends over for you.
I'm going to think on this topic a bit longer and maybe come back with something similar to what clix has done. Or maybe not, who knows?
lolwhoops: a Gamer's Blog
^^is my blog! Updates whenever I feel like it! :D
My synopsis of 99% of all FF discussions:
lol FF(favorite FF) roolz FF(least favorite FF) sux amirite?
I'm just sick of fantards playing favorites while ignoring the obvious faults of their favorites and blindly whining about their least favorites while simultaneously ignoring their positive aspects.
Last edited by LOLOttertard; 12-13-2012 at 03:19 PM.
It's always fun to see other people's thoughts on games you have played, and I have played FF4-10, 12 and Tactics. I was a bit surprised to only see one person's thoughts on Tactics since it seems to be a game many of us have played here.
My first FF game was FFVI and it happens to still be my favorite by a mile. The others aren't really ranked, though 12 is my least favorite main series game because the story just died at some point and I finished it just to finish it (I did love doing hunts though). I pretty much enjoyed them all but this isn't a series I feel like I need to defend or recommend since it's so popular.
This is neat. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I love it when the site does these kinds of features. I also felt that Glenn's story about FFIV was especially good.
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Like most Americans, the first games in the series I ever played were the SNES incarnations of FF4 and FF6. Previously, the only RPGs I'd played were Dragon Warrior and Destiny of an Emperor, a pair of NES games that probably offered more frustration than reward. So, when FF4 came along, it was sort of a revelation. No previous game had ever gotten me that interested in its playable characters or its overarching universe. The only game that had ever come close was the SNES Zelda, but that game's story was butt simple by comparison. A few years later, FF6 was quite simply overwhelming and, to me, remains the strongest entry in the entire series.
I liked FF7 an awful lot also, but was not nearly as charmed by its design or overall vibe as I was drawn forward by its intricate plot and characters. FF8 and FF9 resonated with me even less (though second playthroughs of those during the PS2 era proved to be wonderful gaming experiences). For me, the most memorable experience of the 32-bit era was the release of FF Anthology, which gave me my first experience with FF5. Having loved the other 16-bit titles for so long (and for quite some time not knowing that they were actually 4th and 6th in the series), playing that game was just like being a kid all over again. I loved the intricacies of the job system and thoroughly enjoyed the less-serious and more-colorful presentation that the game adhered to. The OST for that remains one of my favorites, right alongside FF6 and Chrono Trigger. A few years later, I was equally impressed with the enhanced GBA version.
Since that era, I've largely lost interest in the series. FFX had a great story, but I found the character designs downright repulsive and the addition of voice-acting didn't make things much better. In terms of gameplay, I had long disliked the tendency towards less exploration in the PS1 games, and FFX's eradication of the overworld map felt like a big step into deeper linearity. After that, we all got to experience the stylistic slap in the teeth that was FFX-2, which was all the more tragic due to its having one of the best battle systems the series had seen in years. I never played FFXI, having never grown the spine (or pocketbook) to try online gaming. FFXII was a very mixed bag. I loved the depths of its gameplay mechanics and enjoyed the vastness of its world, but could not establish the slightest interest in any of its lifeless, beautifully-rendered characters or the atrociously-boring geopolitical opera that stood in the place where a good plotline usually belongs. Even its giant world ended up feeling constrictive after a while. The fact that giant parts of the game's planet were completely outside of the game's scope was just about as disappointing as the part of FF9 where you visit the alternate planet of Terra and get to explore one measly town and a Dracula-esque castle before the whole world gets swiftly blown to smithereens and written out.
NOTE: I realized I was wrong on my chronology, so I fixed that. I'll just post a brief chronology at the end of this anyway...
FINAL FANTASY VIII
I bought it toward the end of 2005 in a mall GameStop (a sort of Christmas gift to myself). This game and IX have an odd relationship. See... I played both of them a lot, but I did not actually sit down and complete either of them until summer of 2007. VIII's nuances (not Junctioning but the other stuff, namely refining) originally went over my head, so I had a hard time progressing in Disc 3. I kept restarting here and there over the next 18 months until I finally won. I am still not sure what to think of VIII. It's kind of a mess, but that has led to me having some interesting discussions with my best friend in high school and college. For example, we both agree that Squall is entirely responsible for the plot because he set the loop into motion by making "Ultimecia" a pariah that will be treated as a villain from the moment of her birth and thus drive her to live up to her villainous fate. Next, we decided that Ultimecia likely was descended (not by blood but by magic passage) to Rinoa, and that's likely how Griever made it down the line. Lastly, we decided that the reason Squall fell for Rinoa was due to magic; much like Seifer was bewitched by Edea-possessed-by-Ultimecia, Rinoa-possessed-by-Ultimecia subconsciously cast a spell on Squall, so he would "willingly" be her knight. In some ways, we like that the game was to confused by itself to leave everything vague, so we could speculate stuff ourselves. That was the true fun of FFVIII. Also, the soundtrack is sweet, though I prefer Angela Aki's version of "Eyes on Me" so much more; it's been one of my favorite songs since 2006.
FINAL FANTASY IX
I got FFIX for my 15th birthday (Aug 2005). I immediately started to play it and enjoyed it. However, as mentioned, I would not actually finish it until summer of 07. I usually got stuck early on the Lost Continent; I could never figure out how to progress in Esto Gaza or something like that. Also, I just did not like how I had to really grind to get Freya and Steiner caught up. I think the next play through was stymied by the point where Kuja splits up the party. Again, I eventually went back and won. I would of course replay it for TYoFF, but I was still largely disinterested. As for memories... my fondest are actually recently. In fall of 2010, I moved in with some awesome roommates. One of them had his own copy of IX and wanted to replay it. Well, one thing led to another, and the four of us started to voice the characters. Now, we stopped very early (the Evil Forest) because of finals and what not. Then one of our roommates moved out. However, we found a new roommate, and, during spring and early summer of 2011, we finally finished our play through and with more consistent voices. Of the major characters, I got to voice Vivi, Steiner, and Beatrix. Boy was that fun... I'm still a bit proud of my Vivi voice, though I have no idea if it's any good.
FINAL FANTASY X
And here we are at the beginning. This was my introduction to the series during Thanksgiving of 2004. My year-older cousin from Kansas brought his copy of FFX over so he could beat it. I watched him complete the final sequences, with him filling in the details as he went so the plot made sense. Yeah, kind of spoiled, but I don't usually care about spoilers. Anyway, I decided to get into the series, and FFX was one of the first I got as a Christmas gift in 2004. However, I reached a stopping point in early 2005. I just couldn't really progress any further once I got into Sin; everything just destroyed me. I kept trying to replay it for the next couple of years, even planning stuff out and grinding so that characters had "equal" sphere levels (I kept tallies on a sheet of paper). Still, I always lost interest around the later part, either Mount Gagazet or the Calm Lands. I also came to really dislike the characters for the most part, and the plot was not that interesting to me, since it was entirely built around shock value to the twists... that I already knew about. I eventually sold the game. Like FFIII, I finally finished it during TYoFF. Despite it being the January title, I started playing it in the final week of December and beat it in the first week of January with Yuna, Auron, and Rikku tricked out to the point that Omega Weapon wasn't a threat, let alone Braska's Final Aeon. ...I think I went overboard as some form of revenge...
FINAL FANTASY XI
I was not happy to find out that the last game I needed to play for completion was online... I don't like online games. I just don't have the patience for the grind or for dealing with people while grinding. So I avoided and lambasted XI for years. For TYoFF, we originally planned to play XI in February as a group for one free month; we'd all join the same server and what-not. It did not come to pass, because FFXIII was announced for March, so we took out XI and put XII for February. That said, I did play XI that year. In summer of 2010, Steam had XI on sale. $5 for the Ultimate Collection, or whatever they called it. With the first month free, how could I say no? So, with the lovely help of maryadavies, I embarked onto Vana'diel. I made a female Elavaan White Mage in Windurst. With financial assistance and some gear-hook ups, I was able to basically solo my way through Rank 1. I still had two weeks left, so I decided to see if I could get to the next major town so I could get a subjob. However, the monsters' aggressive styles changed a bit in the next major area, and I started to die a lot and lose levels. I gave up. Plain and simple. However, I wasn't necessarily done. Using YouTube and Veoh, I was able to watch the playthroughs of the major story plots, primarily following two different people. Boy was that fun (and time consuming). I still say Chains of Promathia is the best plot, and I'm going to rewatch it some time soon. XI may not be the game for me, but I love the world and plots; they are among the series's best.
FINAL FANTASY XII
This was the first game in the series I played when it was actually released. I played it throughout the month of November and into December. Boy was that fun. Interestingly, one of my friends and major crush at the time actually really disliked it. He said it was nothing like past Final Fantasies. However, most of my other friends, when they played it a couple of years later, all really, really liked it; the aforementioned roommate I discussed VIII with is still trying to get 100% or as best he can in XII. As for me, this was a game that I came to dislike a bit more once I got online. I still defend the gameplay (except the License Board), but the more I learned about the plot and cast the more annoyed I became at SE's execs. That said, the plot that exists is very well directed, as I learned just watching the cutscenes one day (can't remember when). Overall, I had a lot of fun and did better during my TYoFF run, though it was hard to finish in one month!
FINAL FANTASY XIII
In 2006, I saw an awesome trailer. XII was not even out yet, but, look out, here comes Final Fantasy XIII, for the PS3 only! Flash forward (slowly) to 2010, I finally got to play FFXIII... on the 360. And holy crap was I underwhelmed. I can understand why it took so long to make FFXII: it is one of the most expansive worlds in the series with only Vana'diel competing with it, and Vana'diel has been allowed to be slowly expanded over the course of nearly ten years. I still cannot understand what was going on during XIII to produce so little in so long of a time. I was pretty exited at first, but in a few days I was wondering what else was there to the game other than battles and cutscenes? The cast wasn't bad in theory (nor even the plot premise) but poorly directed. In all honesty, I completely blame this all on the director, Toriyama. I can firmly say I never want to see him helm another number Final Fantasy game. FFXIII has almost singlehandedly ruined a series for me by showing me just how screwed up things have gotten as SE.
I will one day experience FFXIV like I did XI.
-Nov 04 - X saw
-Dec 04 - FFI, II, X got
-Spring 05 - VII got; II beat
-July 05 - VII beat
-Aug 05 - IX got
-Winter 05 - VIII and IV got
-Spring 06 - I beat
-Fall 06 - XII got and beat, III got
-Dec 06 - V got
-Winter 07 - V beat
-Spring 07 - VI got and beat
-Summer 07 - IV beat
-Summer 08 - VIII and IX beat
-Summer 09 - III beat
-Winter 10 - X beat
-March 10 - XIII got and beat
-Summer 10 - XI played
-Winter 10 - watched all of XI
Looking back on the entire main series, I have had dislikes and likes from every game in the series, but rarely do I dislike a FF game. Even FF13, which people bash all to hell, I really liked despite some of its obvious flaws. Then again, it had battles like SMT: Nocturne did in terms of difficulty, so it might have been the fact that it was challenging that helped me like it.
I find it really interesting that Final Fantasy IX is the only game that 100% of the staff who've played it also completed it. I wonder what it is about it that gave it that distinction?
It's still my favorite in the series, even if I like individual parts of other games better.