I’m never really sure about the demographics in which the readers of this blog may fit into. I mean, I don’t have a particular niche that I think I fill with my posts. I write Buffy reviews/recaps. I write movie reviews/recaps. I’ve really gotten into writing more short fiction lately. And then sometimes I’m just super random.
I really don’t know who I attract to my blog. But, whoever you are and however you found me, I’m incredibly grateful for you. The fact that you decided to click a link that brought you here is amazing. And if you stayed to read this far into a typical blog post, God bless you.
That said, I don’t feel like I have too many followers who would call themselves gamers. I know I certainly wouldn’t call myself a gamer. When I was a kid with a classic Nintendo or even the Super Nintendo, I may have identified as a gamer. I don’t think kids who played video games back then would have used that word, though.
These days, most video games are far beyond me. There are usually too many buttons and too many functions for me to keep up with. If you got me into a first person shooter, such as Call of Duty, you would have an easy win on your hands. Remember that episode of The Office where Jim was in the Stamford office and he’s drawn into playing the game with his new coworkers and he’s the guy who’s running into a wall and jumping up and down for no reason? Yeah, that’s me playing Call of Duty.
Anyway, you may have been following my blog long enough to, at some point, come across my Bucket List. If so, you may be aware that the 74th item on that list is “Play and beat every main series Final Fantasy game.”
I love the Final Fantasy games. Well… most of them. I’ve loved the franchise since the first installment, way back in the late ’80s. The first game was released for the NES in 1987. I have no idea when I got my hands on it. I really have no idea how I found myself even wanting to play that game. I look at the games I typically played in those days (Super Mario Bros., Metroid, The Legend of Zelda) and wonder how Final Fantasy even showed up on my radar.
I did have a subscription to Nintendo Power magazine back in the late ’80s. And one of their promotional deals was that subscribers would receive four special strategy guides. I don’t remember all of them, but I do remember one was for Super Mario Bros. 3 (I memorized that thing) and one was for Final Fantasy. Maybe that’s where I got my introduction to that amazing game.
I say amazing… I have no patience for the original version of Final Fantasy now. It feels so slow compared to what the developers have done with the series since then. And I’m not even talking about the entries that have been released in recent years. I’m talking about even the older games that were only released in Japan at the time.
The next game in the series that I had a chance to play was known by North American players as Final Fantasy II and it came to us on the Super NES. And as much as I loved the orginal, and even with that handy strategy guide from Nintendo Power, I never beat Final Fantasy. I did beat Final Fantasy II (which was actually Final Fantasy IV).
The Super Nintendo also got a Final Fantasy III (which was really Final Fantasy VI), but I never played that one way back when. Which is a shame, because when people talk about classic Final Fantasy, they often point to that one being the best.
And then things changed.
Final Fantasy VII was released for the PlayStation. It was Final Fantasy VII in Japan. It was Final Fantasy VII in America. And I remember seeing commercials for it when it first came out. And I was so confused. Because, at that point, I had no idea that Japan had three other Final Fantasy games that we never got.
Eventually, we did get them. At first they started showing up as less than legal downloads for folks who had NES or Super NES emulators. And they weren’t translated from Japanese. Which posed a problem for anyone who did not read Japanese.
We officially got Final Fantasy II, III, and V, thanks to Squaresoft updating the games and releasing them on the original PlayStation. Of course, I didn’t get my hands on any of these until much later in life.
Final Fantasy VII was the next game in the series that I played. I’m not gonna say it’s the reason I bought a PlayStation, but it certainly helped push me in that direction when choosing between that or the Nintendo 64. And I owned Final Fantasy VII. But, to this day, I have never played it all the way through.
That game was, to me, an overwhelming monster of a game. It was contained on three separate CDs. A monster.
I don’t think I ever even reached the point of having to change over to the second disc. Pathetic.
It’s now been 23 years since that game was released on PlayStation. I never played VIII. I never played IX. I loved, and actually beat, X. I never played XI because it’s all online. My favorite that I’ve played all the way through has been XII. I beat XIII. I’ve never played XIV because it, too, is all online. And most recently, I’ve played all the way through XV.
That was a boring paragraph, but I felt like I needed to kind of explain myself as far as the series goes.
A lot of these games have had spin-offs and direct sequels. Which may be confusing to you if you’re not familiar with how these main series numbered games go.
Final Fantasy II is not a continuation of the story that began in Final Fantasy. Each mainline game introduces players to a brand new world. There are always themes and Easter eggs that pop up referencing previous games, but the stories are always different. So if there’s ever a true sequel, it’s something like Final Fantasy X-2. Clear as mud? Good.
This post started out as a way for me to talk about Final Fantasy VII Remake. This is a game that has been anticipated for a very long time. Because VII holds a special place in a lot of fans’ hearts. It’s a favorite for a lot of people. The characters are memorable and beloved. And even though I never played through the entirety of the original game, I am fully aware of how amazing and twisted the story becomes by the end.
It’s on my list. I’m going to play the original and I’m going to beat it. Right now, I’m working my way through Final Fantasy V. So I’ll get around to VII after I hit VI. Because that’s just how I roll.
However, when Remake was released, I couldn’t not play it. But I’ll save my thoughts on that for another post.
Sorry if this was boring and all over the place. I was trying to think of how I could explain all my thoughts about Final Fantasy VII Remake while making sense of the series up to this point. I don’t think I accomplished that at all. Feel free to roast me in the comments.
See you tomorrow…