Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy V

Final Fantasy Reviews

<–Final Fantasy IV Review                                                                      Final Fantasy VI Review–>

This is the part of a long-term project to play and review/analyze all the Final Fantasy games.  Whenever possible, I will play the original version, but in cases where it’s not available and/or there are time constraints, I’ll use a port and/or watch a Let’s Play, both of which contingencies will be indicated in the review.  Ideally, I will attempt to play a portion so that I can remark more accurately on the gameplay experience.  These will be long-form reviews with detailed plot analyses, so please be wary if you do not want spoilers.

I started my Final Fantasy journey in the 80’s with the legitimate sixth installment Final Fantasy VI, and though I did eventually go back to play Final Fantasy IV (which is now in my top 5 FF games), somehow or another I missed V.  While IV is known for being the first Final Fantasy to have a cohesive and intricate story, it had a static job system with only one character changing per the demands of the plot.  Final Fantasy V allows the player complete control over what jobs their characters have even more than Final Fantasy III, which required a certain amount of points to alter.  This was a huge advantage and helped distinguish FFV from its predecessors.

Final Fantasy V cover Continue reading

The State of the Gamer: 6/12/18

<–The State of the Gamer: 5/15/18            The State of the Gamer: 6/26/18–>

A weekly post updated every other Tuesday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

What I Didn’t Finish

Title: Final Fantasy V
Series: Final Fantasy
System: PlayStation 3

Date Started: June 17, 2017
Date DNF: May 27, 2018

I called it quits after the Ancient Library.  The job system is just not working for me.  I like the characters and enjoy the story, but it started being a chore to play it.  I told myself if I could find a decent Let’s Play, I’d concurrently watch V while starting VI, and that’s just what I did.

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Final Fantasy A Crystal Compendium – Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy III Review

This article is part of a community-wide project about Final Fantasy. Links to other articles in this series, written by the other contributors can be found in the main hub area.

Final Fantasy Reviews

<–Final Fantasy II Review                                           Final Fantasy IV Review–>

This is the part of a long-term project to play and review/analyze all the Final Fantasy games.  Whenever possible, I will play the original version, but in cases where it’s not available and/or there are time constraints, I’ll use a port and/or watch a Let’s Play, both of which contingencies will be indicated in the review.  Ideally, I will attempt to play a portion so that I can remark more accurately on the gameplay experience.  These will be long-form reviews with detailed plot analyses, so please be wary if you do not want spoilers.

Greetings, salutations and Happy New Year to you all.  I am slowly working my way through the Final Fantasy titles and have recently completed the third installment.  I have been giving much thought to going back and playing the re-releases of I and II especially since I received a $200 Best Buy gift card in addition to a $50 Amazon one and could conceivably purchase both the system I might need and the games, but I’m still in the thinking phase, and today I’m in the review one for III.

Final Fantasy III cover

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Creative Christmas – Games of Christmas Past

Tis the Christmas season (or Advent to be theologically accurate), and in the spirit of the season, the lovely blogger over at Later Levels has decided to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas a few days earlier with 12 gaming related questions for all of us good, little gaming elves out there.  These are my responses.

👪   20 December 2017:   You’re wrapping presents while listening to cheesy festive tunes, and start to reminisce about holidays past. What’s your favourite Christmas gaming memory?

I’ll never forget the Christmas I received my (at time) favorite game ever.

I’ve already talked about this in my 30 Day Video Game Challenge, but I was as obsessed with this game then as I am now with Final Fantasy VII, speaking of which, I received that for Christmas one year, too, the Eidos version for the PC.  My brother got it for me, though I had no interest in it at the time, because I thought it was “too sci-fi.”

Talk about a life changing experience

SMB2 is my first favorite game, and I think I was so obsessed with it because one, you could play the princess (she wasn’t a kidnapping victim, whoohoo!), and two, it was different from the other Mario games.  I know now it was supposed to be a game called Doki Doki Panic, and of course only fits into the Mario canon because it was “only a dream,” but I love how quirky and different it was.  Like FFVII, I’ve never finished SMB2 myself, though of course I’ve seen the ending.

Even though Final Fantasy VII is my forever favorite game, I have more fond memories of the year I received Super Mario Bros. 2, because VII came to me at a much more tumultuous time when things were…different.  SMB2 has the innocence of youth splashed over it with far more rainbows and far less ash.

What’s your favorite holiday gaming memory?  Let’s hear about it in the comments!

Final Fantasy Friday: The Opening Act

Final Fantasy Friday

As video games veered more towards the cinematic, how they began became bigger than merely introducing the character you’d control and their basic objective.  Nor is the film aspect just about the spectacle, though we could argue (especially in my particular choice) that it is a major aspect.  I may be in the minority when I say that FMVs enhance the gaming experience rather than diminish it, but then again, I tend to play narrative heavy games.  Sitting for a few minutes and watching a dramatic scene play out takes nothing away from my gaming experience, but that is part of my gaming experience.  Of course, lavish FMVs will not make up for a lackluster game, and I’ve given the same criticism to movies many times over.  You can’t just CGI up a flawed narrative and expect to have something artistically viable, despite its potential blockbuster status (i.e. Michael Bay’s Transformers), but in the right developer’s hands, an FMV will feel less like a break and more like a bridge, connecting one side of an active gaming experience to the other, where the landscape of where you’d been to where you stand is irrevocably and profoundly changed.

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 10

Day 1

<–Day 9                                                                                                                   Day 11–>

Day 10: Best gameplay.

I might have to break this down into genres since the question of good gameplay is really contingent on that.

This might sound weird, but for RPGs, I love Final Fantasy VIII’s gameplay.  I don’t know how to explain it, but VIII just seems so neat and organized to me, just like you’d expect a military organization to be hehe.  Instead of fighting monsters for gil, you receive a paycheck at regular intervals based on your SeeD rank.  You can also take tests to raise that at any time, and in my head Squall and co have some sort of smartphone device that they use to receive such information, and gil is more than likely not in electronic form.  It all just feels very sleek and modern, and unlike many, I loved the Junction system once I understood how it worked.  While it might take a while to “set up,” as in you had to expend time drawing different kinds of magic, once that was done, you were pretty much invincible.  I think World of Final Fantasy borrowed heavily from VIII in terms of having monsters/creatures give you your stats instead of shuffling around weapons and armor.

For puzzle games I have to go old school and talk about The Adventures of Lolo 3. 

Such simple controls, such challenging puzzles.  You only had one “action” button, which was used to fire shots.  The rest was all about maneuvering and your wits.  I’m using the third game in the series, because this was the one I started with.  I’ve played the first and second now, but Lolo 3 will always be my favorite.

In the same vein of simplicity, I have to mention Journey.  You only have two actions: jump and signal, and the rest is just you moving the Traveler through the wasteland, and that’s all your need.

The ease of access yet beautiful, profound story put this at the top of my Gameplay list.

I guess this would’ve been a great answer to “simplest” gameplay save for FFVIII, which is a bit complicated.

What game do you think of when you hear the phrase “best gameplay?”

<–Day 9                                                                                                                   Day 11–>



Final Fantasy Friday: The System Is Down

A Final Fantasy (et al) post to welcome you to the glory of Friday (if you don’t have weekends off then may this hopefully brighten the midst of your work week) with more located here!

The system isn’t really down, rather I want to know which system you’re down with.  Which Final Fantasy has your favorite magic/leveling/battle system?  Are you a Materia hunter?  Do you prefer to have a specific Job?  Or would you rather Junction your way through random battles?Since this is a bit of a three part question, a three part answer with potentially different games is more than acceptable.

Hm, well, it’s hard for me to separate the systems from the story.  FFIV’s job system fits with its story line (especially considering the main character’s job changes as part of the plot) just like FFVII’s Materia system fits with its.  I’m going to try to stay objective and look at the systems outside of their respective narratives.

For leveling, the only system I absolutely abhorred was Final Fantasy II’s.  Having to fight with a weapon, shield, or magic spell a hundred times in order to make progress was one of the worst decisions Square ever made, and I’m happy the company didn’t suffer for it.  All of the other Final Fantasies I’ve played level in the way the video game gods intended, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

To be honest, I like VIII’s Junction system.  I like the versatility of it.  I like how you can switch around GFs to make your characters tanks.  I like how you can add/take away abilities, and I think the system gets much more hate than it deserves.  When I first played the game, I didn’t quite understand how it worked, so I spent a lot of time summoning my GFs, but once I figured it out, it was a simple matter of drawing a hundred of applicable spells and junctioning them to the appropriate spots.  I also liked how you would make a specific salary depending on your sEED rank, not that I mind beating up monsters for gil.  FFVIII just had this organization to it (maybe because it was about a military organization that was trying to do good as opposed to VII’s…) that fit well with my Taurus mind.  It was a very well organized game in terms of its systems.

I know magic and battle systems are intertwined, but there are some slight nuances.  Going back to the Jobs systems, I like how IX handles it.  I could say similar things about VIII, but I feel like they updated where they were going in the prior game with IX.  I like that each character has a specialty, which is the opposite to VIII’s Junction system where anyone can be customized for anything, and then switched around at a moment’s notice (barring their Limit Breaks).  The only thing I don’t like about IX’s battle system is if you go into Trance at the end of a fight, you lose it regardless of if you use it.  I wish they’d kept the same system used in FFVII and revived in X where the Limit Break was available until you decided to unleash it.

I think Steiner’s was my favorite.  He looked like an actual knight instead of a grumpy, old man in rusty armor.

Let’s discuss favorite systems in the comments!