A Challenger Appears, and My Quest to Best Final Fantasy
Well, it’s happened readers. As you may have seen if you read the comments on my last post, I finally managed to get a Nintendo DS. And with it, I was able to finally get my hands on the elusive Final Fantasy III. For those of you wondering why it’s so elusive, and why it’s so important, read on.
First off, the DS. A DSi, actually. After using only my PSP for so long, it’s a pretty jostling change. For one thing, it’s a white rectangle with a matte finish, as opposed to a black…truncated oval, I guess, with a glossy face and a matte backing. I like the matte finish, since it doesn’t show a mark after the slightest of fingerprints. For another thing, the DSi is so pristine, lacking the wear visible on my PSP since before I even got it, over two years ago. It’s also lighter than the PSP, which is nice.
Turning it on, I was faced by a very different system than I was accustomed to. Rather than the dull XMB offered by Sony, Nintendo offers up a series of options, arranged in a mutable linear fashion. I can drag my favorite features to the front, or group them by type. And rather than having to scroll through everything, I can use the bottom scrollbar to simply jump to a section I want. Maybe I’m just so reverent because it’s new, but the DS seems to be a lot friendlier and engaging than the PSP, presenting itself as a gaming system instead of merely a tool.
But enough about that. If you wanted to hear someone drone on for hours about the DSi, you would have already read a review from back when it came out. So back to the core topic that I wanted to discuss, Final Fantasy. Looking at the core series, you can see that Final Fantasy I through III came out on the NES, IV through VI on the SNES, VII through IX on the PlayStation, X through XII on the PlayStation 2, and currently XIII and (soon)XIV on the PlayStation 3. But before VII, the series’ presence in North America was muddled at best. The original Final Fantasy was released in Japan, and saw a translated release in North America. But when it came time to release FFII Stateside, the developers decided to scrap it in favor of Final Fantasy IV. As a result, it was released as Final Fantasy II for the SNES in America, and FFI was left to exist in solitude on the NES. The same thing happened with Final Fantasy III, being scrapped in favor of releasing VI as III. Now by this point, you can see that three games, FFII, III, and V have been dropped from North American Release. Now, when VII came out, it finally established synchronicity between languages. It was followed by VIII, and then IX, and so on.
But what about II, III, and V? This is where the remakes come into play. Final Fantasy II was granted an English release during the PlayStation era, along with Final Fantasy I to make up Final Fantasy Origins, and again as Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls for the GBA, and separately in 20th Anniversary Editions for the PlayStation Portable. Final Fantasy V was released with varyingly FFIV or FFVI, depending on region, in Final Fantasy Anthology, and then all three received GBA ports along with Final Fantasy I & II. But what of Final Fantasy III?
Unlike its legion brethren, FFIII did not receive an NES release, a PlayStation port, a PSP port, or even a GBA port. Nay, this black sheep of the family did not reach North America until it was remade into Final Fantasy III DS 16 years later. This means that completionists where denied the chance to beat every game until this point, unless they could read Japanese. But receiving a single release where the others had two or more made it tough for some people to acquire, myself included.
It’s either hard to call myself a completionist, or incredibly easy. This is because I have reached the endgames of FFVI, FFVII, FFX, FFXII, and Final Fantasy Tactics, but only beaten VII prior to adopting this challenge. This is because I have a tendency to delve into the endless sidequestery that presents itself late in each game. But with the amount of doors opened to me by emulators on my PSP, along with how awesome Dissidia is, I resolved to finally achieve completion.
The first phase of my challenge consisted of Final Fantasy I and II. Between Japanese and English, I had a total of 5 ways to play either game(NES, Japanese Wonderswan, PlayStation, GBA, and PSP), so naturally I chose PSP. I got through FFI fairly easily, it was an enjoyable game. And the plot was quite familiar, owing to a certain now-completed webcomic. FFII proved to be more frustrating though, do to a combination of an irritatingly high encounter rate and an abundance of doors that lead to empty rooms with even HIGHER encounter rates until you escape them. As such, I gave up for a while. Recently, I got back into it, getting closer to the end, but ultimately giving up again.
But then, I got some money. And with that money, my impossible dream of getting a DS was realized. And that also meant I could finally get Final Fantasy III (and Pokemon Platinum)! Thusly re-energized, I returned to Final Fantasy II, and have as of today bested it. Now I can move on to III, and continue on to the rest.
Oh, and for those keeping score at home, I’ve currently beaten I, II, VII, and IX. Still a ways to go, eh?
Till next time,guys!
For more info on the Final Fantasy Series, check out the
Final Fantasy Wiki
Posted on September 19th, 2010, in General Bloggery, Reviews, Video Games and tagged DSi, Final Fantasy, Nintendo, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Square Enix, tl;dr. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.