Final Fantasy

On a lighter note we saw distant worlds at the Royal Albert hall the other week. Never having been to the Royal Albert hall I’d never considered how big a hall this actually is and until you’re inside it’s hard to consider. I’ve been to opera houses before, like the Sydney opera house, however for sheer dominance internally this is the most immense performance hall I think I’ve seen. It truly is epic.

The music itself was also amazing and, combined with the enormous screens showing montages of videos and sections from the games was an awesome show. It did make me realise how much though I’ve seen of art from the Final Fantasy series and it’s influence on various media but how little I’ve actually played of the majority of the games. There are bits of a number of the games I have played at various times but I’ve never completed the stories of most of them and I haven’t played any of the newer games in the series at all.

So we’ve decided to work our way through them.

Now the decision to do this is a big one for me. I’m notoriously bad at finishing games, even when I enjoy the plot and the atmosphere they portray. I’ll get to a part that takes me more than a few goes to surpass and then I start to lose heart and eventually get distracted. Hopefully with a bit of help though I can stick with them this time.

So to begin the first of the games, Final Fantasy I, as it was re-released for the Game boy Advance.

It's a LOGO!!!

Starting the game is a familiar thing for anybody who has ever played one of the many many Japanese RPG games out there. It’s a top down world view and combat is wonderfully simple and turn based. It’s almost the exact formula that Pokemon has made Nintendo an absolute bucket load with (although this was produced first). I love this and will openly admit to having played two of the Pokemon games to completion and having dabbled with several of the others.

My choice of starting characters has very little basis in knowledge of the game (although they seem to be serving me well so far). A dark mage was a must, simply for coolness sake and, although I like the white mages costume too (and saw a girl with an awesome dress based on this at Distant Worlds) the aristocratic musketeer look of the Red Mage won out on this occasion, especially as he has far better combat stats.

To balance these two I then have a warrior and a monk. So my party hopefully has a good balance of Straightforward combat and magic capable characters. After maybe 5 hours of intermittent play they came to be something like this,

This is my posy

and now after about 23 hours of play they look like this,

Advanced Posy

As you can see things have advanced a lot. I’ve got two crystals now (of the four) so I’m guessing that I might be in the region of half way through (wild stab in the dark really). SO far, as can probably be told by the fact that I’m still playing, it is good fun. I’ve explored the main lands about as much as I can, especially now that I have my airship and know the general lay of the land. Even so there are still new bits I’m finding to get into underneath and new dungeons I’m finding to explore which bring their own new challenges. It really has settled into an exploring to advance the story though a lot of the time. Once you’re in a dungeon you do tend to settle into a routine until the objective is obtained (the dungeon itself rarely contains much in the way of puzzling) and then puzzle comes from trying to work out where to take your key items and what to do next.

Having said all that I haven’t felt the need to do much in the way of grinding and it does play as if I’m trying to advance the story of this small band of saviours and rescue the land. That in and of itself I think is what Square have tried to keep, with varying degrees of success throughout all the FF games – you are part of the plot.

It’s not all doom and gloom either and throughout the game there lots of little moments of humour and referencing,

I do not think that word means what you think it means...

Time will tell where the story will take me (although I’m sure a few people could tell me already) but as of now, I think it’s going pretty well.

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