Join the magical adventures of Loonie, Arg, Reefer, and Dingus as they travel the land in their retarded quest to consistently annoy oldschool RPGers. What’s that? That’s not their actual names? It doesn’t fucking matter; this game is awful.
Available For: DS (reviewed), iOS, NES, VC
Developer(s): Square, Square Enix, Matrix Software
Publisher(s): Square, Square Enix
Release Date: 1990 (original), 2011 (most recent)
Rating: E 10+
The original Final Fantasy was heavily inspirational for me, but I wouldn’t see another one until Final Fantasy 4 (called 2 in the U.S. initially) for the SNES. See, I gave Dragon Warrior a shot, but it never really sated me. The original was alright and while I’ve tried to get into the others, it was very hit/miss for many years, even going back and playing translated ones on an emulator.
And while I could drone on and on about Final Fantasy vs. Dragon Warrior, I’d really rather not…at least, not right now. Lately I’ve been playing Final Fantasy 3 for a DS emulator and while I’m further than I’ve ever been, I still hate it. Well, maybe hate’s too strong a word…but it’s really not very good. Of course, simply leaving it at that wouldn’t be doing you, the reader, any justice.
This is the first Final Fantasy to incorporate a job system. Unfortunately it does it on the most basic level possible. You level up job classes pretty quickly, but it takes a while to get actual level ups, so it’s necessary to get your tactics straight fairly quick in the game. However, you must, and I mean MUST, be flexible. There are multiple dungeons that, for whatever reason, the game likes to force you to use undesirable spells on yourself to enter.
So for example, multiple times I’ve had to turn my characters into frogs so that I can access a dungeon. Once accessed I can change them back, but that’s besides the point. It’s annoying. There really is no reason for it and they turned their backs on a unified MP system AGAIN in favor of ye olde D&D system where you have points for spells per level.
In other words, let’s waste your valuable spell points that you’re always short in supply on TO ENTER A FUCKING DUNGEON EVERY GODDAMN TIME. Oh, but it gets worse…so much worse. See, there’s one dungeon, and this is fairly early in the game too, where you have to shrink your characters to enter it. And you have to stay shrunk.
Now, this wouldn’t be so bad were it not for one major problem. When shrunk, your physical attack power is basically nothing, meanwhile your physical defense IS ALSO BASICALLY NOTHING. Therefore, you must have everyone in the back line…but how do you defeat enemies? Keeping in mind there’s also a BOSS FIGHT later, you must have everyone adopt the black mage class.
Of course, this invites more problems. Up to this point, you probably had a fighter, thief, white mage, and black mage. I guessed it, didn’t I? Damn I’m good. In any case, you may opt to keep the one white mage, but everyone else pretty much MUST become a black mage. Also, you only unlock access to higher level spells if, you guessed it, you’re a higher level black mage.
Ergo, you must grind as black mages for a while FIRST before entering the dungeon. The only good news to this is, at least in the DS version, you get fire and ice staves that allow you to use them as items to cast basic magic attacks, therefore saving valuable spell points for later. And like I said, this happens EARLY in the game. We’re talking one of the first three dungeons early.
The jobs in general are relatively uninspired. For example, your starting jobs are fighter, black mage, white mage, thief, monk (black belt), and red mage. So you effectively start with the basic classes you’d find in the original Final Fantasy. Alright, cool, but what about new jobs? Well so far I’ve stumbled across geomancer (kind of weak but can use the environment to attack), scholar (basically makes mages useless), knight (basically makes fighters useless), and ranger (who is a fairly useless Robin Hood character).
The reason this annoys me so much is they made it look easy in Final Fantasy 5 and even the Tactics series. Hell, even Final Fantasy X-2, for all its many…many…MANY…faults, had an interesting job system. You could argue that this is the first time Square tried this, but I argue back that Final Fantasy 1, 2, and 4 were incredible, so shut the fuck up.
Actually, it wasn’t until Final Fantasy 8 that I was disappointed by another Final Fantasy, and that’s even including the Gameboy “gaidens,” but again, we’re not going there…at least, not right now. So why play it then? I mean, seriously, if I hate it so much, why keep playing it? Well, two reasons. One, I’m bored as shit and it’s at least enough to keep me motivated while I wait for something else to do.
Two, a sense of moral obligation. Every time I look back on the Final Fantasies, I always think “oh, THAT one.” There are very few Final Fantasies I haven’t beaten and I constantly feel compelled to do so, even if I really don’t like them that much. If anything, it’s to say I’ve done so, even if I don’t feel satisfied afterward. Normally I couldn’t recommend this title, but I’d say if you’ve got nothing better to do and you have a DS…like let’s say you travel a lot or whatever…and you don’t read any of my other reviews on OTHER more worthy RPGs for the DS…yeah, okay, give it a whirl…I guess.
I seriously cannot recommend this title and it’s not that hard to find, so find it yourself if you’re that masochistic.