Final Fantasy [import américain]
- Final Fantasy (PSP)
- HardwarePlatform: Sony PSP
- OperatingSystem: Sony PSP
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Informations sur le jeu
- Plate-forme: Sony PSP
- Classification PEGI : Inconnu
- Support : Jeu vidéo
- Quantité pour l'article : 1
Détails sur le produit
Descriptions du produit
The tale begins with four young warriors, each possessing a Crystal. They are summoned to bring the world back to a harmonious elemental balance. During their voyage, they discover a powerful being creating turmoil in the structure of time. To prevent this entity from taking control of the world, the heroes will travel to places they never imagined possible.
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To begin, I have played ffvii through ffx-2 (skip ffix though I bought the game), so I am a fan of the series. I dont get to play with my console much these days, and gave away my Gameboy SP when I got my PSP. I always find time to play the PSP for some reason.
So here it is what I thought:
Gameplay: very basic rpg combat: pull the menu, choose attack (if character is melee) or choose magic ( if the character is mage). Of course this is the remake of the original game 20 years ago that went on to be successful. It was a defining game of JRPGs at the time. So combat is 20 years old. There are no summonings as in later FFs, or break limits (if you play FFs game you know what I am talking about).
I found the leveling pace to be easy, I never had a party wipe out and all bosses went down easy enough. In the original, 50 levels was the maximum and it was tough to get there, making the game difficult in the orginal NES version. In the PSP version, I got to break level 51 (50 is not the maximum level anymore) just before I faced the final boss.
I clocked 20 hours from beginning to final boss. I read claims that it is an 8 hours game. My guess, is that the PSP version has upped the random encounter rate. That may explain why it was easy to get level 50. Most random encounters had monster that would died with one hit (on the first turn), those that didn't, died in the second turn.
Story: Story is very lacking. Four warriors come out of nowhere to restore some crystals. There is no hero interaction, party interaction, no character growth, no anger, revenge story, love story, etc, all the drama that you have seen on the sequels.
If it did not carry the FF franchise name,and knew the 20 year history behind this game, I would have given it a 3 star rating. But, it gets an extra star because without this game, there would not have been all of the other JRPGs that we have come to love and consume.
Where to start?
How about a trip down memory lane? The year is 1987, and four years ago, two events tremendously and irrevocably changed the course of the video games industry. The first was the release of Nintendo's Famicom console in Japan, the beginning of the video gaming industry as we know it today. The second event was the near-total collapse of the North American video game sector, which, in the grand American tradition of bursting bubbles, was entirely its own fault. With American game companies fleeing the toxic money sinkhole they helped create, the geographical axis of the video game world moved deep within Japanese territory. The Famicom presented Japanese software outfits with the double opportunity of a fertile market and a level playing field.
The first wave of third-party games were ports of arcade and MSX titles, while the first games developed exclusively for the Famicom started arriving towards the middle of 1986. Very few of these initial efforts were very noteworthy (or even that good), but for a few exceptions. Among these is the iconoclastic Dragon Quest, the third ever Famicom game created by longtime MSX developer Enix.
At the same time, a small game developer and publisher called SquareSoft is floundering. After publishing a string of unsuccessful NES games, the company drifted ever closer to bankruptcy. The company's Director of Planning and Development, a college dropout named Hironobu Sakaguchi, began to work on a new game: a Dragon Quest clone dubbed Final Fantasy. Sakaguchi chose the name knowing that the project would likely be SquareSoft's last game and his own farewell to the video game business. Little did he know his gallows joke would go on to become the longest running oxymoron in video game nomenclature.
In its early years, Square's business strategy consisted almost entirely of stealing other people's ideas. Much of their work was also inferior copies, which goes a long way to explaining why the company was doing so poorly to begin with. However this was the first time that one of their ripoffs was an improvement over the original. Not that this is some marked achievement, mind you. The original Dragon Quest is something like a Ford Model-T of video games: innovative, popular, and tremendously influential, but ultimately almost impossible to enjoy. As far as the earliest installments are concerned, there is really no contest. Final Fantasy is the superior software. It has better music, more items, more spells, more monsters, a richer world, and a more interesting storyline. The four-man crew far eclipses the first two Dragon Quest's one and three man parties. Finally, the improved turn-based battle system makes for a far deeper game, as the player isn't sitting around for hours trading 1 HP blows with a single monster.
Make no mistake: Dragon Quest may have come first and concocted the JRPG, but Final Fantasy made it GOOD.
From a modern perspective, the most striking thing about the original Final Fantasy is likely how little it resembles its sequels. Virtually none of the iconic elements now associated with the franchise are anywhere to be seen. There's no adolescent male protagonist in stylish clothes who come of ages and conquers the forces of evil through the power of friendship. Nor is there a well-meaning but ultimately inept gorgeous female co-star who falls in love with the hero after being rescued by him three or four times. There are no cutscenes. In fact, the party members never even speak, much less carry on five-minute conversations amongst themselves. There are no ultimate spells of destruction with ninety-second animations, nor are there any gimmicky weapons (like gunblades, razor-edged playing cards, beach balls, or eight-foot katanas). All of Final Fantasy's trademark critters are nowhere to be seen. The game also can't boast of a five-year development cycle or an eight-digit budget. This game was released within a year of it's inception, and worked on by a total of seven people.
Certain 8-bit games have proven immune to the passage of time. Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Castlevania, for instance, after six successive console generations and a plethora of sequels, still retain the same appeal as they did back when they were first created. They remain just as playable and fun as they were thirty years ago, and don't need tweaked handheld ports or 3D remakes to hold their own against their new-gen successors.
Final Fantasy I is not one of those games.
After several decades worth of RPG's contributing new ideas to the scene, the original NES Final Fantasy probably feels plain, primitive, and unremarkable to a generation that cut its teeth on the likes of Skyrim and Mass Effect. Many of it's most prominent characteristics-- frequent random battles, long and difficult dungeons, tight inventory caps, and EXP/gold grinds-- have been systematically eliminated from console RPG's throughout the years. It also has a whole laundry list of design flaws (like the absence of automatic target-changing in the event of a prematurely felled foe).
In spite of my own fondness for it, I understand why present-day gamers, including JRPG fans, might not have the interest or patience to sit down with this game for more than a couple of hours. I'm not saying that this game is an unplayable relic, just that it definitely needs to be appreciated in the context of it's time.
It's difficult to look back on this game and see why it was such a success. The original plot is sparse and rudimentary, especially compared to the interactive graphic novels that RPG's of today have turned into. But keep in mind that this game was made during a time when video games' storylines were usually consigned to a few pages in the instruction booklet. Or a few words that scrolled up the screen if you didn't press the start button right away. This game told a story about world-sustaining crystals, lost civilizations, time travel, and supernatural revenge. Pretty much everything in the game has become the essence of JRPG cliché, but this was some cutting edge stuff in a 1987 Nintendo game.
A lot of complaints for this game center around the fact that it never focuses on the personalities and inner conflicts of its characters. Instead this game is about the interaction between the player and the game's world. Your party are mute in-game proxies for the player, rather than distinct fictional entities you see later in the series, that you guide through the world and gradually uncover it's secrets. The plot might be basic by today's standards, but one good thing you could say about this is that it means the partition between Final Fantasy I: The Story, and Final Fantasy I: The game is not nearly as wide as it is in today's JRPG's.
In terms of conquering the various enemies you'll meet, this game doesn't give you a whole lot to work with. There is only one single health-restoring potion that's good for about 30 HP, and you can hold up to 99 of them (trust me, it only SOUNDS like a lot). There isn't a great deal of healing magic, and you must choose between expending turns and spell charges on magic that restores a moderate amount of health to one character of a piddling amount to the entire party. You cannot replenish magic charges inside of dungeons, and the only way to revive a character whose HP hits zero is through a couple of spells only the White Mage and promoted Red Mage get access to. The real challenge of this game is finding a way to handle the deluge of battles by stretching your supplies as far as you can while guiding your team through labyrinthine, multi-floored dungeons without maps. This serves to make dungeon treks one of the game's highlights, and not just a series of annoyances that must be slogged through in order to progress to the next cutscene.
Another aspect that really sets this game apart is the atmosphere created by Nobuo Uematsu's soundtrack, which consists of some of his best-known work including "Prelude", "Opening Theme", and "Victory Fanfare", whose titles attest to his former job writing background music for TV commercials. Combined with Yoshitaka Amano's surrealist-inspired artwork, it created a surprising (for the time) audiovisual experience that cemented aesthetic as a critical cornerstone of SquareSoft's approach to game design. Yes, contrary to popular belief, this concentration on image didn't begin with Final Fantasy VII or Mr. Nomura.
In fact, this series has always been about image since the very beginning. The signature and top selling point of the entire Final Fantasy franchise has always been this tacit claim that it's just bigger than anything else out there. When it was first released, Final Fantasy was as big as 8-bit video games got. In addition to having a larger world, more monsters, more spells, more items, more characters, and deeper dungeons, it also let players fly around the world on a bleeping AIRSHIP. To my knowledge, this was the only 8-bit game that has the heroes rescue the princess before it even shows you the title screen. In addition to trying to just be fun, Final Fantasy I was one of the earliest games that strove for an epic scope and actually succeeded.
So to answer the original question -- what made Final Fantasy such a runaway hit? Three things: novelty, charm, and good timing.
At the end of the day, Final Fantasy really doesn't stack up to technical achievements like Chrono Trigger, the deep and complex combat system of Grandia, the tremendous scope of Xenosaga, or the character-driven pathos of Valkyrie Profile. But is isn't fair to judge Final Fantasy relative to newer, more advanced games, because in all likelihood none of them would exist without it. If this game had never appeared, the entire JRPG sphere may never have deviated from Dragon Quest and remained a Japanese niche market. Without its impact on the console RPG impact, and thus the rest of the industry-- which was largely positive and progressive, at least at first-- games like Daikatana and Mortal Kombat Mythologies might be renowned today as the move beloved games in the genre simply because we wouldn't know any better.
It's not a perfect game, and despite the periodic graphical overhauls it's only getting clunkier with age, but it's still a straightforward and fun NES RPG that's refreshingly devoid of any of the gimmicks or vapid pizazz that saturate modern-day console RPGs. Anyone who wants to call themselves a gamer owes it to themselves to check it out at least once for it's value as a historical curiosity: these are the humble beginnings of the LEAST humble video game franchise in the world.