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Final Fantasy Origins

Final Fantasy
  • April 8, 2003
  • March 14, 2003
B+ 41 total ratings
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Where It All Began

A Final Fantasy Origins review Author: Andrew Published: June 14, 2003
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Sixteen years after the release of the original Final Fantasy, Square, like with so many of the Nintendo-based Final Fantasy's, finally announced the release of Final Fantasy I and II on Playstation. Featuring the updated graphics (As seen in their Wonderswan release), added CG movies, and other little extras, the newly dubbed "Final Fantasy Origins" would hit the shelves, opening up more players to where this series really started from.
Both games, housed on one Playstation disc, feature a challenge and almost nostalgic romance not seen in many of the current games. To match this feel, the packaging and disc are covered in classic Amano artwork (mainly from Final Fantasy II). However, while having a release interval of only about a year between the two games, they are very different games, both the originals, and the newly mastered versions.
Final Fantasy, released in '87, literally saved Squaresoft from extinction. This game, being their final hope, proved their knack for RPGs and the like. The game itself features a turn-based battle system (that would become one of the regulars in the series), multiple classes, and a semblance of a storyline. Being the first in the evolutionary pattern, however, the system seems quite different than what most are used to. One of the major differences occurs in the actual battle. While most are used to just hitting attack on anyone and not having to concern themselves with whether or not that foe is vanquished before their attack comes up, this is not so in Final Fantasy. It requires a bit more attention since if a character is targeted on a monster and that monster is killed before their turn, they won?t automatically attack another monster, they will just hit empty air, wasting a turn. Because of this, you have to keep track of hits, and plan ahead.
Another noticeable difference is the magic system. While most are used to having either one set of ?MP? (or Magic Points) or (Like seen in Final Fantasy VIII) a certain amount of spells, this game has multiple sets of MP, one for each level of spells. With there being 8 levels of spells, you therefore have 8 different MP gauges. Each spell only takes one MP away however, but it draws that from its level?s gauge.
Accompanying Final Fantasy is its direct successor, Final Fantasy II. While Final Fantasy was heavily system and game-play based, II was Square?s jump to a story-based game. Unlike the first, II features a set group of characters, all with default names that are somehow involved with each other through a more intriguing plot.
The story begins with 4 friends, Firion, Gus, Maria, and Leon. You watch as these four people race away from a town as they are chased by Imperial Soldiers. You are then thrown into your first battle, one in which you will not win, and will be knocked unconscious. You later awake as Firion to the cheers of relief by Maria and Gus, but soon find out that Leon is missing. You don?t get much time to sit and dwell, however, as you are quickly called to meet the one who rescued you and you are sent off to help them in their quest against the Empire (That silly Empire, always doing evil things).
Final Fantasy II features a system unlike any other Final Fantasy, the Mastery System. Unlike the Experience System that is featured in so many RPGs, the Mastery System is a bit different, the main one being the lack of a character level. Instead, your characters earn Mastery Levels. The progression of these levels is based of how often you use a certain weapon. For instance, if you fight with primarily a sword, then your sword Mastery Level will increase, and all the other weapon?s Mastery Levels won?t. The same goes for Magic.
While neither of these games feature an astounding story with amazing plot twists, they do bring along a wistful love and a wonderful replay value. Combined with the extras included in Origins, it proves to be a purchase well worth the money paid. However, this collection is not something for those who have an appreciation for the older games. But if you do, this is definitely something I would recommend.
Editor's Grade
dotted line "While being a couple of the oldest console games, Origins brings back the love and enjoyment you once had while adding even more to keep you happy."
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Vapid Buttmunch
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Member since June 11, 2003
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