Bringing Back The Fantasy


I didn’t start Final Fantasy from the beginning. Hell, I didn’t even start at VII. I remember seeing a copy of it and asking possibly the wrongest person in the world if it was any good, only to be given the answer ‘Nah it’s rubbish’. I started at Final Fantasy VIII. I also consider it my favourite… I know, I know, nowhere near as good as VII but I suppose that through my rose tinted specs, I remember being bowled over by the story, exploration and general coolness of it. I finished it, then I went and bought Final Fantasy VII. I also spent a lot of time hunting down the earlier titles afterwards, so you could say I was a late starter, but undoubtably a fan. I was only 2 when the first one originally came out; I started gaming early, but not that early.

Moody Git.

For a few years after being wowed by VII and VIII, the top of my game-expectation-list was always Final Fantasy. I followed the release of IX eagerly until it came into my hands. At the time I opened it, it was probably the best birthday present ever. My interest in the series took a bit of a blow upon hearing that the characters in Final Fantasy X were to get voices. A silly thing to make a fuss over, right? Maybe. I felt, though, that the game would lose something of itself. Being able to imagine what they sounded like, along with being able to name your own characters (unless you were one of those people who insisted that the characters must stick with their original names), well it kind of personalised the story a little bit. Still, I thought, I suppose the series must move with the times, and this is a PlayStation 2 title. I had to admit it was a decent game in the end, but Tidus still has one of the most annoying voices I have heard in a video game.

So when did it go downhill? When did we start to become apprehensive, instead of expectant about when a new one was going to be released? I, like many others, was deeply disappointed by Final Fantasy XIII… but it didn’t start there. In the months leading up to the release, it wasn’t like everyone was shouting ‘This is going to be awesome!’, it was more like they were hoping it was going to be great. The doubt was already planted in people’s minds.

Who's this again?

There is no doubt that the series is trying to remain fresh and there are some aspects that I like in the newer games. The battle systems are better… I did have a moan originally about how random encounters are not used any more but then I remembered – I hate random encounters. Everybody does. When you are trudging through a dungeon trying to find three levers so you can get out, but you can’t move two steps without some level 3 monster popping up, you know you’re going to start getting those feelings of annoyance which will slowly turn to rage.

I’ve been thinking about what the series needs to be back at the top of my christmas list again; essentially what made them brilliant games. The one that immediately came into my head first was that it absolutely needs a good boss. I’m sorry, but fighting a huge ass whale is not as epic as fighting a crazy sorceress who can control other sorceresses to do her bidding. The fact I can’t remember who or what I was even up against in Final Fantasy XII is a little bit weak compared to the fact that the whole world still remembers a guy who summoned a meteor to destroy the planet  just because he has parental issues (though admittedly some major ones at that). We need an enemy. A living, breathing, super strong yet killable enemy who can taunt, have an evil laugh and employ evil henchmen who wear his evil uniform. We need a new Kefka or a new Sephiroth. Someone we’ll still remember in ten years time.






2 responses to “Bringing Back The Fantasy”

  1. Simon avatar

    I think they should stop mucking around with multiplayer FF releases and just concentrate on churning out a singleplayer epic every 2-3 years. But then I guess there is a market for the multiplayer stuff. Probably in Japan. Who knows? Not me.

  2. daiphoenix avatar

    “(unless you were one of those people who insisted that the characters must stick with their original names)”
    Anyone should do as they prefer, but I confess I am one that prefers to leave the original names of the characters. I don’t see much point otherwise: J-Rpgs are not that much into you creating your own character, why change the name if that is almost the only thing you can customize/affect?

    There has been one notable exception for me… a certain FF character had to, I mean *had to* be named “Mr. T”, I would not have it any other way. 😀


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