Final Fantasy - My Retrospective of an Entire Series.

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So I've been wanting to put something like this together for a while now. I love Final Fantasy as a series and I wanted to talk more in detail and share my experiences with the series, from how I got started with it, to my personal feelings about each and every Final Fantasy game I played. In most of these retrospectives people tend to start from Final Fantasy 1 and work their way up. For me, I want to talk about my experiences with the games in the order I played them.

What I am going to do is split each post in this thread by game and since these will probably be long winded, I'll only talk about one game per post. I request that you guys keep discussion about your own experiences with these games limited to the game I most recently posted about.

Let's all start with the first game I played in the series, Final Fantasy VII.

I was a nerd in school, no surprise there really, I loved nerdy shit like Magic the Gathering and video games. I was bullied a lot and was smarter than most of the material that was being taught, so video games became an escape at home. They let me be a cool action hero, or brave warrior, or master martial artist. I loved games like Resident Evil, Tekken, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, etc. But one game genre I never got into was RPG, at least not traditional ones.

Like I said above I was bullied a lot in school, but when I was 13 a game came out that caused something really weird to happen. This big athletic bully name Caesar used to be on my case everyday, especially during P.E. class. But one day he caught me in the locker room of gym class and asked, "Hey you like video games right?" It was the most genuine question he had ever asked me. He made no move to shove me, smirk, or anything nasty towards me. It was merely a question. From a guy who I feared and hated.

"Yeah?" I said softly.

He flipped his backpack off his shoulder and opened it without saying anything. He dug around until he pulled out a copy of Final Fantasy 7 and held it out towards me. "Here man. I think you'll really like this game." I didn't know what to do. This guy had stolen my lunch, shoved me in dirt, pants'ed me on dozens of occasions, and here he was just handing me a Playstation game. I was confused, and I figured it had to be a trick of some kind. Maybe the case was fill with shit or something.

He just held it out and waited for me to take it. Which I did carefully. "Let me know what you think. I beat it yesterday, it's awesome." Then he walked away.

I opened the case as if something would pop out and bite me, but there was nothing in the case but the three discs that were the game and the manual.

So I got home and popped Final Fantasy 7 into my Playstation for the first time. The opening got me hyped, here I was some kick ass spikey haired dude about to break into some kind of factory or something and start some shit. The music was awesome, and I was ready to rock. My hype instantly deflated after I took two steps in the came and was brought to a battle screen. The transition fades in and I see my guy with a big fuck off sword, and two soldier guys pointing guns at me. On the bottom of the screen I see my name "Ex-Soldier" and a health meter that reads 360/360. There is another bar that fills up and once it does a menu pops up with a list of actions to select. Immediately I groan, oh this is one of those games where you just watch numbers and select menu options. I was hoping to mash the attack button and wreck dudes. Never had I given a game about menus a chance.

But I had nothing else to play at the time, so I gave it a chance. I selected "attack" watched my dude zip across the screen and slash a dude apart where he explodes in red. "Oh shit! I cut that guy in half!" I cry softly so my mom doesn't hear me swear. In defeating the first two enemies in the game, a huge smile already crosses my face and I am hooked.

Final Fantasy 7 is probably labeled the most overrated game in the series by a lot of people, simply because there is just as much love for it. But I truly think that Final Fantasy 7 has a magic to it that I've never experienced in any game nor entry in the series again. It is quite possible that I look so fondly on the game because it was not only my first Final Fantasy game, but also my first RPG period. I remember progressing through the first reactor, then the second reactor, and trying to predict to myself how the plot was going to go.

I remember the first conversation you have on the train around the first mission where Jessie tells Cloud about the 7 reactors around the city, and how they destroy the planet to give the wealthy people of Midgar power. I thought then that the game would be harder and harder missions of us going to each of these reactors, then taking down Shinra in the final dungeon at the center of the city. Of course I was wrong. WAY wrong. Even after what happened at the end of the second reactor mission, I still thought that I would just get back to my party and we'd regroup to take on another reactor, possibly with Aeris in tow this time.

Nope. Still wrong. Instead I dress up as a woman to save my first Waifu Tifa aka Titfa, and the plot sends us in a different direction where we race to try and save an entire segment of the city. Which we fail. An hour later I'm staring at the Shinra Tower right before me, and I'm still on disc one. Seeing as all my ideas are out the window about the progression of the game, I strap in for a crazy ride.

By the time I reached the Shinra Building, I completely forgot that the battle system was about menus, and instead I love mixing up my Materia's, and seeing the attacks and limit breaks of the different characters in the group. Titfa's punches and kicks, Barret shooting the fuck outta stuff, Aeris hitting things lightly with her stick. Okay I know Aeris is supposed to be the mage, but I never wanted to use MP on non-bosses because you never get that many of them. I have 600 hit points, but only like 70 Magic Points. I need those spells to deal with bosses right? WTF is ether?

Things go pretty good in Shinra tower until I'm caught and locked up. It's here that you start to learn more about the characters. By the way I have a talking Lion in my party now. That's awesome. After falling asleep in prison, I wake to find the door busted open and everyone that isn't a playable character is dead as fuck. Blood is everywhere and we head off to find out what the hell is going on. Luckily there is a blood trail literally pointing the way for us. So Sephiroth has shown up, murdered everyone including the president, left his sword behind like a big "IT WAS ME!" sign, and stole his gross looking headless mommy. Okay this got weird.

Cloud sends everyone away to escape while he talks with the new president Rufus aka "shitprick". The party flees, fighting giant guard robots on an elevator and I TOLD you I would need my MP so haha. Meanwhile Cloud and Shitprick slap each other around a little until Shitprick runs away and we don't see him again for 20 hours.

The party escapes by a fricken freeway chase mini game where you bash people off bikes moving 100+ mph with your sword. Then you reach the edge of the city and fight another big robot. Then the party looks out into the world and this is it. The pivotal moment where Cloud, who has just been going along for the ride for the most part now has a purpose. Sephiroth means something to him, and he knows that whatever Sephiroth is doing it isn't good and he must be stopped. Having nothing better to do, the party decides to follow Cloud.

End of disc 1.

Or so I thought. Actually Disc 1 is fucking huge and this whole thing with Midgar and Shinra was basically what would amount as a tutorial level in most other games. Except it was an awesome 10 hour experience. Now go on a journey around the world hunting for Sephiroth, and if you can bother along they way you should probably stop Shinra too.

I wont continue the whole story summary but you can tell I was just blown away by this game. My 13-year-old self continuously guessed the plot wrong everytime I thought I knew what would happen.

I remember going to Caesar the following Monday to tell him I made it out of Midgar and that the game was awesome. He smiled and asked questions about what level I was and where I was at with the game at different points. He told me that he was level 25 when he left Midgar and he already had Lightning and Ice 2 and over 1000 HP.

It was then that I learned about grinding. Caesar beat me at everything in reality, but I wanted to beat him at this. So instead of continuing the game, I got my Aunt to buy me the Strategy guide and I started a brand new game. This time determined to beat Caesar's milestones. I spent hours grinding to level 12 in the first reactor, more time grinding in the subway before reactor five to get to 18, more time spent in the train graveyard getting to level 22 unlocking lightning and ice 2. I came to realization that I really liked grinding. Don't ask me why.

It was during this grinding time that I began to really figure out the Materia system and how to link them properly for special effects and defenses against enemies. I learned how to unlock different Limit Breaks, something I didn't know existed the first time through Midgar. Using the guide, and lots of grinding I proceeding through the game in an effort to MASTER it. Something I had never done in any other game I had ever played.

Once I got through Midgar I was proud to tell Caesar that I had beaten his record of 1200HP, having the harder to gain Cure 2 spell, and beating the final boss of the Midgar area at level 26. Only then was I ready to see what the rest of the game had in store.

I learned to love and hate Sephiroth at the same time. He was a badass, but he also needed to die. I cried when Aeris died. I saved Yuffie's honor by helping her beat her father in a battle. I went to space, I got lost in Cloud's mind to learn about Zack Fair and the truth about where Cloud had come from and how he got involved with Shinra in the first place. I took on super bosses, bred Chocobos, obtained hard to find and powerful materias. I tore Final Fantasy 7 apart and absorbed everything it had to offer.

As far as I remember, Final Fantasy 7 is the first game I beat more than once. To this day I uphold a tradition to play through FF7 at least once every other year. All because of the impression it gave me when I played it at 13. I can hum almost every song in the game, mentally picture every area, I remember secrets, and materia combinations, I even remember a lot of the dialog.

Final Fantasy 7 turns 20 years old today, and I still regard the game as the best game I have ever played.

Do the graphics hold up? No, they weren't even great when they first came out. Outside of the cut scenes obviously. There are poor translations, and errors all over the place. The Materia system is easily broken to the point where super bosses can be defeated in one turn. But that doesn't ruin the magic of the game, if anything, I would say in increases the magic of Final Fantasy 7. The countless environments, the cast of characters, the boss fights, the story, everything about the game just comes together to make an incredible experience.

Final Fantasy holds a special place in my heart that will never be replaced. I tried to give Caesar back his copy of the game after I beat it a few weeks later, but he shook his head and told me to keep it. Apparently his family got him two copies by accident and he just gave me one because he knew I liked games and thought I would really like it. He never bullied me again either, though we never became really friends beyond those first few FF7 conversations.

When they announced the remake of FF7 I would be lying if I didn't say I broke down crying. The announcement made me realize that FF7 is the most important game I ever played. There have been changes in my TOP 5 games of all time throughout the years, but FF7 will never leave it's place as number 1 in my heart. It sparked my love for RPG's, and opened me up to a world beyond just hack and slash or run and gun gameplay.

Overrated or not. Final Fantasy 7 is my personal "best game EVA!"

Shame about the next game....

It seems that everyone's best Final Fantasy is the one they first played. Well, except for me; but that's a post for another thread.

CritialGaming:

Shame about the next game....

So 8 is next, huh?

CaitSeith:
So 8 is next, huh?

Yep 8 is next.

So after playing FF7 I began to hunt down RPG's everywhere I could find them. Some where fucking excellent like the horror-shooter RPG Parasite Eve. Others were.....others were Quest 64. Needless to say, I couldn't find anything that was quite as good as FF7 to me, though a couple of games came very close. Xenogears and Legend of Dragoon were both excellent non-Final Fantasy games that I absolutely loved.

Then one day I was reading a gaming magazine which I think was Playstation Magazine at the time, and there I saw a feature on the upcoming Final Fantasy 8. In the article I remember seeing the screen shots and getting hyped. Look everyone knows that Seven didn't graphically age well, and it didn't really hold up throughout the PS1's life cycle. Final Fantasy 8 hate the properly proportioned characters of Parasite Eve and I remember connecting the two games graphically from those screenshots.

I got Final Fantasy 8 on day one with the guide book because in those days I always got the guide book, because I loved reading about the games when I couldn't play them. I would take these books to school and read in my free time about the games so that I could try to find secrets or use boss strategies when I got home. I popped the game in and began to play.

It should say something directly to the memorability of Final Fantasy 8 when I can't honestly remember the plot of the game. I could look it up but that would be dishonest to the point of this thread. I remember the intro cut scene being completely nonsensical, I remember the opening areas of Balam Garden, and that is about it. In fact the biggest thing I remember was going into the training garden-like area to grind out my starting levels, because I loved grinding still. I realized pretty quickly that the exp required to level up never increased. You only ever needed 1000 exp to level up, from 1 to 100. And the enemies in the garden gave a few hundred exp per fight.

JACKPOT!

In a few hours I maxed out Squall and one of the other character's levels to 100, ready to run around stomping the game under my max level boot.

Turns out that was a mistake. The first boss in the game was Ifrit as part of the tutorial to get you your first summon. And he destroyed me, because someone thought it would be a good idea to make all the enemies level with you. Final Fantasy 8 revolved around something called the Junction system, where you merged magics to your summon's stats which in turn would boost your stats. Instead of grinding for exp, you would grind spells. Spending hours fighting enemies not to defeat them, but to suck the magic spells out of them until you reached your cap. Then you would put those spells into your stats to buff your characters. But if you used any of the spells, it would lower the amount of spell charges on your stat and weaken them the more you cast the spell, which meant the game didn't really want you to have a "mage" of any kind.

People always talk about how broken the Materia system was in FF7, stating that it was far too easy to break the entire game balance with the right materia. The Junction system can break the game in Final Fantasy 8 just was badly, the only difference is the MAteria system was smooth and easy to understand, and the junction system is a jumbled mess of nonsense.

The most fun in an RPG for me was grinding out levels, I loved it. And FF8 took that right out of the game for me, forcing me to instead do a much more boring type of grind instead.

Add to that the storyline, the characters, and how uninteresting I found Squall to be, just made Final Fantasy 8 horrible to me. I thought Sephir was just a knock-off Sephiroth, and Squall was a wannabe Cloud but without the character development. I couldn't even name you the other party members or the evil witch lady that becomes to game's villain. I sometimes tell myself that I should replay FF8 with a more grown-up mind look at it and see if I still hate it just as much as I did when I was a kid. But I haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet.

The feelings that I got playing FInal Fantasy 7 were nowhere to be found during my FF8 playthrough, and it left me heart broken.

Triple Triad was pretty good though.

Luckily this lull in Final Fantasy didn't last long. Because it seemed like Final Fantasy IX was released really quickly behind VIII, and I wonder if Square knew that people wouldn't like VIII as much and needed to make sure IX was on the was ASAP.

I almost feel sorry for you to start with FF7.
I started with FF1 and went from there.
FF7 was a HUGE letdown after I had just beat FF3(6).

Wait...Cloud had character development?
Are you sure your memories of all the side FF7 didn't bleed into your memory?

I still say FF8 is better than FF7, even if the Junction system took more time to learn, given its superior summoning - music- overall story - and several better characters.

CaitSeith:
It seems that everyone's best Final Fantasy is the one they first played

Something I've noticed as well.

Except for me, I mean. My favorite was my first, but FF2/4 is objectively the best FF.

Obviously.

Tanis:
I almost feel sorry for you to start with FF7.
I started with FF1 and went from there.
FF7 was a HUGE letdown after I had just beat FF3(6).

Wait...Cloud had character development?
Are you sure your memories of all the side FF7 didn't bleed into your memory?

I still say FF8 is better than FF7, even if the Junction system took more time to learn, given its superior summoning - music- overall story - and several better characters.

Yeah Cloud had character development, in fact he had a lot of it. A man who lost everything he had been to becomes what he thought he was, only to discover the truth and become a more rounded person as a result.

I'm happy you liked 8. All of this is obviously just my take on how I experienced the series on a game by game basis. Check back tomorrow for Final Fantasy 9.

CritialGaming:

Luckily this lull in Final Fantasy didn't last long. Because it seemed like Final Fantasy IX was released really quickly behind VIII, and I wonder if Square knew that people wouldn't like VIII as much and needed to make sure IX was on the was ASAP.

Not really. Squaresoft wanted FFIX out ASAP so they could leave the PS1 behind and focus on the PS2 and FFX as much as possible. And yet, the game barely feels rushed (even FF7 had its rough edges more apparent at some points than IX did).

CritialGaming:

Tanis:
I almost feel sorry for you to start with FF7.
I started with FF1 and went from there.
FF7 was a HUGE letdown after I had just beat FF3(6).

Wait...Cloud had character development?
Are you sure your memories of all the side FF7 didn't bleed into your memory?

I still say FF8 is better than FF7, even if the Junction system took more time to learn, given its superior summoning - music- overall story - and several better characters.

Yeah Cloud had character development, in fact he had a lot of it. A man who lost everything he had been to becomes what he thought he was, only to discover the truth and become a more rounded person as a result.

I'm happy you liked 8. All of this is obviously just my take on how I experienced the series on a game by game basis. Check back tomorrow for Final Fantasy 9.

I think if 6 was being remade in the modern style instead of 7, it would get a very warm reception. It's not the first I played but I honestly think it's got the best story and characters. 4-10 are all excellent - but 6 is the most compelling. 7 had the advantage of the new graphics, which were revolutionary at the time.

CaitSeith:
It seems that everyone's best Final Fantasy is the one they first played. Well, except for me; but that's a post for another thread.

CritialGaming:

Shame about the next game....

So 8 is next, huh?

I dunno which one I played first but I went a kids house and he had 4&6. Dunno which one I played first but 6 is my fav.

Don't take this personally, I'm just relying my thoughts.

CritialGaming:
Yeah Cloud had character development, in fact he had a lot of it. A man who lost everything he had been to becomes what he thought he was, only to discover the truth and become a more rounded person as a result.
I'm happy you liked 8. All of this is obviously just my take on how I experienced the series on a game by game basis. Check back tomorrow for Final Fantasy 9.

I don't recall, okay so it's been a decade, a lot of that character development being shown IN GAME.
He lost a LOT of his emo shit, which Squall found apparently...and barely lost till 'Eyes On Me' started playing, by the end...but most of his 'growth' seems to either be implied or expanded on in other games/media of the series.

Though I think my biggest issue with FF7 was Barret.
-Dude was one 'jive ass turkey' line away from being a walking stereotype of a black man.

I was also not a fan of the battle system that made every character worth the same weight outside of their limit breaks.
-FF8 also had this issue and barely wins out between the two because I think summoning and limits were better done.

The in game graphics suffered from its' development on the SNES, thought some of those backgrounds were petty nice.

I think the music, in game, was kind of disappointing...the bones were good by the early PS1 team wasn't able to really 'get good' on the system till FF8 or Xenogears.

But, it really is amazing what another year or two can do for a company.
I mean, anything non-game play wise, was greatly improved upon only 1-2 years later by many of the same team members.

I just hope the HD Remake fixes some major plot issues, maybe adds in the stuff from the 'FF7-Verse, and gets Yuffie and Vincent to MATTER more than they did to the plot.
-O, and Cat-Sith less annoying...not as bad un-BEAR-able as that muppet from Persona 4, but close.
-Also, maybe, make the chocobo breeding less...incestuous...that whole 'bread kid with parent' mechanic was just so damn CHREEPY.

FF9 was great...my major issue was with the world map.
Never really felt as 'good' any of the other Square JRPGs on the PS1.

Tanis:
Don't take this personally, I'm just relying my thoughts.

CritialGaming:
Yeah Cloud had character development, in fact he had a lot of it. A man who lost everything he had been to becomes what he thought he was, only to discover the truth and become a more rounded person as a result.
I'm happy you liked 8. All of this is obviously just my take on how I experienced the series on a game by game basis. Check back tomorrow for Final Fantasy 9.

I don't recall, okay so it's been a decade, a lot of that character development being shown IN GAME.
He lost a LOT of his emo shit, which Squall found apparently...and barely lost till 'Eyes On Me' started playing, by the end...but most of his 'growth' seems to either be implied or expanded on in other games/media of the series.

Though I think my biggest issue with FF7 was Barret.
-Dude was one 'jive ass turkey' line away from being a walking stereotype of a black man.

I was also not a fan of the battle system that made every character worth the same weight outside of their limit breaks.
-FF8 also had this issue and barely wins out between the two because I think summoning and limits were better done.

The in game graphics suffered from its' development on the SNES, thought some of those backgrounds were petty nice.

I think the music, in game, was kind of disappointing...the bones were good by the early PS1 team wasn't able to really 'get good' on the system till FF8 or Xenogears.

But, it really is amazing what another year or two can do for a company.
I mean, anything non-game play wise, was greatly improved upon only 1-2 years later by many of the same team members.

I just hope the HD Remake fixes some major plot issues, maybe adds in the stuff from the 'FF7-Verse, and gets Yuffie and Vincent to MATTER more than they did to the plot.
-O, and Cat-Sith less annoying...not as bad un-BEAR-able as that muppet from Persona 4, but close.
-Also, maybe, make the chocobo breeding less...incestuous...that whole 'bread kid with parent' mechanic was just so damn CHREEPY.

FF9 was great...my major issue was with the world map.
Never really felt as 'good' any of the other Square JRPGs on the PS1.

I mean those are certainly valid opinions, however you have to remember this game hit me at the age of 13 and your opinions sound like you experienced FF7 when you where much smarter than when I was upon playing the game for the first time. Additionally you sound as if you had previous RPG experience prior to 7. Which is all fine and I get that, it's part of the reason I set up my life a bit at the start of that to try and highlight the impact that 7 had for me.

CritialGaming:
I mean those are certainly valid opinions, however you have to remember this game hit me at the age of 13 and your opinions sound like you experienced FF7 when you where much smarter than when I was upon playing the game for the first time. Additionally you sound as if you had previous RPG experience prior to 7. Which is all fine and I get that, it's part of the reason I set up my life a bit at the start of that to try and highlight the impact that 7 had for me.

I was about the same age.
But, yeah, I probably did.

Until the PS2 came out I was always a gen or so behind.
-My father was broke AF, by some cousins had too much money and not enough brains or care to keep his other stuff.

When my cousin from FL upgraded I got his NES then his SNES and the his, you get the point.
-Even got a, for the day, pretty bitching gaming PC that was able to run Morrowind on the highest of high a year later. XD

But, yeah...lots of JRPGs...lots and lots of reading.
;)
So much reading.

I'm going to be the Debbie Downer on this one...

I always thought the FF series were bad GAMES because the GAMEplay was never good. And, I got to the point where the world changed in FFVI on SNES and I just stopped playing it, I couldn't take the boring gameplay anymore. FF games did what a lot of JRPGs did back during their "golden age" with regards to combat; the heroes and enemies standing across from each other trading blows. The most important part of turn-based combat is positioning and to remove that element takes just about all the strategy out of the combat thereby negating the necessity of the combat being turn-based in the first place. And the whole random battle mechanic was always horrible, it makes the world feel empty and lifeless while actively discouraging exploration as well because say you want to explore someplace, you have to battle every 3 steps (not a problem) and you'll likely find nothing (not a problem either), then you have to battle again every 3 steps (not cool) to get back to your original location when you already cleared a path. So I played and gave up on FFVI probably freshman year in high school, which was during PS1/N64 gen (but I basically skipped that gen as I went from SNES to PS2). Then, a few years later or whatever it was, I decided to try another one of these games, which was FFX, probably a couple years after its release, and literally NOTHING changed, it was the same freaking game with regards to gameplay. I powered through and beat it because the random battles weren't nearly as abundant, and the characters were rather bad (I hated Tidus and Yuna) and the story was just OK.

Then, I go and give FFXII a shot and FINALLY the there's CHANGES!!! Like or dislike the FFXII battle system as much as you want, but what it finally did was keep you out of freaking constant menus making constant simple decisions a zombie could probably handle. And, to top it all off, under-the-hood FFXII's battle system is exactly the same as the past games, it just gives you the ability to make some if-then-else statements (gambits) to keep you out of menus and that's literally the only difference in the combat system. Compared to the combat systems of VI and X, I freaking loved XII's system just because it didn't waste my time. Basically if you don't like XII's battle system, you don't like any previous battle system either as they are the same. Oh, and random battles were FINALLY gone and just going outside the city for the first time and seeing an T-rex wandering about was awesome, the world no longer felt lifeless and barren. The characters were actually better than FFX only because Balthier and Fran were awesome, the story was just OK again.

That's my take on the series as I only played 2 and a half them and I really see no need to play anymore because what you get out of them doesn't match up to the time you have to put into them. If they were just adventure games, then I'd give more of them a try, but putting up with that combat is the opposite of enthralling. I saw the FFXV movie and it was horrible, I don't see how anyone would be interested in that game if you saw the movie.

CaitSeith:

CritialGaming:

Luckily this lull in Final Fantasy didn't last long. Because it seemed like Final Fantasy IX was released really quickly behind VIII, and I wonder if Square knew that people wouldn't like VIII as much and needed to make sure IX was on the was ASAP.

Not really. Squaresoft wanted FFIX out ASAP so they could leave the PS1 behind and focus on the PS2 and FFX as much as possible. And yet, the game barely feels rushed (even FF7 had its rough edges more apparent at some points than IX did).

A someone who considers IX the best in the series(and I've played almost all the earlier ones other then 8), it still has a few annoying issues.

Two in particular:

1.)Freya's Arc. It's wonderful and moving...and then it just stops once she finds her BF(and is crushed to learn he doesn't remember her at all). At least there's a little bit of resolution in the ending but god it seems like the developers just forgot about her after a certain point.

2.) Necron/The Darkness beyond time. Who is he/it and what does it want? Why is it the final boss and not Kuja? The best theories I've heard is that it's either the representation of Death(AKA Kuja "kills" the heros and they're fighting to survive against the reaper himelf) or the destruction of the multi-verse personified(caused by the shattering of the crystal). Both work but there's no way to know because the game never so much as mentions Necron before it shows up for a fight.

CaitSeith:
It seems that everyone's best Final Fantasy is the one they first played.

DefunctTheory:

Something I've noticed as well.

Crud, you mean if I ever play another Final Fantasy game, it won't be better than 10, which I consider average at the end of the day?

Damn it. :(

DefunctTheory:

CaitSeith:
It seems that everyone's best Final Fantasy is the one they first played

Something I've noticed as well.

Looks at Final Fantasy 6*
Yep.

* can we please just call it this from now on? Every game (eventually) got released in the US with the correct numbers.

CaitSeith:
It seems that everyone's best Final Fantasy is the one they first played. Well, except for me; but that's a post for another thread.

I'd go 6, 9, 4. Which would be the 4th, 12th (I think), and 2nd ones I played.

First one I played was the first one. And thats very much a relic of its time. Notable perhaps, but not anything I'd really recommend to anyone on any merit.

gsilver:

DefunctTheory:

CaitSeith:
It seems that everyone's best Final Fantasy is the one they first played

Something I've noticed as well.

Looks at Final Fantasy 6*
Yep.

* can we please just call it this from now on? Every game (eventually) got released in the US with the correct numbers.

You can. There were no 'American' FF4 or FF6, so you're always right when you call them that. It's only confusing if you use the 'American' numbers.

Hawki:

Crud, you mean if I ever play another Final Fantasy game, it won't be better than 10, which I consider average at the end of the day?

Damn it. :(

That would be an exception. FF10 was garbage.

Maybe the "first played, best" extends to "second played, second best" as well

My 2nd Final Fantasy was Tactics, and damn, was that a fun game.

Does anyone know when the FF7 remake is meant to be released by the way?

RaikuFA:

CaitSeith:
It seems that everyone's best Final Fantasy is the one they first played. Well, except for me; but that's a post for another thread.

CritialGaming:

Shame about the next game....

So 8 is next, huh?

I dunno which one I played first but I went a kids house and he had 4&6. Dunno which one I played first but 6 is my fav.

I think, (and I honestly think I'm being fairly objective because my first FF was actually 8 followed by 4, and I've played the majority), 6 had the best plot and characters - as I've said further up. It managed to have lots of characters which you care about in a dystopian world and the situation just gets more and more desperate to the point of total destruction of the world. They've never beaten Kefka as a villan for me. And Terra's theme / the battle theme is my favourite music in the series.

I've only played:

-IV once
Would've probably liked it more if I played it back in the SNES era, but it was only 10 or so years ago. The final boss is what I most remember, and even if only for that it was worth a playthrough.

-(Started playing V a few years ago but never finished it. I've had the airship for a while but lost track of where I should be going next. I'd like to finish it someday still.)

-VI (III) once
Another I played quite a few years after release. I played it after VII and honestly find it somewhat over rated. The opera scene was cool but I think the game as a whole is another example of nostalgia that I didn't really have playing it later than most.

-VII several times
This was my first like so many other people's, but the story, setting, characters, music (also better than the bulk of III's imho), let alone visuals all added up to a more enjoyable time for me. It was the first game I shed a few tears over; not when Aeris died, but when I finally finished it and looked back at the journey. Say what you will about pre-rendered cutscenes, but they simply pull the heart strings more effectively from a visual standpoint.

-VIII I think twice through
Actually started playing this one two different times and stopped for different reasons, then finally the third time was the charm. It also took that long I think to get used to the Junction System, at which point the game became more fun. I didn't like Squall half as much as Cloud, but didn't mind Rinoa. I lost it during the space scene, especially with the music. I think it's one of the reasons I stopped originally because it was an emotional steamroller. Like, wtf is a game doing turning my face into two rivers. I personally think out of the ones I've played that VIII also has the best music, especially the ending suite. Edea was an intriguing villain too for me at that adolescent age, in that she was a sexy brand of evil, but in a classy way. I still prefer VII more as a game though overall because it was more fun without being emotionally overwrought.

-IX once
Another that I started once before but didn't initially finish, although only on the second attempt this time. I appreciated the lighter tone and more medieval/magical setting as it felt like a classic style rpg. The combat system was interesting enough from what I remember and the game never felt like it dragged. I'd probably put it between the previous two games as far as enjoyment, mainly because I didn't find any of the characters (besides Vivi) or story all that compelling. It was simply a pleasant journey that almost felt like retroactive nostalgia. Probably had my favorite overworld music as well as end boss suite too.

-(Started playing X at least twice but never finished it. One of these days perhaps, but I really didn't care for Tidus much. Pretty bad first impression for the first voiced FF protagonist imo.)

-(Never bothered with XI)

-(Started playing XII briefly but never finished. If I ever get a load of free time soon I'd like to go through X and the Zodiac edition of this one)

-(Only played the demo of XIII. Not in any hurry to return to it.

I haven't touched any later entries to the series since that. They can be so emotionally heavy handed and time consuming (grindy) that I think I had my fill, as they were often a lot to take in at a younger age. Perhaps someday I'll gain a new perspective on them and return to finish at least the others I'd started. I mostly say this because the time I have spent with the series has been some of the best and most rewarding in my gaming history.

So after the disappointment of Final Fantasy 8, I was hopeful that 9 would be better. Again I saw articles in Playstation Magazine about how 9 was going to return to the series' mid evil fantasy roots and it certainly looked like it would have a completely different vibe than 7 or 8. So I got excited and got the game when it came out.

Final Fantasy 9 was interesting for me to look back on. People love 9, and to some, it is the best game in the series. But to me, I honestly can't remember much about it. I remember that Zidane and Kuja's Trance forms where basically Super Saiyen 4 forms from Dragonball GT and I thought that was cool. But as far as the main plot pushing everything forward...I don't remember any of it. Yet despite that, I do remember liking the game much more than FF8.

The ability to grind was back and it came back in a big way. Final Fantasy 9 evolved the junctioning system from 8 by giving every piece of gear a special ability that if you used that equipment in enough battles your characters would eventually master that skill and be able to use it without wearing that piece of equipment. For example if you had an accessory like Ribbon, which gave you immunity to all status effects, you could fight enough with ribbon that your character would eventually be able to equip that ability while wearing a different piece of gear. This allowed you to take that very important status immunity ability, and use it while wearing a much better piece of armor.

I loved that system. I really did, because it gave me ways to make my party OP even after reaching level 99. It was great.

From what I can remember of the story I did like it. Vivi's arc as he tries to come to terms with what he is. Er....that's actually all I remember. I can remember the beginning pretty well, but anything beyond the kidnapping of Garnet just becomes a blur really. Which leads me to think that while I had fun with the game, I didn't really think the story was anything special. There weren't any twists or turns in the story that really left an impact of me enough for me to be able to recall them. I remember a lot of the cinematics, I remember the last boss being a fucking asshole, but nothing really beyond that.

I'll tell you what I do remember. The next game in the series I played. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

...to be honest, the only FF games I haven't liked are XIII, VIII and the DS version of III. The rest of 'em I've enjoyed in some form or another. Yes, even Mystic Quest.

...kinda annoying how much attention VII gets though. It was good, but c'mon, what about V? And VI? And IX? And Bahamut Lagoon?

...what? That counts as a Final Fantasy game. Technically. Bahamut's in it. And Alexander. That's 2 summons, that's good enough.

Dalisclock:

1.)Freya's Arc. It's wonderful and moving...and then it just stops once she finds her BF(and is crushed to learn he doesn't remember her at all). At least there's a little bit of resolution in the ending but god it seems like the developers just forgot about her after a certain point.

2.) Necron/The Darkness beyond time. Who is he/it and what does it want? Why is it the final boss and not Kuja? The best theories I've heard is that it's either the representation of Death(AKA Kuja "kills" the heros and they're fighting to survive against the reaper himelf) or the destruction of the multi-verse personified(caused by the shattering of the crystal). Both work but there's no way to know because the game never so much as mentions Necron before it shows up for a fight.

Necron I think is a translation issue - in the Original Japanese he's foreshadowed by Garland and Kuja, and his name makes more sense in context (he's essentially the creature that comes in and destroys the universe at the end of time, but Kuja jumped the gun), but the translation kinda jumbled things around a bit so he comes a little out of left-field. I think that gets fixed in one of the english versions, but the original PS2 translation cuts him out completely.

Basically, he's just the male version of The Cloud of Darkness from FFIII. Turns out IX was like, full of all these references to the older games, but most of 'em got translated out for some reason or another. Bit of a shame, really.

(And what happened to Freya was just criminal. She's one of the best characters and she just gets sidelined so hard. Disgraceful.)

Wrex Brogan:

Necron I think is a translation issue - in the Original Japanese he's foreshadowed by Garland and Kuja, and his name makes more sense in context (he's essentially the creature that comes in and destroys the universe at the end of time, but Kuja jumped the gun), but the translation kinda jumbled things around a bit so he comes a little out of left-field. I think that gets fixed in one of the english versions, but the original PS2 translation cuts him out completely.

Basically, he's just the male version of The Cloud of Darkness from FFIII. Turns out IX was like, full of all these references to the older games, but most of 'em got translated out for some reason or another. Bit of a shame, really.

That's another possibility I meant to mention. The series penchant for throwing in a Giant Space Flee from Nowhere Boss near/at the end. Cloud of Darkness being the most prominent example though the Nasty form of Zeo(Zero?)mus from 4 also comes to mind. I wanted to say Neo-EXDEATH from V but it was mentioned earlier he was basically a tree so filled with evil he became an evil reality destroying tree demon(which sort of makes sense, I think).

Considering IX is essentially the fan service installment of the main series(in the best way possible), this may make the most sense.

dscross:
Does anyone know when the FF7 remake is meant to be released by the way?

Supposedly in a year or so, but that was before they moved development from the studio developing it back in house, which probably means delays.

Something else to keep in mind, it's been announced the game is going to be episodic, so while the first episode may be released in a year or so, I doubt we'll see the entire game before 2020. Both because XV took like a decade to develop and because episodic games have a bad tendency to schedule slip that I've noticed.

So the PLaystation one era came and went with one incredible game, one mediocre game, and one pretty good game. PLaystation 2 came with the first Final Fantasy game to have voice acting, Ten. I got my copy with my PS2 ready to see the incredible new graphics on the next gen system.

I would be lying if I said I loved FFX when I first played it. Man the intro was cool, but because I had to listen to all the dialog and the slow pace of the beginning of the game, I actually TRADED FFX into Gamestop a few days after I got it. It wouldn't be until a few months later that I would have heard how good FFX was, before I got another copy and gave it a real try.

The game grew on me quickly that second time. The story was great, the characters were great (except Tidus), and the leveling system was AWESOME. I thought the sphere grid was absolutely genius. The ability to specialize a character, or say fuck it and leveling them in completely random directions was awesome. After Yuna mastered white magic, I had her teleport to the most power black magic spells to learn those too. She began far more powerful than Lulu on my team, nevermind the fact that she also summons Aeons. The Summoning system itself was great too, being able to summon a beast and have it act for the party for a while until it won the fight or was defeated, or dismissed, was great.

My favorite character in the game was Wakka. Not because he was a great character, but to watch him go from being to devout to Yevan only to watch the horrible truth about his faith come out and how he is forced to adapt himself around it. I thought that was fantastic. The love story between Yuna and Tidus was forced as fuck though and that part annoyed me.

Yet all around the gameplay was mostly great. I liked having the ability to use everyone in the cast at every battle by quick swapping in combat. I liked the temple puzzles and the side missions for the super strong aeons.

Where I think FFX fell flat was the absurd mini-games. Not only did these games suck, but they are all required to unlock each character's super weapon. Which is dogshit. Dodge lightning 200 times in a row, one fuck up resets you all the way back to the beginning. Why not just dodge 200 total strikes, that way fucking up number 199 doesn't lead to a murder. The Chocobo racing thing can go fuck itself. Blitzball, is...alright. It's a hassle but it's functional. Butterflies can die in a fire too. It's just awful. All of it.

It's sad to see the true potential of the game held back by such horrible and frustrating mini activities. As a result I never beat the dark aeons, or Penance. Because I can't be bothered to stress out over bullshit.

Despite that, once I got rolling in FFX it became my second favorite game in the series, and stayed there for a really long time.

I've played the first 9. 1,2, and 4-6 on the GBA, 3 and 4 (again) on the DS, and 7-9 on the PSP.

I'd rank them 9 > 6 > 4 > 7 > 5 > 3 > 1 > 8 > 2.

The Black Mages becoming self-aware individuals, forming their own society, realizing the reality of their short lifespan, and dealing with the inevitability of death is the only thing that I remember from the game (I think I remember more from FF8 than 9). Still, I was mind blown back then for this different approach towards death (colder and less dramatic than in previous games).

CritialGaming:

I'll tell you what I do remember. The next game in the series I played. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

And this is where I can't comment anymore. I still haven't played from X to XII. But I'll be back for XIII ;)

I think FF10 was the first FF game I hated the ending of in retrospect.

I LOVED FF10-2's combat system, it's basically a 'job' system but with 'dresses'.

To bad the ending to FF10-2 ruined the emotional impact of FF10s', and the whole 'Yuna is now a bar slut' kind of killed her character for me.
-Though I did like Rule 63 Squall.

hanselthecaretaker:

-VI (III) once
Another I played quite a few years after release. I played it after VII and honestly find it somewhat over rated. The opera scene was cool but I think the game as a whole is another example of nostalgia that I didn't really have playing it later than most.

You thought 6 was overrated? What didn't you like? Would you like it better with updated graphics?

dscross:

hanselthecaretaker:

-VI (III) once
Another I played quite a few years after release. I played it after VII and honestly find it somewhat over rated. The opera scene was cool but I think the game as a whole is another example of nostalgia that I didn't really have playing it later than most.

You thought 6 was overrated? What didn't you like? Would you like it better with updated graphics?

It's been almost 20 years since I played it but still, very little stood out to me. It's not just the graphics either since I can distinctly remember different areas and events of A Link to the Past or Chrono Trigger even though I haven't played them in as long. But from FF6 all I remember are a dingy looking fort in the cold at the beginning, some castle a bit later, then the opera scene. He rest is kind of a blur of mundaneness. But, I could say the same about FFIV.

My point is it is just like any other game where if you didn't play in the same timeframe everyone else did, you probably won't remember it as fondly. Like it's doubtful that most people who've played the PS1 FFs first would go back to SNES FFs and say they were masterpieces. I grew up in the Coleco/DOS era of gaming too, so it's not a matter of age or "back in my day".

Tanis:
I think FF10 was the first FF game I hated the ending of in retrospect.

I LOVED FF10-2's combat system, it's basically a 'job' system but with 'dresses'.

To bad the ending to FF10-2 ruined the emotional impact of FF10s', and the whole 'Yuna is now a bar slut' kind of killed her character for me.
-Though I did like Rule 63 Squall.

Hell, I hated the ending before X-2. I was almost down with the Tidus's goodbye at the end as he fades away, and then you get the bit right after that where he fistbumps his dad in the afterlife.

Way to ruin the mood, FFX.

hanselthecaretaker:

dscross:

hanselthecaretaker:

-VI (III) once
Another I played quite a few years after release. I played it after VII and honestly find it somewhat over rated. The opera scene was cool but I think the game as a whole is another example of nostalgia that I didn't really have playing it later than most.

You thought 6 was overrated? What didn't you like? Would you like it better with updated graphics?

It's been almost 20 years since I played it but still, very little stood out to me. It's not just the graphics either since I can distinctly remember different areas and events of A Link to the Past or Chrono Trigger even though I haven't played them in as long. But from FF6 all I remember are a dingy looking fort in the cold at the beginning, some castle a bit later, then the opera scene. He rest is kind of a blur of mundaneness. But, I could say the same about FFIV.

My point is it is just like any other game where if you didn't play in the same timeframe everyone else did, you probably won't remember it as fondly. Like it's doubtful that most people who've played the PS1 FFs first would go back to SNES FFs and say they were masterpieces. I grew up in the Coleco/DOS era of gaming too, so it's not a matter of age or "back in my day".

Nah that not always true. My first game was actually 8. I didn't play 6 until I was in my early 20s, by which point I had already played 7,8,9 and 4. I can honestly say, without first game bias, that 6 has the best characters, world, plot and DEFINITELY the most effective villain in the series. It's rated that way for a reason. If it had a modern feel, you'd like it better I bet. If 4 felt the same it must be somewhat how it's presented to you, whether you are aware of it or not. Chrono Trigger and A Link to the Past play very differently I think.

dscross:

hanselthecaretaker:

dscross:

You thought 6 was overrated? What didn't you like? Would you like it better with updated graphics?

It's been almost 20 years since I played it but still, very little stood out to me. It's not just the graphics either since I can distinctly remember different areas and events of A Link to the Past or Chrono Trigger even though I haven't played them in as long. But from FF6 all I remember are a dingy looking fort in the cold at the beginning, some castle a bit later, then the opera scene. He rest is kind of a blur of mundaneness. But, I could say the same about FFIV.

My point is it is just like any other game where if you didn't play in the same timeframe everyone else did, you probably won't remember it as fondly. Like it's doubtful that most people who've played the PS1 FFs first would go back to SNES FFs and say they were masterpieces. I grew up in the Coleco/DOS era of gaming too, so it's not a matter of age or "back in my day".

Nah that not always true. My first game was actually 8. I didn't play 6 until I was in my early 20s, by which point I had already played 7,8,9 and 4. I can honestly say, without first game bias, that 6 has the best characters, world, plot and DEFINITELY the most effective villain in the series. It's rated that way for a reason. If it had a modern feel, you'd like it better I bet. If 4 felt the same it must be somewhat how it's presented to you, whether you are aware of it or not. Chrono Trigger and A Link to the Past play very differently I think.

Yeah presentation is, or has at least become a big part of these games. Battle systems too have always been. Now, if it's something simpler like Castlevania II, which I only recently played a couple years ago, I have an easier time judging it regardless of being really late to the party. I'm of course being subjective based on personal taste, but you're probably very right about FF6 appealing to me more if it was presented like the later games.

I'm this way with movies too. It's like the need to pardon older films right off the bat because they are technically deficient. I watch them more as a nod of respect to the pioneering great ideas and techniques in a variety of facets than for what I actually see and hear on the screen as pure entertainment. They are actually more like cinematic history lessons to me.

I should probably revisit FF6 again with this in mind. I'd probably end up enjoying it more using that mindset.

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