The original has finally been reviewed. Which do you want me to review next?

Company Credits

Title: Final Fantasy (packaged in Final Fantasy Origins)

Developer: Squaresoft

System: Originally the 8-bit Nintendo generation, updated in Japan for the Wonderswan, and released in North America on the PlayStation.

Release Date: Originally 1987, re-released in 2003

Game Type: Role playing game

Premise

The forces of nature are dying out, and four warriors of light are called forth to correct the problem.

High Point

This was the game that ushered in the console party RPG. Yes, Dragon Warrior/Quest was around, but it had a clunky interface and you could only control one character. This took a leap forward, and launched something that’s still going strong.

Low Point

In the game itself, I’d have to say it’s the explanation of the cause of all of this. I like the circular pattern, but it just doesn’t make sense.

As for the packaging, the original plan was to have the first three Final Fantasy games in this release, but Wonderswan went under before the third game was ready, so we’ve only got the first two. I hope the third comes someday. It’s the only Final Fantasy that hasn’t had an English language release announced, and it’s my favourite of the 8-bit generation. I’d gladly buy it packaged with Final Fantasy Mystic Quest if they’d only release it.

The Scores

The story may not be original, but the game mechanics, class system, and user-definable parties were landmarks in the console gaming market. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story has interesting moments, but the overall plot driving things forward is simplistic, under emphasized, and badly explained. Compared to an action game, it’s Shakespeare, but compared to anything else (including any of its own sequels) it’s poorly done. I give it 4 out of 6.

The graphics of this re-release are improved to the Super Nintendo level. It can’t compete with the likes of Final Fantasy X, but there’s no ambiguity in what you see before you. I give it 4 out of 6.

The sound is very well done, including wonderful music from Nobuo Uematsu. The entire series excels in this category. I give it 5 out of 6.

The playability will be very high for those of us who were around when this first came out. Younger players who were weaned on first person shooters my not be impressed, but the menu system does the job extremely well, particularly given the fact that this game does not depend on a player’s reflexes in any way. I give it 5 out of 6.

The immersion lacks a bit as a result of the poorly delivered story and high overhead (impersonal) viewing angle. It takes time to get sucked in, but it can get to you. The story really needs to be better delivered to really grab hold, though. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, this game is still a lot of fun, and I still recommend it to fans of the genre or series. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Final Fantasy receives 30 out of 42.

Additional Notes

Let me know which game you want me to start chugging through next. The list of options is here, and you can contact me either via e-mail or by posting a comment below.