It’s an open question which Final Fantasy game I actually played first. I rented a ton of SNES games back then and I’ve always wondered: did I randomly rent FFIII (actually VI, but no one knew better back then) and just didn’t get it? As a kid, I spent most of my time playing Mega Man X, Street Fighter II, and Mortal Kombat 3 and it wasn’t until I got my PlayStation that I was truly introduced into the incredible world of RPGs.
Like many, my “First Final Fantasy” was definitely the most popular: the seventh installment with the spiky hair and the impossibly huge swords. I devoured Final Fantasy VII like a half-starved man at a glorious banquet: blown away by everything it had to offer: the story, the FMVs, the combat, the limit breaks, the characters, the world, the adult situations I barely understood (Honey Bee Inn, I’m looking at you). Afterwards, I went looking for other Final Fantasy games. I learned about the convoluted release history and downloaded, quite illegally, Final Fantasy II (actually IV, but no one knew better back then) on my dial-up connection and played it with a SNES emulator on my PC. “How in the hell did I miss this?” thought I. Those days, like any good fantastic adventure, were magical. They didn’t last, however.
Back in January I wrote about the three things I thought Square-Enix should do, or at least consider, to “save” Final Fantasy. Reeling from a slightly mediocre 13th installment and the colossal failure that was Final Fantasy XIV: Online, the Final Fantasy brand was, in the words of former CEO Yoichi Wada, “greatly damaged” and no one was more upset about that than me. Well, E3 2013 has come and gone and Square-Enix has played their hand in a very exciting way. It’s also a perfect opportunity to revisit that old article and, perhaps, amend it a bit.
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