Final Fantasy I is a game made by the company Squaresoft. Said company was getting bankrupt and the game would be the last for the company. The game became popular and permitted Squaresoft to continue making the game. But is this first entry really that good, or is it through mere luck that it became popular. Let’s review Final Fantasy I!
For this review I decided to play the iOS version. It costs $7.99 and is downloadable here https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/final-fantasy/id354972939?mt=8
The version I played sported high-definition graphics, although it should be noted that the game has received numerous re-releases on a multitude of different platforms, each with different sprite quality.
The above sprites are of Garland, the first boss in the game. Both sprites clearly show that, despite the changes in quality, the sprite art on the NES still has the same essence in what it shows on the PSP/iOS. This goes for all sprites, which despite getting rendered in a higher quality still show the same idea behind them. All in all, the PSP/iOS sprites have made the already good sprites even better.
The music in the game is again an HD quality remix of the original music. Wether you like this or not is up to you, but I personallly liked the music quite a bit over the original. The primary reason for this is that the original used a chiptune set, whilst the PSP/iOS version uses high quality music. One thing I particulary liked were the remixes done for the superbosses, which initially appeared on the GBA rerelease (Dawn Of Souls).
The story of Final Fantasy is simple: You control four characters, who are set out to save the world. Why? Because destiny tells you are. This simplistic storyline is something that we would be spitting on today, where games start to have even more complex storylines and have more and more character development. Yet Square Enix manages to keep rereleasing this game that lacks all of this. It is a nice break from the complex plots video games these days suffer from, whilst still retaining it’s quality.
What Final Fantasy lacks in story, it makes more than up for it in it’s gameplay. The idea behind it is simple: You walk around on the map using a top-down perspective. In dungeons and on the world map you can encounter enemies. This does not differ all that much from other RPG’s where the same idea is used. The unique thing is when you get in battles though. Final Fantasy I set the standard for what would later be known as the Turn-based battle system. Here is how it works:
- You get in a fight
- You and the enemy select your moves.
- The moves get executed in the order of the fastest creature first.
Final Fantasy began with this system and the simplicity of it clearly shines through: It isn’t complicated but allows the player to be in full control of their actions.
Another standard-setting feature is magic. You have two kinds: Black and White magic. Black Magic is offensive and dependant on the Intelligence stat, whilst White Magic is defensive and is dependant on the Spirit stat.
The most unique feature is it’s classes system. The game offers you 6 classes for you 4 characters in the beginning, with a chance to upgrade each during the game. Nearly all classes wind up being able to learn some kind of magic (except one, but that one shines in physical attacks). The idea of being able to customize your own party is strangely appealing, and allows players to create many challenges and therefore offering a lot of replayability.
Final Fantasy I was a setter for it’s initial release date. The numerous re-releases were especially welcome in the era of super complex video games and it’s simple core mechanics will remain popular for quite a while. All in all, Final Fantasy I looks beautiful and plays like a charm. A definite recommend for anyone looking to play a game that is not chock-filled with character development and plot.
- Easy to learn
- Not so much new features in the rerelease
- A bit short