Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered is not perfect. It doesn’t improve upon the original’s multiplayer, the menu system is a bit clunky, and it’s in need of some quality of life features. Despite this, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the game. Cozy is the best word to describe FFCCR. It delivers gratifying exploration, an amazing soundtrack (I have a new fascination with the crumhorn), and a minimalist story with charming and sometimes melancholy themes of memories and family. FFCCR is a warm cup of hot chocolate while nestled in a blanket after a long day of work.
Final Fantasy XIII is different, but different does not mean bad. It doesn’t want to be either FFVII or FFX, it wants to be Final Fantasy XIII, and I think it succeeds as its own game. Its battle system is more RTS than RPG, but I like that it made me think differently than I would for other Final Fantasy games. Not to mention the soundtrack has one of the best battle themes in the series as a whole, and dozens of other standout pieces. It is a different experience to others, yes, but a welcome difference to be sure.
In the vast land of Ivalice, an orphan, his childhood friend, a princess, a pirate, an exile, and a fallen knight meet while they make their way into a dangerous adventure, in order to unveil the truth behind a betrayal of the past and stop a devastating war. Presenting brand new gameplay and a fresh story with compelling characters, Final Fantasy XII marked a new chapter in the beloved franchise, with drastic changes and additions to the gameplay. New combat mechanics that shined through their dynamism and a well-polished growth system makes this game an entertaining if sometimes messy experience.
Can a game teach empathy? Final Fantasy X certainly teaches the power of manipulating empathy—the strength institutions have over otherwise good people and the space between them. Nowadays, we see violence doled against knowledge constantly. Truth is often threatened. Final Fantasy X suggests, in times of crisis, we should retreat into our communities, care for our neighbors, and resist what endangers a better tomorrow. The legacies we leave behind are nothing in a land leveled of its history. We wouldn’t want that. Context bubbles to the surface like a precious memory. Let travelers look at your works and rejoice.
FFVII was always going to be hard to follow, but clearly, someone at Square decided that Final Fantasy VIII should be insane. The story of Squall, 90s angst personified, and his team of wanna-be mercs fight to save the world is off-set with genuinely interesting character growth. However, to experience this you’ll have to wrestle the junction system. 100 words are not enough to describe the of this maddening meta-magic management mechanic. Even with the remaster’s turbo-boosts, time that should be spent admiring the HD character remodels and classic landscapes of Deling City are spent toiling away within drab menus.
Has there ever been a remake as anticipated as Final Fantasy VII Remake? With so much pressure put on it, it’s a wonder that it does so well at living up to expectations but somehow it does! The highlight here is the cast of characters who are all loveable, dynamic and interact with each other brilliantly. The gameplay is no slouch either with the mix of ATB and real-time combat being a treat for both new and old fans. Although the ending and changes may be controversial amongst fans the future is bright and exciting for Final Fantasy VII Part 2.
Final Fantasy V is all about the grind. The story, world, and characters all blur together as I watch the numbers go up. Each job becomes a new progress bar to fill. Each ability becomes a new goal. The combat and bosses become my proof of mastery over its systems. But after the grind, what is left? Where is the drama? Where is the personality? Final Fantasy V revels in its freedom through its combat and exploration, but it all focuses on the same thing, gaining power. That search for power is enthralling but feels hollow when it is over.
Did you ever want a sequel to Final Fantasy IV, a title that was a complete story in and of itself? Well, you got it anyway with The After Years. An unnecessary title that treads the same plot points as the original (a relatively typical fantasy story in its own right), The After Years adds nothing to the world of Final Fantasy IV. The episodic format also fails to deliver, making some sections too difficult with the limited party match-ups. The After Years is ultimately a Final Fantasy title that no one asked for, and isn’t worth buying and playing.
Sometimes, Final Fantasy IV will pull a Smart RPG move and act as though it struggles with its own balancing when really it’s just turning certain battles and sequences into a puzzle. A test of your knowledge where your understanding of the mechanics allows you to work out how it wants you to do things. Other times, it really does simply fall apart and the game doesn’t know how to get you to the next melodramatic personal sacrifice without doing some chores. Does this mean I don’t understand Final Fantasy IV? Yes. Do I think it’s my own fault? No.