I’ve never been a major JRPG fan. My gaming sustenance has consisted of Mass Effect as my meat, Oblivion my gravy and Fallout my potatoes. Final Fantasy meanwhile has been left unloved on the side of the plate a bland, flavorless mush that resembles puree’d cabbage flavoured with disappointment. Other titles like Dragon’s Quest have been sampled then quickly discarded, like mysterious eastern foods with tastes intriguing but hardly satisfying.
Having long argued over the relative merits of Final Fantasy games as a whole, I felt it was time for me to try one of them again. The newest one has a chequered history. The first release on current gen consoles (discounting silly MMORPG’s), it is about equally loved and hated by Final Fantasy fans. Gorgeous and with sky-high production values, the game was praised for its look. It was also criticized for its incredibly traditional and simplistic combat system and its linear struitcure. It dimsissed many of the recent advances of the franchise and streamlined the game to make it more of a casual game than any other Final Fantasy.
I played and enjoyed 7, played and meh’ed 8 and actively despised 10 so I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about this new release. Perhaps the streamlining will allow the design and visuals to stand out and improve the game overall. Perhaps the return to an older, more linear style will make the game feel antiquated compared with modern, western RPG’s.
Either way I go in with a (relatively) open mind. Stay posted for my first impressions….
Read part 2 here