Vidjagame Apocalypse 191 – Final Fantasies

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Final Fantasy XV is out after a 10-year wait, and we’re celebrating the only way we know how: by looking back at our five favorite games from the series’ 29-year run. Once we’ve finished enraging fans with our wrong opinions, we shift our focus to Final Fantasy XV, Steep, Nintendo showing up at Universal Studios, and the games you played over the long weekend.

Question of the Week

What’s your favorite Final Fantasy (or Final Fantasy spinoff)(or JRPG, if you somehow haven’t ever played a Final Fantasy)?

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Theme song by Matthew Joseph Payne. Break songs are Final Fantasy ~FFXII Version~ by Nobuo Uematsu and Hitoshi Sakamoto, and Eyes on Me by Nobuo Uematsu and Faye Wong. Haunting and beautiful New Releases Theme by David B. Cooper.

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28 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 191 – Final Fantasies

  1. Final fantasy 4. I own it on 4 different systems (I’ve never bought it on steam, but I might someday) and have played through it countless times. It has set forth pretty much every major theme and trope the series would rely on down the road.

    The character classes, the character arcs, the fake out deaths, the amnesia, the evil empire, the multiple transport styles, the “oh god big bad” fake out, the multiple worlds to traverse, etc etc etc.

    I started with FF1 and know that some of the above tropes started in 2&3 but I wasn’t able to play those until the 2000s, so for Americans, it’s where they began.

    The music, the side quests… ff4 is amazing.

  2. Sorry Chris, digital sucks.

    And Grandia is wonderful!

    I can confirm, PC Bangs (Rooms) are awesome. They’re great if you go out drinking and miss the last train home to your city.

    You can play games til you fall asleep, wake up and only pay 5 or 6 dollars instead of paying for a hotel!

  3. I however, have a love/hate, situation with FFIV mostly due to the PS1 port. I was really frustrated with the random encounters, and inventory management was a pain. But I didn’t give up on the game and replayed it intermittently, with the GBA and PSP. I fired up the SNES version over the summer, and completed it, (but cheated since I didn’t want to fight those f-king pink puffs). Reading through the story again, I quite like this game. It made me tear up, and FFVI exceeds it. Nice list guys.

    1. My actual favorite Final Fantasy is a toughie as the handful of entries I like both have goods and bads. Of course I’ll pick VI, IX, X, and V, but I liked VIII as it was the game I completed in a rather turbulent time in my life. It fed my item collection addiction with the draw system, plus it was a cool game where you learned blue magic by EATING enemies, a skilled taught by a a little alien.

  4. Persona 4, because Final Fantasy is a game for kids who just got out of their high school freshman intro to philosophy class.

    I kid, I kid. But Final Fantasy is probably the series I’ve tried and failed the hardest to get into. I’ve tried to play almost every mainline numbered FF game for at least a half hour except for 3, 5, 9, and the MMOs. The only ones that I felt drawn into and might go back to someday are 6 and 12, so once FF18 comes out maybe I’ll give that a shot since I only like the ones that are divisible by 6.

  5. As someone who has never played a Final Fantasy game, and all I know of the series either came from you guys or my friends, this was a great episode. That Top 5 was super fun to listen to, and overall I was thoroughly captivated for the full two and a half hours.

    Plus, that secret sound had me laughing super hard again. That bit and the earlier bit from Bonus Time are clip worthy.

  6. You know what. I can honestly say I think your Final Fantasy list is spot on.

    It’s too bad none of those games have the Job system, but as awesome as the Job system is, the games that have it are usually lacking in other areas.

  7. I’m pretty sure the most I ever played a main series Final Fantasy game was one of the Playstation games that came as a demo on a Pizza Hut demo disk. I’ve put the most hours into Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

  8. Final Fantasy 6, first time I played it was the GBA version in 2010, something that no one ever talks about with that game is the fantastic pacing. The first JRPG’s I ever experienced were from the PS1 era, games that I would often times spend over 100 hours on like Xenogears, Star Ocean, and Final Fantasy 8. All I could think as I played through all this concentrated JRPG goodness was, I wish 10 year old me knew that something this inviting, this effortless, this painless could actually exist. It’s the most refined JRPG experience ever made, any time anyone ever ask what’s a good first time RPG, I always respond FF6, it doesn’t matter that it came out in 1994 this holds up so much better in terms of player engagement than just about any JRPG from the past 25 years. After I beat the game the first time my immediate thoughts were I wish there was more story, more dialogue, more world building, do you how incredibly rare it is for me to think that after beating a JRPG

  9. I have zero interest in the Final Fantasy series, and I will waste my time and your time letting you know about it in ten seconds or less.

  10. The easy and obvious answer would be FF6, but I’m gonna be dumb and contrary and say FF13. One of three numbered FF games I’ve beaten so far (1, 6, 13) and I loved it. Yes, it’s a slow burn and I COMPLETELY understand people disliking it for x y z reasons. But I loved it, loved the world, loved the music, the characters, it was all fantastic. The battle system was great and kept things interesting for the entire game, and the lack of an overworld and the linear nature of the first 2/3 made sense! The characters are on the run constantly, so why wouldn’t they be funneled from place to place?

    I love FF13. It was given a 10 by Carolyn back in 2009 and I stand by it. It’s worth playing, but I definitely understand people not wanting to play 35 hours before finally getting the entire battle system opened up and all that jazz (and Sazh).

    1. I dug 13 as well. That battle system was cool. I don’t mind the linear nature since most of the exploring in FF games is really an illusion of freedom anyway. You still get locked into certain little map areas as the events progress. They only really open up near the end and it’s still just retreading old areas with the exception of special caves and whatnot.

  11. I know it’s cliche, but my favorite is VII. I didn’t play it until the summer of 2003 when I was in between finishing elementary school and starting middle school, and at that point the graphics were fairly dated, but that didn’t stop me from falling in love with it. It wasn’t the first RPG I’d played, or even the first Final Fantasy, but the mysterious world it created sucked me in and made me the most obsessed I’d been with a game since the first Metal Gear Solid. Some people like to hate on it because it’s so popular, but I say its popularity is rightfully earned. I still like to give it a playthrough every two or three years.

    That said, I also really like IV, VIII and Tactics.

  12. I’ll be the lame-o that says FF7. It was my first real attempt at a Final Fantasy when my brother brought a bootleg copy of it home from Hong Kong when he was in the Navy. I was obligated to play it and after a few hours I was all in. It still has my favorite characters and the most haunting themes. I have no idea how long I played it because the clock stopped at 99:59 and I played for months beyond that. Plus you get to play as a backstabbing cat on top of a marshmallow next to a red lion dog with PTSD, or an emo vampire wannabe that’s actually a were-monster. Dig it! …

    Honorable mention goes to FFV for being super great. I had a blast dressing up my chibi sprites in all their cute outfits! And Butz is the only main protagonist that I feel isn’t all depressing as fuck and might actually be a decent guy to hang out with. He had a sad backstory too, but you didn’t see him moping around! He just got on his chocobo and went exploring! Take note kids!

  13. Final Fantasy IX is far and away my favourite. It was the first game I bought with my own money and the first FF I ever played. I knew nothing about it and I bought it purely because of the cover and the back of the box.
    I love the battle system, learning abilities through equipment and the differing characters; although every time I play it I end up with the same 4 characters in my final party (Zidane, Dagger, Vivi and Steiner). I also like that despite allowing you to explore it’s actually a fairly linear game and doesn’t hide abilities or items that you need to complete the game in side quests (looking at you FFX-2).
    The best part for me is the incredibly deep story; what other game basically asks you to answer the question ‘what is the point of living if you eventually die?’ and gives you 8 character’s perspectives on it? I genuinely think it might have effected the way I live life.

  14. Playing VII as a 15 year old was fun but I think the FF I enjoyed the most was … Lost Odyesy. Ever since the trailer I was excited especially with the CGI into gameplay intro. I thought the idea of an immortal protagonist with years of memories and baggage would be interesting. Shamefully I can’t remember too much of the story but I enjoyed it so much at the time. Overall a great classic FF style JRPG.

  15. QOTW:

    FFVII is my favorite, mainly due to the huge nostalgia factor and the fact that I memorize most of the game. It was THE game that introduced me to RPGs, and one of only three Final Fantasy titles that I am willing to replay (the other two being FFIV and FFVI). Outside of those three, I’ve viewed Final Fantasy games as mostly one-time experiences. FFVII was the reason I wanted to get an original PlayStation back in 1997 after other kids at school talked about it (even nicknaming me Cloud) and watching my cousin play. FFVII and Super Mario World were the only games for which I bought a strategy guide before owning the game. For years I was only able to play the game whenever I visited my cousin, keeping my own save file on his memory card, until 2001 when I finally bought a used PS1 and a used copy of the game at an EB Games and copied my save file onto a cheap third-party memory card. I also fell in love with the soundtrack and purchased the CD set on a gaming music website (the name of which I have forgotten and is probably long gone). With 2017 approaching, I think it’s time to dust off my used copy of FFVII, my cheap memory card, and fire up a new playthrough for the 20th anniversary.

  16. QOTW:
    Imagine yourself as a teenager living 10 years ago in a provincial city in Russia. It would take another two-three years for something better than ADSL to come to your town and most people still use dial-up for their internet needs. You can even find PS1 discs (pirate copies, of course) being sold here and there. And so, once I found box that contained FF Anthology. It was sold for something that now equals 2$. Exactly the amount of money I was given daily for school lunches. Of course, I heard about Final Fantasy series, but I never bothered to play one.
    Well, this Anthology might be as good place as any to start, so I picked it up, returned home, inserted disc with FF VI and booted PS1 emulator. The next thing I remember is that it is dawn of the next day and I just finished opera scene. Thus, FF VI became my favourite FF game. I love everything about it: story, characters, music, world map, you name it. After VI I played through V, VII, VIII and IX and while they all are great games, nothing even comes close to VI for me.
    Nothing, if we are talking about FF, of course, because the best JRPG ever is Phantasy Star IV. And the main reason I never bothered with FF before VI is because I was too busy jerking off to Phantasy Star series.
    Greetings from Russia, guys, you are being listened here as well.

  17. QOTW: Tactics baby. My brothers and I had to get some pay under the counter type gigs due to our parents lack of funds and us being too young for regular jobs. While the work was shitty (literally- we worked as janitors for a day care) our efforts were well rewarded when we bought our very own playstation. Problem was, there were three of us and none were too keen on sharing. Our game preferences were pretty diverse so we always argued on whose turn it was. Then Final Fantasy Tactics came into our lives. None of us have ever played a strategy RPG before, but there was something about the aesthetics and the music and settings that spoke to all three of us. We all played the game together, had a blast taking down a medieval fantasy catholic church and maybe even bonded a little too. That is until they ruined my automobile company, forcing me to go broke and homeless, thus using a rat as a pillow thanks to your pop.

    1. Second. I didn’t find Final Fantasy Tactics until the PSP. But it was a lot of fun. Plus, I’m a huge turn-based strategy nerd.

  18. Final Fantasy 13, better then 6 and 7 in 2016.

    Probably late but fuck you. One of those three will age better than the other three in a couple of years.

  19. Ehrgeiz. I was going to say Chrono Trigger, since it was in the Final Fantasy Chronicles re-release pack, but it was already discussed a little bit in the episode.
    I have only played Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles on the Gamecube (which was terrible) and Final Fantasy 13. I didn’t have the patience to play 20 hours until 13 “got good.”

    This episode did make me want to try Final Fantasy 6, so I will be searching for one to play, either on my SNES or GBA.

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