Classic Reviews: Final Fantasy I

Classic Reviews
Final Fantasy

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Genre: JRPG, Fantasy
Release Date:  Original Release, July 1990; Playstation, April 2003; GBA, November 2004; PSP, June 2007; Virtual Console, October 2009
Reviewed platform: GBA

The 8 bit party
The 8 bit party

If there's any series that invokes the image of a Japanese role playing game (JRPG), it's the Final Fantasy series. Many of us can recall Cloud Strife, Tidus, Lightning, or Vaan. Good or bad, this series has defined what it means to be a JRPG in the western world. This is where it began.

Initially, Final Fantasy began as a game that was inspired heavily Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, known today as simply Second Edition, and older versions of this game will show it. The magic system used is a "spells per day" system which gives the individual characters a limitation on the number of spells that can be cast by the spell's level. For example, if you run out of third level spell slots to cast your spells, you can no longer cast spells of that level, regardless of how many other spell slots you have. More modern versions of this game has eliminated this in favor of an MP based system.

The game appears simplistic by today's standards. Initially, you choose between one of six classes to make up your party. You have a warrior, who's a typical front line, heavy armored fighter, a thief, who's an agility based fast fighter, a monk, who's a bare fisted fighter, a white mage, who's a healer, a black mage, who's a destructive spellcaster, and the red mage, who functions as a jack-of-all-trades between fighter, healer, and destructive spellcaster. As you would expect, specialists will perform their jobs more effectively than the red mage will. From there, you begin outside of the city of Cornelia.

The story itself seems simplistic with quests amounting to "villains over there. Go kill them." As the story progresses, you realize that there's a little more to it. Each one of the characters that you create carries a particular elemental crystal which intended to imbue various other elemental crystals with power in an attempt to sustain the world. As the story progresses, you stumble across something greater.

A well placed spell can do wonders
A well placed spell can do wonders

The game itself is nothing completely out of the ordinary for a turn based RPG. Your character stand in a line, you give them orders, they carry out your directions at the same time that your enemies move. The complexity comes from how individual characters are equipped and what spells that they have. There is the potential for having an exceedingly difficult time when going through some of the fights available.

Unfortunately, the potential for a good challenge falls flat. Aside from a fight or two, there are no real challenging fights in this game. I never lost more than a single character against even boss battles and most bosses were down in a few rounds. This poses a slight problem if you're after an actual challenge in this game. The main storyline will rarely offer you said challenge. If you're looking for one, there was an addition for the Gameboy Advance version, Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls, called Soul of Chaos which adds four dungeons of varying difficulty to the game. Most of the bosses within these dungeons will offer a challenge to the sort of player that's actively seeking such.

The version of Final Fantasy that I played also came with Final Fantasy II, which will be reviewed later.

Bottom Line: Ultimately, it's an enjoyable game and is worth it's place as a classic. If you enjoy RPGs, you'll likely enjoy this game. Even a typical western RPG fan will likely appreciate the first installment of Final Fantasy.

I was told to come here by the voices in my head (and Souplex).
I think anyone would agree that this is a great read!
I like the fact that you reviewed the game in some depth without spoiling the story (unlike Game Trailers who can't just say wether a game is worthy or not without explaining everything that happens), but I digress.
It's a shame that there seems to be a lack of difficulty, but I guess that kind of a staple of JRPG's.

Also, is there any particular reason that it says "Fighte" in the pictures instead of "Fighter"?

The red mage is dressed like a pimp. does he/she backhand the other characters if they talk out of line or fail to pay him/her his money?

Eh, never played it, I can see how it can appeal to fans of both J and WRPGs, which is pretty nice, but I don't have any nostalgic feelings toward the FF series, so I really don't see myself ever playing this. Good review, though.

I love final fantasy. It was one of the first games I actually played and liked from the FF series. Before that, I saw that awful movie (Not FFVII:AC) and I was turned off. Then I got my hands on FFX and that was horrible too. I'm glad I got Dawn of Souls after that, because I love final fantasy now.

I remember getting the flying machine, and you can explore this massive world, but there is one tiny cave that you need to go to in order to upgrade all your characters before beating the last boss, buty ou have to park the flying machine a GOOD distance away from the cave, so it's fucking impossible to find!

THen another obscure cave, and another, and another

Ah yes... I remember that small peninsula that has mobs who have no business being there. The moment you manage to win one battle, you'll be tempted to grind that place dry and make the rest of the game a cakewalk.

EDIT:
On the note of "Challenge", the original NES version makes your characters attack air if his target dies before being able to perform the action.

Subzerowings:
I was told to come here by the voices in my head (and Souplex).
I think anyone would agree that this is a great read!
I like the fact that you reviewed the game in some depth without spoiling the story (unlike Game Trailers who can't just say wether a game is worthy or not without explaining everything that happens), but I digress.
It's a shame that there seems to be a lack of difficulty, but I guess that kind of a staple of JRPG's.

Also, is there any particular reason that it says "Fighte" in the pictures instead of "Fighter"?

6 Character limit for names, sadly. Upgrade from the NES version (which was 4), but still.

I heard that the GBA versions were actually easier. I don't know if anyone can confirm this. I was interested in buying the PS1 version.

Random Argument Man:
I heard that the GBA versions were actually easier. I don't know if anyone can confirm this. I was interested in buying the PS1 version.

The GBA version was much easier than I remember the NES version being. Haven't tried the PS1 version yet, though.

Might I suggest the Virtual Console if you have a Wii?

Naheal:

Random Argument Man:
I heard that the GBA versions were actually easier. I don't know if anyone can confirm this. I was interested in buying the PS1 version.

The GBA version was much easier than I remember the NES version being. Haven't tried the PS1 version yet, though.

Might I suggest the Virtual Console if you have a Wii?

Can't buy games on my roommate's Wii. Plus, he doesn't like JRPGs.

That, and I'm a bit of a collector. (I'll never try to buy Tactic Ogres or Ogre Battle though...200$ for an unused copy? 80$ for a used copy? BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH)

Random Argument Man:

Naheal:

Random Argument Man:
I heard that the GBA versions were actually easier. I don't know if anyone can confirm this. I was interested in buying the PS1 version.

The GBA version was much easier than I remember the NES version being. Haven't tried the PS1 version yet, though.

Might I suggest the Virtual Console if you have a Wii?

Can't buy games on my roommate's Wii. Plus, he doesn't like JRPGs.

That, and I'm a bit of a collector. (I'll never try to buy Tactic Ogres or Ogre Battle though...200$ for an unused copy? 80$ for a used copy? BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH)

Remake for Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is scheduled for a PSP release in February of 2011

Someone ought to make a cult where everyone stands around in white mage outfits chanting HSUP B TCELES.

Eh, reading this is making me want to do a single white mage run again, haha.

I love the first Final Fantasy. I got the Dawn of Souls remake of the GBA and did not rest until I had survived all of the four bonus dungeons and their bosses. Unfortunatley I quickly found out that some of those bosses may pose too much of a challenge. DAMN YOU OMEGA! WE'LL MEET AGAIN!

 

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