It has been 17 awesome years since I’ve been a fan of Final Fantasy video-game series. Back in 1999, I grabbed a copy of Final Fantasy VIII, and haven’t looked back yet – except for this post of course, which reminds me of all the fun I had throughout these years.
There is so much to write about Final Fantasy; not for the sake of grabbing readers or just to jot down “filler content” for this website, it’s just that this particular game has a special place in my life. Let me start with Final Fantasy VIII first.
How I bought and played Final Fantasy VIII for the first time?
I clearly remember is was the year 1999, I was in my teens and heard about Final Fantasy VIII from my cousin. This guy had PlayStation back then, which was a luxury to me because our family was on a shoestring budget during those days. However, I had a PC with a Trident series GPU; it was more than enough to run the game. I eventually bought the PC version of Final Fantasy VIII from a local retailer.
The game was on 5 Discs, I went home and rushed to my PC to install the highly awaited epic adventure. The first couple of 30 or 40 minutes were spent on configuration and figuring out PlayStation controls on my computer since I was not familiar at all with the concept of X, Square, Circle and Triangle buttons.
Anyhow, once I had the basic stuff memorized, the actual gameplay seemed like a breeze. Being the diehard animation whore that I am, still to this date, I fell in love with the FMV sequences. As the story unraveled in Final Fantasy VIII, it became an emotionally bonding experience. It was just captivating, each and every bit, the moment Ifrit popped up, the times when I had to level up again after certain boss wipes and the roll credit sequence which I never wished for at the end of the journey…
The flaw? Well, this is just my own opinion because I know that most of the vanilla Final Fantasy players have their way of reviewing core game mechanics. I only found out the grinding part too hectic – and yeah, if Square Enix could have cut down on random enemy encounters in FF8, that would have been epic.
And we move on to Final Fantasy IX… My journey continues:
By the time Square released Final Fantasy IX, I had become a video-game addict. My parents used to lock the computer room just to make me study and there was a perma-ban on video-games. Still, where there is a will, there is always a way. I heard about Final Fantasy IX, saw a couple of cinematic cut scenes at a friend’s place and that was more than enough to convince me to buy the game.
Yep, I still didn’t have a PlayStation with me, but my friend recommended the VGS PlayStation emulator for windows. Players, and young generation of gamers these days, don’t know what VGS, Bleem and PSemu are; they are the software which made our lives back in the late 90s and early 2000s. Anyhow, my friend referred me to a website: Aldos Tools; I still remember its name despite of all these years.
Aldos, or whatever this developer’s name was, used to upload multiple versions of PlayStation emulators. VGS was the best; it was free and literally played almost every other PlayStation title out there. Tekken 3, Dino Crisis and tons of other games were in my collection because of this particular software.
Bleem, on the other hand, was resource hungry and required mostly custom configuration for each and every game. Even if I had a success rate with Bleem running the PS games, there were still issues with sound emulation.
The story behind Final Fantasy IX purchase?
So, I was talking about the perma-ban thing and me being grounded. Despite of the fact that my parents detested my love for videogames, I ended up saving some cash for Final Fantasy IX. I still remember the day, it was a vivid evening.
I told my mom that I was going out at a friend’s place, but the truth was that I hired a cab to drive me to another city at a retailer’s shop where Final Fantasy IX was available for PlayStation. It was the only place that was selling this game; I had checked all other shops in my local vicinity but didn’t have any luck. The cab driver was kind enough to drive all the way to the capital city. It took us a couple of hours to locate the shop and come back home.
My folks didn’t suspect a thing, and the evening’s endeavors came to a pleasant ending. The next day I pretended to be a good boy, finished all my homework, and earned a few hours’ pass for recreation and games.
Coming directly from Final Fantasy VIII, the next installment seemed like a huge improvement. The visual overhaul, the graphics, gameplay and especially the advanced technique used in animation sequences, it was pretty much engaging. Sadly, I did not get to finish the game, as my studies took a toll on my schedule. I still enjoyed whatever time I had at my hands back then.
Final Fantasy IX is still a favorite on my list because there’s a sense of curiosity. I need to finish the game, and I am thinking of buying it again; it doesn’t matter, either the Steam version or the vintage PlayStation version will work fine.
Fast forward to Final Fantasy X:
Years go by, my life transitioned into adulthood and I am finally making some money on the side. Wham! Square releases Final Fantasy X; I have the money to buy a PlayStation 2 and enough games to keep my “nerves” satiated during the weekends. I buy this game, I fall in love again with the riveting and engrossing story-line.
Tidus, Wakka, Yuna; they are a great team with an occasional dab of their differences. Throw in those awesome “Aeons” or summons, whatever you may call them because they go by with different names in every other Final Fantasy title. Right now, the majestic creatures are called Astrals in Final Fantasy XV, which is a huge part of the overall game experience. A lot of players look forward to collecting these spirits for the sake of bragging rights, and of course to help them defeat in game bosses.
I played this title repeatedly, for the sake of leveling up, grinding, end game content and everything. I had high hopes that the next installments would be awesome, but sadly that wasn’t the case. The developers did an awful job at Final Fantasy XI and XI-2; what’s the point of releasing the same game twice with additional content?
*Having said that, the comments and views about Final Fantasy XI and Xi-2 are just my personal opinion. They might seem like nonsense to some hardcore fans, and to them, I apologize here. What matters is that at some point, we have all loved the Final Fantasy franchise, it has been a part of many people’s lives, and will continue to grow in years to come.
Final Fantasy XV | Ten years in making, rumors and development:
Final Fantasy XV has spent its fair share of years under development, the usual rumor mill and what not. The game has yet to undergo your typical critique’s knife in a couple of days, as the entire world is braced for its release. I, too, am looking forward to playing the 15th installment on the PS4. Without a shadow of doubt, I know that Final Fantasy XV will be a successful hit.
I have already pre-ordered Final Fantasy XV at Amazon, and now await the game code to be emailed to me. Amazon says that i’ll have the code on the 26th of November, which is literally two days away from today. How in the world am I ever going to spend these two days? Perhaps, ill bask in the anticipation of reading stuff to look forward to.
I hear that the game is already available in different parts of the world. Even the head developer recently confirmed in an interview that the game has been leaked somehow, and that he wants players to be courteous enough to note disclose any revealing details that might ruin the actual experience for those people who are waiting for the release date.
Here’s a brief look at the statement that was issued just recently by Mr. Hajime Tabata, the director of this game.
We are nearing the release date of November 29. I’m wishing from the bottom of my heart that everyone will get to enjoy the game with a fresh new feeling. However, we’ve confirmed that some packages of Final Fantasy XV have been released around some parts of the world, with gameplay videos being uploaded to the Internet. This may be inevitable due to regional circumstances, but it’s something we regret very much.
It’s our big goal to have everyone enjoy the story of Final Fantasy XVand discover its surprises through the simultaneous global release. There are likely other spoiler videos and such circulating out there that we had not expected, so for those of you looking forward to Final Fantasy XV, we hope that you’ll be careful.
We are doing everything we can to prevent the circulation of the spoiler videos. For those of you that received the game earlier, please keep those who’ve waited a long time for the game in consideration. In order to meet the best possible release date with everybody, we ask for your understanding and cooperation.
To be honest, I can easily purchase the Final Fantasy XV PS4 Dvd here because my friend is selling it. However, on a personal level, I abhor the idea of buying it just a few days before the day it was actually meant to be played. If I can wait over 10 years, there’s definitely no issue in waiting for few more days.
New stuff to look forward to in Final Fantasy XV?
- This particular game was developed after taking years of feedback from the Final Fantasy fan base. All those comments, interviews, reviews and suggestions accumulating over the last 2 decades regarding previous Final Fantasy installments, were taken into consideration before finally reshaping the 15th edition into what we are about to experience after a few days.
- The story revolves around a young boy, Noctis, who ends up becoming the King of his massive Kingdom: Lucis.
- You have the luxury of driving various vehicles, one of which is called the Regalia. The Regalia is your father’s car, which pretty much remains part of the overall gameplay throughout Final Fantasy XV.
- The entire Final Fantasy XV world is open to exploration. There are multiple continents, various regions, and hundreds of sub locations where even the developers reportedly got lost. While it is true that you need to follow a certain path to complete the game’s core questline, you are not bound to explore its vast regions.
- There is real time weather changes and various other effects that are yet to be experienced. I will definitely update this article once I have actually played the game.
- Combat is an important element of the Final Fantasy series in general. In this installment, combat revolves around the main character primarily. It is loose, but yet, you get to control the main character in question, while others support as aid. You can move around, use a gigantic arsenal of weapons and do many things that were previously not introduced in older game installments. Your ability to warp during combat is entirely a result of your expertise and strategy; practice and you’ll learn the art of combat eventually.
- Another thing about combat is that it is similar to Final Fantasy XII in some ways. I can see the entire thing how characters are mapped to react in different situations etc. but overall it is revamped in this edition of the game. The developers tried to keep it simple, yet a “real time” experience for players during combat.
- Magic is the usual “elemental” and “ring” deal. I’d suggest upgrading your elemental magic skills since they tend to help a lot during tough situations. Rumor has it that the magic aspect of Final Fantasy XV is quite addictive.
To be continued:
This Final Fantasy XV review is not concluded in any way at this point in the article. I am just awaiting the game release as much as you are. In fact, on November 26, 2016, I will be pre-loading it on my PS4. Afterwards, it is going to take another three days until they have officially released it, which is when I am going to update the article with a full-fledged detailed insight.
Update # 1:
Right now, waiting anxiously for the download code to be emailed. Can’t wait to download Final Fantasy XV on my PS4 🙁