If you ask anyone who has ever played an RPG video game, chances are they will mention the Final Fantasy Series. Today, AirPlay takes a closer look at this ‘definitive’ RPG. We say that it is the definitive role playing game series because it is the longest running one to date.
A majority of gamers who like the role playing genre will tell you that you should at least try out a Final Fantasy title. There is a world of knowledge and lifetimes that you can become a part of through this game series.
What is the Final Fantasy Series?
This is the series that was born from the mind of Hironobu Sakaguchi back in 1987. What is quite appealing about his story was that Sakaguchi was a longtime gave developer who was not able to create any successful games.
Before quitting the industry that he loved the most, he tried to make a go for one last time. It was Final Fantasy (FF) that he developed as his last attempt. Imagine his surprise when it was this last attempt that captured the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere.
What made it stand out from the Mario game franchise was that it combined a number of gaming elements together. FF managed to combine tactics, strategy, fighting, rhythm, and so many other unique elements. Most of the FF titles that have been launched are widely considered to be stand alone stories.
However, fans will tell you that this is not particularly true. The different worlds have elements that are present in each title. While there were some titles that had their own worlds, the recurring world of Ivalice has been in the background.
Why has it been so successful?
Every gamer has their own reasons when asked the question above. Going through our pool of writers, we came up with these reasons:
Comprehensive World Building
Every Final Fantasy title has brought gamers to different worlds. If the player was patient and attentive, they will come to realize that there is a great big world that has its own lore and legends. Each different town that your characters tend to breeze through has little stories that add to the game.
Take for example the world in Final Fantasy Tactics. The players have a calendar they burn through with each dot on the map that they travel upon. If they take time to read the source book that is in the game menu, there is a rather comprehensive history laid out there for them. There is a clear and constantly updating book on the characters and what they are going through.
Players even get to see the characters age. It gives extra incentive to not take to long in their grinding.
Challenging Progression Scale
With RPGs come monsters and leveling. This is one of the biggest draws to the game. The creators have a repertoire of familiar and new monsters for each Final Fantasy game. You will have the mainstays like the Malboro, the Tiamat, the Omega Weapons, and many others.
It is a sort of bragging right to be able to kill a certain monster a certain way or within a certain time frame. Final Fantasy VIII even had a sort of in-game certificate to prove that you had beaten the toughest bosses in the game.
No matter how long you have been playing Final Fantasy, if you are not careful, your characters will get killed. This is one of the reasons why gamers keep coming back to the series.
Beautifully Designed Characters
The graphics may have improved drastically through the years. There was a time when tiny little sprites were enough to satisfy most gamers. What used to tide gamer’s imaginations were cut scenes and art works that was made by Sakaguchi himself.
The imagination that went behind each character design was incredible. As each character carried their own histories and ‘jobs’, these had to be displayed or at least hinted at in their design. For example, rogues or thieves were often hunched over and spry like Rikku in FF X.
Skillfully Devised Plots and Betrayals
Final Fantasy has a great way of leading their players through twists and turns that really appeal to emotions. Several of us were reduced to little puddles of feelings because of certain plot turns. The little touches that really evoke a deeper involvement for players really help to drive the story forward.
For example, in FF VIII the character of Seifer who was pretty much the team’s big brother (along with his disciplinary crew) ended up joining the enemy. It was rather surprising the first time around but with replays through the years, maturity helped to point out the indicators of Seifer’s betrayal.
Addressing of Relevant Issues
In certain Final Fantasy titles, real life issues are represented like racism and discrimination. The culture of arranged marriages and caste systems are all touched upon in some titles. This allows an early exposure to relevant discourse to pertinent issues that are very real in our world.
A lot of us who played Final Fantasy titles were still in our teens when they came out. This meant that many of our minds were made to address important issues and how they affected people. These games helped to mold many of the activists that you see highly active today. Video games like Final Fantasy help to raise awareness in a really creative way.
Video game lovers everywhere will be able to tell you about their Final Fantasy experience. Through the decades, the various Final Fantasy titles have touched so many lives that it has become synonymous with people’s childhoods. As the latest Final Fantasy title was released, it is clear that the game series continues to be strong and continues to have a massive following.
Several of our writers have their own Final Fantasy preferences. What about you, dear reader? Which Final Fantasy title struck you the most? If you have not managed to play a Final Fantasy title yet, which one would you consider trying out?