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Capsule Review - Final Fantasy

Title Final Fantasy
Developer Square
Year 1987
Platform NES
Capsule Rating
 
Capsule Review: The game that started the genre's arguably best and most famous franchise has, sad to say, dated extremely poorly. While there are flashes throughout it that seem to foreshadow the greatness to come (say what you will, but crossing over that bridge was certainly "cinematic" at the time), it's far from a high point in the series overall. The gameplay system is a crude outline of what was later developed fully in Final Fantasy V, and the plot is mediocre at best. As if this wasn't enough, the game is just plain boring - while it certainly is "difficult," the difficulty can be overcome with hours of leveling up, with no strategy required (and the hideously slow pace of the battles will make it seem even longer). Final Fantasy's only achievement is being successful enough to have spawned a sequel (and another, and another, and another). With no characters, and even no real cohesive narrative, it can't ostensibly be called a lost classic, as Phantasy Star II can - in fact, the early Phantasy Star games are all hugely superior to the early Final Fantasy games. It's a historic curiosity, to be sure, but not much more than that.

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