I've always thought I could enjoy any game so long as it was a feast of sight and sound, not frustratingly difficult, and filled with enough diverting gameplay to keep my mind off the responsibilties of day-to-day existence. I'm also a fan of the production values and atmosphere of console role-playing games (RPGs) in general and the Final Fantasy series especially. So when Final Fantasy IX was released, I was sure I was going to love it.
Game Description: Dark times have spread over the world of Gaia. Four separate governing nations, some blinded by their short-sighted greed, some persevering in the name of justice, are battling on and off in a deadly game for power. One kingdom, that of Lindblum, headed by the honorable and trustworthy Regent Cid, finally decides to take a stand against the unspeakable massacres by the troops of Alexandria. Enlisting the aid of mere bandits to kidnap Princess Garnet of the Alexandria Empire, for information and interrogation, Garnet and her bodyguard actually join Cid's cause, knowing full well the outlandish recklessness of the governing Queen, who counterattacks with an onslaught of warriors. Thus begins a crossfire that would engulf the world in something far worse than political standoffs. Out of the band of thieves, one boy along with his entourage must battle his way through several awe-inspiring challenges to restore order and peace.
To add to this already volatile situation, FFX contrasts this aspect of religion with a protagonist who sees no use in any form of belief. By "digging up the dirt" concerning religion and clashing it against modern day mentality, Squaresoft offers one of its most appealing and addictive stories ever in a Final Fantasy game.
Game Description:Final Fantasy X is the first title in this landmark RPG series to be released for the PlayStation2. The main characters are Tidus, a star of blitzball (a hugely popular sport in the Final Fantasy universe), and Yuna, who has learned the art of summoning and controlling aeons, powerful spirits of yore. These two people of different backgrounds must work together as they journey through the world of Spira. This installment of Final Fantasy has a distinctly Asian influence, bringing a fresh feel to the characters, music, settings, and story. Features include voice-overs for the first time in the series (utilizing the Facial Motion System), high-polygon, motion-captured player characters designed by Tetsuya Nomura, and a camera that automatically adjusts its perspective to correspond with the movements of the characters—a feature now possible because the game is largely polygonal.
There are few more frightening and iconic figures than the riot control police officer. Dressed entirely in black with faces obscured, carrying clubs and grenade launchers, viciously beating people as they lie helpless on the ground. Their worldwide uniformity makes it seem as if there's a single organization out there passionately dedicated to clubbing the world's protestors. This makes Urban Chaos: Riot Response an unbelievably hard sell, as it portrays those very stormtroopers as the game's heroes entirely non-ironically.
Final Fantasy Anthology seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for old-school role-playing game fans like me. After seeing what Square did with the Japanese version (called Final Fantasy Collection), I was more than a little excited to see the game on these shores.
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