Close to the End Romance
Final Fantasy comes out today, right? Something like that.
I’m tempted to get it, but there’s a few caveats to that. I’m curious to see what people think.
First off, I haven’t played through a “proper” Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy 6 was released on the SNES as Final Fantasy 3.
I absolutely loved 6. It’s one of my all-time favorite console RPGs. The opera scene, where you have to memorize lines and choose the correct ones to make it through the performance, is one of my favorite video game scenes, and I loved how the game felt like two completely different stories with the sharp divide between the two halves of the game. It doesn’t hurt that said “divide” is caused by the world all but ending, feeding into my apocalypse fetish. I loved the first bit after the end of the world where you play as Celes on what seems to be the last remaining speck of land on the planet. It was haunting in all the right ways. And Kefka is an awesome villain. Far superior to every Final Fantasy villain before and since.
The problem is that every game in the normal Final Fantasy series since that point has been fairly disappointing. I’m one of the few people that doesn’t care for Final Fantasy 7. None of the characters, save for Cait Sith, were the least bit compelling (Although I dug Aerith’s pink denim. That was cute.), the story fell flat, and the whole Materia thing wasn’t an interesting combat system.
I liked 8 a little more than 7, but again I just didn’t give a damn about the characters (No one to hate, no one to root for.) and I hated the card magic crap, so I didn’t make it through that one either.
9 just plain sucked, since it tried to emulate the old school games and completely didn’t “get” what made those old games charming. Just because you have a black mage and super-deformed characters doesn’t mean you’re the same as those NES and SNES games.
I actually got into 10 for a bit but lost track of it since I didn’t actually own it. I borrowed it from a friend for awhile but gave it back to him before beating the game. If I ever get to retire and I still have a working PS2, maybe I’ll get back to it. I didn’t bother with its sequel, 10-X or whatever it was called, since I never beat the first part.
By this point I gave up on the Final Fantasy series. 11 was an MMO, and despite playing World of Warcraft on and off, I prefer to avoid MMOs on principle. I haven’t touched 12 and likely never will.
I did love Final Fantasy Tactics. With the exception of maybe Earthbound, it’s my favorite console RPG of all time. I loved the grid-based, turn-based tactical combat. I loved the job system. The story was appropriately nasty, cynical, and apocalyptic, and I loved how the history of the game pretty much remembers the main hero as nothing more than a footnote in history despite him essentially killing Jesus. The problem is that Tactics is a completely different creature from every other Final Fantasy game and isn’t really representative of anything any other game in the series. Even the other Tactics games skew in other directions (Lame directions, if you ask me.).
Despite not loving the series to the same extent as most fans, I’m genuinely interested in the newest instalment. It might be due to the fact that I have a PS3 that isn’t getting used much (I own all of three games for it and have owned it for over a year.), so I’m a little eager to find a game to make use of the actual game-playing part of it (I have plenty of Bluray discs, so the HD bit is well-utilized.). If I did the whole Gamefly thing or whatever I’d jump on it, but there aren’t enough games out there that interest me to get into a monthly rental deal. The few games that I wanted I’ve bought, so if I do bother with Final Fantasy 13 I’ll just buy the damn thing.
I also miss playing console RPGs. Back in the SNES and PS1 days I’d buy or rent almost every RPG that came out. A lot of them sucked, but playing those games was just as much a part of my hobbydom as watching anime and movies. Since then, the genre’s gotten kind of lame, but I’d love to find that one game that rekindles that love. The only “modern” console RPGs I’ve liked are the Shadow Hearts games, and even then most of that love is concentrated in the first game of the series.
So, what do y’all thing? Should I do it? Should I spend countless hours playing through this thing? Have y’all heard anything that’d make you think I’d dig it? I could read reviews, and I plan on doing so, but I’m curious to see what peeps that actually know some of my tastes think. Some dude writing a review can say all sorts of stuff, but he could be some dork that thinks Call of Battlefield Warfare 19XX is a worthwhile game, and that’s about as far away from my tastes as someone who loves the entire output of those Key guys that make Clannad and Air and shit like that. I don’t know many game reviews who’s tastes mirror mine.