Game Spotlight: The Final Fantasy Series

Final Fantasy is JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game) that was first released in 1987 by Square (Enix). Recently, it celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017! It has been a beloved series these past 30 years, releasing over 15 main series games as well as multiple spin-offs and films. It has been a game series that is dear to my heart and one of the first JRPGs I ever played.

If you’re a fan of JRPGs, the Final Fantasy Series has to be a staple in your collection. It has evolved over the years from just 16-bit simple turn-based battle to real-life graphic, open-world combat. As a fan of the series for many years, it’s really interesting to see how they have changed not only their graphics, but also improved in their story-telling.

From this…

To this…

The Final Fantasy series has many recognizable traits such as a group of rag-tag characters battling evil, two villains, the use of crystals, as well as minor love interests. However, even though the formula is constantly being reused and re-written in new instalments, the gameplay mechanics are always changing.

Most Final Fantasy games are turn-based, meaning that you have to take turns attacking between your characters and your enemies. Other games are more live-action where you have direct control of your character’s movements and attacks. Lastly, there are games that are more “tactics” based meaning that you control your characters by using a grid (akin to Fire Emblem games)

There’s something for everyone here, but here are my suggestions if you want a taste of each gameplay style in Final Fantasy:

Turn-based: Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy IV is definitely one of my most favourite games in the series. It was the first I played to completion, and it also kept me sane during those days I had to help my family with their Chinese take-out restaurant. It’s set in medieval times and follows a knight named Cecil who discovers a heartbreaking truth about himself and the kingdom he has dedicated himself to defending. Tip: play the remastered version on Steam or dust of your old DS!

Live-action/Hack-and-slash: Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is a fairly new entry into the series, it has gotten mixed reviews due to the storytelling, but its game mechanics are unique and definitely new to the series. Final Fantasy XV follows a prince named Noctis who goes on a journey with his three closest friends to fulfill a peace treaty that was set out by his father. It was definitely a game that kept me on the edge of my seat all the time. It’s an open world game as well, so you can explore to your heart’s content!

Tactics: Final Fantasy Tactics

Okay, this is kind of an obvious one… it has Tactics right in its name! This was definitely a really unique take on the tactics genre as a whole, it has a really unique class system (some really weird ones too!) and it gave you almost all control to bend the battle to your will! It’s something you really have to check out for yourself to really understand why everyone loves it so much.

The Final Fantasy series is something you should definitely check out even if you aren’t into JRPGs. I promise you that you’ll love at least one game in the series (after all, there are over 20)! Happy gaming!

 

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