Thanks in no small part to the success of Final Fantasy Tactics, American gamers have been treated to a mini-renaissance in this niche genre. Games like the Game Boy Advance (GBA) version of Tactics Ogre, Atlus' recently released Disgaea for the PlayStation 2 (PS2), and the much anticipated Fire Emblem for the GBA are dishing out loads of strategy RPG goodness to a market starving for more.
Never one to miss out on cashing in on a craze it helped inspire, Square (along with new partner Enix) has jumped into the mix as well by releasing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for the GBA. So, does this title live up to the legend inspired by its predecessor? Generally speaking, yes.
The Final Fantasy series has developed as one of the most popular and stylized franchises in videogames. Beloved by millions, the Final Fantasy games have managed to develop an almost baroque formalism in terms of both mechanics and narrative. There have been many milestones in the history of the series, but none that have been so momentous and yet nearly forgotten as the first two entries.
Game Description: Final Fantasy Origins, a special package of the original Final Fantasy (released in North America 1n 1990) and Final Fantasy II (never before released in North America) have been remade for the PlayStation game console and feature new cinematic movies, opening theme songs, event scenes including updates of the original event sequences, enhanced graphics, improved sound quality and new gameplay modes. Together, these two titles laid the foundation for the series and spawned many hit sequels that have now sold over 42 million units worldwide.
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.
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.
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