Posts tagged ‘Final Fantasy’


Good news on the PSN front!

by wfgodbold

Atlus has finally lowered the PSN pricing for some of its PSP games (most of which were originally priced at the release MSRP).

I’ve been interested in giving one of the Shin Megami Tensei games a try; sure, the Persona series is just a spinoff, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

I just haven’t decided if I should start with Persona (the first game in the spinoff series) or Persona 3 Portable. I don’t think they’re strongly connected, more just set in the same universe (or even just with the same basic battle options and game mechanics, like the Final Fantasy or Tales of series).

On the one hand, Persona started the spinoff series, and I do like starting at the beginning.

On the other hand, it was a PSX game, and is bound to look dated, especially compared to Persona 3, which was ported from a PS2 game.

On the gripping hand, the characters in Persona 3 have an … interesting … way of summoning their personas into battle.

I’m not even considering starting with Persona 2, since for some reason it’s $10 more expensive than the other two games. Good job on consistency there, Atlus.

I suppose I should be happy they responded to the demand from Vita owners, though; since the only way to play PSP games on the Vita is by purchasing the PSN version of the game, everyone who was interested in Atlus’s PSN catalog complained vociferously about how they hadn’t reduced prices on most of their games since the first of them were listed digitally almost three years ago.

If anyone has any suggestions about whether Persona 1 or Persona 3 is the better starting point for someone who’s never played a SMT game in his life, feel free to share them.


Bombing Mission

by wfgodbold

Everyone loved Final Fantasy VII*.

The games opens with Cloud, Barret, Tifa, and the rest of AVALANCHE heading to one of Midgar’s mako reactors (isn’t magitek grand?) to blow it the hell up.**

The party infiltrates a reactor, and the various characters give the player tips on how the game actually works (on the battle system and using items or magic and that kind of thing).

The music, though, is very tense. In spite of the ridiculous character models and hit-or-miss dialogue translations.

The Black Mages‘ rendition of the mission’s theme is excellent.

*By everyone, I mean more than 10 million people worldwide. I rounded up. To everyone.

**The game mostly glosses over this, but the player characters are essentially ecoterrorists. Damn elves.***

***On the other hand, they do have a point; the magitek of the FF7 world was bleeding the planet dry, and if nothing had been done, the world would have been a burned out cinder before much longer.****

****On the gripping hand, they are rebelling against a monopolistic corporatist government/business conglomerate; the Shinra Company runs everything, owns almost everything, and is practically despotic. People have revolted against far less evil governments. AVALANCHE is focused more on taking out the magitek power source Shinra uses than on overthrowing the government, though, so they’re still a bunch of elves.*****

*****No, I didn’t mean for the footnote section to be as long as the main post. Sorry.


The Man with the Machine Gun

by wfgodbold

Square was still riding high on their FF7 success when Final Fantasy VIII came out.

Unfortunately, it was a much worse game. The main character was more annoying, the battle system was annoying, the magic system was annoying, and leveling up was absolutely pointless; you could boost your power far more effectively by linking magic to various stats (and by leveling your summons).

The one character who wasn’t annoying was the other main character, Laguna Loire, a soldier who fights with a machine gun.

Not a giant sword, or a spear, or a whip, or a gunblade, but an actual machine gun.

And this is his battle theme.

Unfortunately,most of the game time was spent controlling Squall and his legally retarded band of morons.


Ruining one iconic franchise wasn’t enough for Square Enix

by wfgodbold

After the hash they’ve made of the Final Fantasy series (XIII was lackluster at best, and XIV is supposedly horrific), they’ve set their sights on that beloved JRPG series (especially in Japan), Dragon Quest.

The newest installment, Dragon Quest X: Waking of the Five Tribes, is going to be a MMO.

On the Wii.

Their shareholders were not amused.

No skin off my nose, though; DQ9 is fun, but not fun enough for me to get involved in an MMO, especially one for a system I have no intention of buying.



by wfgodbold

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions updated the inaugural Final Fantasy Tactics game for the PSP; it was the first game set in the land of Ivalice (which has reappeared in every FFT game, as well as in Final Fantasy XII), and Square’s first attempt at a strategy game (I think).

I didn’t play the game on the PSX when it was first released; though I’m told the translation/localization flat out atrocious.

So bad, in fact, that it was good. Some fans of the original even complained when the PSP release fixed the terrible translation and changed the dialogue to have a more medieval flair.

I played it for a while, and then quit when I was seven or eight hours in and got stuck on a battle I couldn’t win. Unfortunately for me, I spent all of my black mage’s AP learning Flare, only to discover at the next battle that he didn’t have enough max MP to even cast the spell one time. Fool that I am, I didn’t have a backup save, and was stuck at one of the plot points that you couldn’t backtrack from to level.

That doesn’t mean that the battle music wasn’t any good, though!


Eidolon (召喚獣)

by wfgodbold

Bahamut. Odin. Shiva. Alexander. Brynhildr. Hecatonceir.

Summoned monsters (eidolons) are not new to Final Fantasy, but their implementation in Final Fantasy XIII is radically different from previous games.

Each party character is linked with a specific eidolon, and when that character’s will to complete the task for which they were chosen wavers, the eidolon appears to … convince them that they should persevere.

By casting doom on them and starting a battle, of course. Words are so limited; the best way for people (and eidolons, I suppose) to understand each other is by fighting!

拳で語り合おう! (Let’s discuss this via our fists!)

During these boss fights, the character who is in crisis has to fill their gestalt gauge before the doom counter ticks to zero (when that happens, they die and it’s game over, man); if they succeed, the eidolon transforms into gestalt mode and becomes a vehicle of some kind for that character (the Shiva sisters join to form a motorcycle, Odin transforms into a horse). Should they choose to summon their eidolon in battle later, they will be able to attack, filling the gestalt gauge again, and then transform their eidolon into gestalt mode to unleash more powerful attacks on the party’s enemies.

While your characters struggle with their despair and try to bend the eidolon to their will, the track below plays:


Final Fantasy Main Theme

by wfgodbold

Final Fantasy XII (not to be confused with Final Fantasy X-2, an entirely different beast) was the series’ swan song on the PlayStation 2, and the first game that composer Nobuo Uematsu did not score the majority of the soundtrack.

That doesn’t mean that Hitoshi Sakimoto did a bad job when he took over the reins; the rendition of the Final Fantasy theme that appears is superb (even if the battle system is lackluster and the characters are annoying).



by wfgodbold

Final Fantasy, the game that started the series and saved Square’s bacon, twenty four years ago, has had more sequels and spinoffs than probably any other JRPG yet, with no end in sight.


A generation of gamers got their RPG start with Final Fantasy, and while the quality of the gameplay in the series has varied from game to game, the music has been reliably good.

And the first piece of music you hear when you start a new game is the Prelude…


Battle 1 (バトル1)

by wfgodbold

Initially titled Final Fantasy II for its American release, Final Fantasy IV has become one of the most loved games in the franchise due it its strong story and compelling characters (I never thought I would write those words with a straight face). Seventeen years after the original release, Square debuted Final Fantasy IV: The After Years as downloadable Wii Ware (which were collected and included with the PSP release).

I never finished the game; the only copy I have is the GBA port, and it was not as well done as it could have been. I’ve heard that the DS remake (with updated graphics!) is excellent, though, so maybe I’ll give it another chance.

Final Fantasy IV’s battle theme has made it all the way to the big screen: Scott Pilgrim boasts of having learned the bass line in one of the movie’s great scenes.


Melodies of Life

by wfgodbold

Final Fantasy IX, the final installment released on the PlayStation, was more of an homage to Final Fantasies gone by than an attempt at making an original game (though it did well enough on that front).

As an homage, it’s filled with crystals and fiends and Garland plotting, and cooks up enough of a story to tie it all together. It’s a fun game, and certainly far better than the abomination that was Final Fantasy VIII.

The track I’ve chosen is a Celtic arrangement of the game’s vocal theme, Melodies of Life.

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