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68 of 73 found the following review helpful:
A Classic Reborn Again Jun 26, 2007
By S. Rhodes
It's hard to review a re-release of the first Final Fantasy. On one hand, the game is pretty good; great for it's time. The keywords being: For it's time. On the other hand, with yet another re-release of Final Fantasy, you kinda wish by now that Square-Enix would do something to make it more "modern." Regardless of where you fall, Final Fantasy is a good game. The problem is that for the more modern day gamer, there's no assurance that you'll really get into this if you can't deal with the 20 year old mechanics. The other bad thing about Final Fantasy on the PSP is simply that if you've already got Dawn of Souls or Origins, then there's no real incentive to pick up the PSP version. The fact that the other re-releases included Final Fantasy II can also be a sting to the PSP version of the game.
Final Fantasy is a simple basic storyline. Four warriors must come forth and save the world by using the power of the crystals. Your main characters don't say a word, and you begin the game by choosing their character classes. There's no narrative to drive the story along either, and like a ton of RPGs made in the 80's and early 90's there's also no way of telling where you're supposed to go next without talking to lots of people and then running around aimlessly, while gathering tons of levels in the process. To me that spells fun, but if you're an RPGer who began with the later games in the series (particularly from the Playstation era), it's hard to say you'll really love Final Fantasy if you can't let those little tidbits slide. The game is also incredibly slow paced. Again, it's something that RPGers who began with later Final Fantasy games or later RPGs will have to take time to get used to.
Gameplay wise, Final Fantasy hasn't changed a bit. Not in the slightest. Battling is as basic as ever. Completely turn based. However, Final Fantasy is usually pretty fun to battle in. Provided you don't mind that sometimes combat is sluggish (or that you could be attacked by nine enemies at once). The music in battle is upbeat, and the enemies are really nicely drawn. Just the same, it's pretty strategic. You choose a class for each of your characters at the beginning of the game. You can make them a Warrior, White Mage, Black Mage, etc. It makes a huge difference in how hard or easy the game can be as a whole. For example, only Red and White Mages can heal, but only White Mages can learn the more advanced White Mage spells. So battling remains pretty fun, even if it is pretty straightforward.
What will probably annoy gamers is the unforgiving random encounter rate. There are times when you just don't feel like battling. It also doesn't help that the failure rate of running is also somewhat high. If you've been playing RPGs since the SNES days, the slight dip in difficulty might annoy you. The game is still challenging, but not nearly as challenging as its 1987 original, or the 2003 version. It's even easier than the Dawn of Souls remake.
The biggest problem that Final Fantasy on the PSP suffers from is that if you've already played through the adventure in one of the other remakes, there's really nothing here that justifies doing it again. Final Fantasy is a gem; a game everyone should play at least once... but some of its aspects have not aged very well. For PSP owners the only plus they get (aside from all the extras in the GBA version) is one new dungeon. It also doesn't help that the other re-releases of the game came with Final Fantasy II, and they were priced at the same value.
On the positive side, however, the PSP version is the best looking version of the game yet. Everything is given a lot of artistic detail. The sprites and enemies have never looked better. It doesn't quite push the PSP to its limit, but it's still really beautiful to look at. Just the same, the music also sounds really good. It's also really cool that you'll be seeing the game in widescreen too.
Really, the only big problem with Final Fantasy is that it's a remake of a remake of a remake that doesn't offer enough new content to justify a buy to those who've already played it before. Also, like the re-release of Final Fantasy III, its age is really starting to show. There are just some aspects of the gameplay you wish Square would've thrown in for the sake of updating the game. What it boils down to is simple: You're buying an NES game. Expect the NES limitations.
Regardless of whether you believe it needed a more "modern" update or not Final Fantasy isn't a bad game, but investing in another remake if you've already got Origins or Dawn of Souls? That's hardly worth it.
Even if you haven't played Final Fantasy before, the PSP one is hard to justify when you put into account that the other remakes also came with Final Fantasy II, and they were priced at the same value. If you absolutely MUST play Final Fantasy and you haven't done so, I suggest heading on down to your local used game store and picking up the GBA version. It may not be as pretty, but you get Final Fantasy II with it, and it's cheaper.
+The prettiest version of the game yet
+Still sounds good
+There's a bonus dungeon
-The pacing of the story is really slow
-The random encounter rate is really high
-There are just some aspects of the game that don't age very well
-It's another remake of Final Fantasy... but this one offers little in the way of new content. You get all those GBA extras, but the only PSP exclusive extras are some enhanced graphics and a brand new dungeon. It's hard to urge a gamer that already has the GBA version or even the Origins version to go out and get his one.
17 of 17 found the following review helpful:
Forever a Treasured Classic Apr 15, 2009
I'm a 27 year-old guy who landed this game on NES back when it was first released. Zelda was my first RPG; I loved it, then Final Fantasy came along and sealed the deal for my love of RPG's. Years and many RPG's later (everything from Dragon Warrior to Neutopia to Breath of Fire to Landstalker, etc.), I landed Final Fantasy III for SNES and was - once again - in awe of the superiority of Final Fantasy.
Skip ahead however many years and Final Fantasy gets a HUGE facelift, but becomes linear and nowhere near as expansive as its predecessors. To this day, I've not liked any Final Fantasy past FF III for SNES. There's just something about the overhead view RPG's that has the look and feel I love. Because of this, this remake of Final Fantasy 1 is like a breath of fresh air... even having purchased and thoroughly beaten the, "Dawn of Souls" (FF1 and FF2 in one cartridge) remakes for GBA a year or so ago.
Having just purchased a PSP for the first time since they were released (I know... a late-bloomer), I've been scouring the internet for good RPG's on this platform. Needless to say, I saw this remake and swiped it right up (along with the FF2 remake as well). Now, I know a lot of people here say they can't really justify telling someone who has owned this remake on other systems to buy this one, but... if you love FF1 and still come back to revisit it through its entirity every couple of years or so, DEFINITELY buy this version!
It's everything you're familiar with, and then some. Being a truly COMPLETE rework (that is, this game was developed from scratch), the game looks great. You can check out a graphical comparison of the bosses (from NES development up to the PSP) here:
With the ability to save anywhere, the game is definitely a lot less challenging than it was on NES, but it's a welcomed addition for those of you who couldn't quite make it to Chaos. The four new dungeons add a lot to the game; including, new weapons, new enemies, new bosses, new levels (obviously), and - thus - new game play. While they're the same as the new dungeons from the GBA remake, the graphics are completely reworked; the whole game is just much more enjoyable to play as a whole.
Nobuo Uematsu's soundtrack is back, but with a bit of a touch-up. I'm an audiophile and a music buff, so I'm pretty fickle about classics being changed (even upgrading something from 8-bit to real instrumentation, lol) but nothing in this game has been changed in what I felt was a negative way; so, that's a definite plus! In addition to his soundtrack, the new dungeons have their own new music that I really dig.
Along with a complete rework of the graphics and an updated soundtrack, the next major PSP-only feature is the addition of the, "Labyrinth of Time." Man, this is one of the most frustrating things I've ever played in ANY RPG! It's EXTREMELY challenging, has NUMEROUS paths and outcomes, and generally just makes the rest of the game seem like a cakewalk (which it kind of is anyway, being 27 and not 9 or 10, lol). Chaos is *nothing* compared to Chronodia (who has artwork that reminds one of the majesty of Kefka at the end of FF III or perhaps a boss that would've been found in Breath of Fire 2)... but that's all I'll mention in regards to that. I won't post any spoilers or additional information, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. If you want to know more about the Labyrinth of Time, Gooooooogle!
The only gripe I have (and that's just because I'm diggin' for one) is the time it can take to load new enemies you encounter, new towns, new dungeons, etc... but we're talking 3-4 seconds, max; a small price to pay for as much enjoyment as I get out of this game.
So... if you're like me and you're absolutely, hopelessly stuck in the land of - and in love with - 8-bit and 16-bit RPG's (but dig cleaned up enhancements and a few additions to the game), I HIGHLY recommend this version of FF1. I realize there are a lot of people out there who disagree with my opinion, but they have their opinions and I have mine. Hopefully, I've spelled mine out enough to reach out to the exact demographic of those who share it.
Now, if only I can somehow convince Square-Enix to port FF III (SNES) to PSP...
10 of 11 found the following review helpful:
Play it again for the first time Aug 06, 2007
By N. Durham
A few years back, Final Fantasy I & II were ported to the GBA under the title Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls. Now the game that started Square's long running RPG series has been re-made again, this time for the PSP. Though there are a few differences between this version and other remakes, this edition of Final Fantasy is basically the Dawn of Souls game minus Final Fantasy II and a little charm. Naturally the graphics have been quite enchanced and are indeed gorgeous to look at on the PSP screen, and the soundtrack is enhanced as well, but the game remains the same in virtually every other department. There are a few extras including a brand new dungeon in addition to the four made for the Dawn of Souls release, but there isn't enough here to warrant picking up if you already own Final Fantasy in one of it's previous incarnations. Not to mention that for new gamers or those who have only played the more recent installments of the series, the old school style of ultra random battles and mechanics will turn you off. That being said though, if you are a long time Final Fantasy fan and have never played any of the previous remakes and you own a PSP, then by all means pick this up and experience it all over again. If you're not a longtime fan of the series though, you could do better as far as RPG's on the PSP go.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
It's a fair remake of the original 80's version. Aug 16, 2007
Compared to the original version, the graphics in the anniversary edition on the PSP are fantastic!... It also includes one new dungeon called the labyrinth of time, wich boasts nothing challenging at all... There aren't any epic items or new and interesting stuff that you can find in it... just a lot of wasted time... in fact, the dungeon boss, for whom you have to wait a long, LOOOOOONNNNGGGGG TIME till you reach him, isn't much harder that the ones that you can find in the soul of chaos dungeons, particularlly in the sea shrine.
The random engaging in battles sucks... You have the option to escape the ones that become insignificant for your lvl, but you get to lose some time in the process. It's quite ridiculous to have lvl 60 + and keep fighting enemies lvl 2 or around that... you don't get experience from fighting them or any interesting drops.
Generally, if you haven't played the original version, it's a good game to buy. If you have experienced it already, don't waste your time, the new bonus levels are not that exciting or challenging, just long... very long!!
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
FF1 FFS Nov 18, 2010
By John H. Mentzer IV
I told myself I wouldn't buy another iteration of Final Fantasy 1. I resisted all my base impulses for years. Then I just bought it anyway. This remake of the classic that started it all, has been re-brushed and repackaged half a dozen times, but I can call this one the best of its evolutionary states. It has the best graphic touch up and the most extra content thus far. I plowed right through it the way a wino might attack a bottle of MD 20/20, and in similar fashion I am now left feeling cold and guilty and a bit ashamed once again. Final Fantasy why can't I quit you!!!
Excuse me I don't know what came over me there. I will try to start the review off on a better foot. Let's see. As remakes go this one is great. It really succeeds in capturing the essence of its aged counterpart, while eliminating all of the unmanageable game system quirks from the first. I will go into that more in a minute. Lets just say that I got my money's worth considering the cheap price of this item on Amazon.
Graphics and Sound
The sound is good. You will find all the same tunes from the original, with just a light touch up and a little less of that tinny analog sound that we grew up with. Right from the get go the all too familiar Final Fantasy Theme will let you know that you will soon be getting your fix of crystals swords and sorcery. The music in this Final Fantasy is memorable, if not a little subdued and strange. No complaints there. Things are a little sharper in this version and its a good change. Its especially nice to be rid of the silly sound effect that cued whenever you talked to someone in the game as the text box lazily crawled onto screen. fweeeEEEH... FWEEEeeeh...
The graphics have come a long way from the original Nintendo title, and this is certainly a welcome change. The sprites now show a great deal more detail, and the designs are better on the whole. I really enjoy these remakes, and appreciate that they have kept most of them in 2D. I think a nice looking 2D sprite will beat any amount of sub par 3D rendering you care to put on offer. If only they would now put out FF3 for the PSP with 2D sprites, instead of that awful geometry-land mess you had on the DS.
Characters and Plot
Well your characters have no personalities. This predates the more story and character driven days of the series. You start the game with all of your party members, and you choose their job classes and their names, and you even get to make up all their dialogue yourself! That's right, your characters must have been with each other for a long time because they feel they have little to say to each other, and given the less than riveting conversational style of the towns people you can hardly blame them for being silent there! In fact the well in the starting town offers up better conversation that anyone else in the game.
Joking aside, the game has no character development, or even dynamic, and the dialogue is terse and strange in most cases.
The plot itself is very basic. The four crystals which hold the world in equilibrium, have been taken by four elemental fiends. Its up to you and your three mute comrades to dutifully kick their butts, retrieve the crystals, and restore order to the world. You spend most of the game wandering around fairly aimlessly for all that. without any character interaction and scant dialogue with NPCs, or "non player characters" to move things along, you are really without any sort of perceivable motivation. You more or less stumble on the first crystal after defeating the Earth Fiend known simply as Lich, and then after that its sort of like; "Well I guess we already have one...Can't do much with an incomplete set of crystals I suppose..."
Its important to remember that this game was a pioneer of the genre. One of the earliest examples of a full on RPG video game. With that in mind you cannot judge some of the silly aspects too harshly. The game is almost fully a nostalgia experience, or maybe research if you are some sort of budding RPG-ologist, but it has a hard time holding up on its own merits by today's gaming standards. There just isn't much here besides a nearly endless procession of monsters to chop up, and a smattering of treasure chests to plunder. It hearkens back to a day when your imagination had to work in tandem with the electronics you might say.
This remake has held on to all of the improvements made in the various incarnations of this game over the years, and this serves to make the experience much more enjoyable. Some of the important changes are worth mentioning. At least you will appreciate what they did for you this way. Some may complain, but this isn't a direct port and its clear that they only changed elements that made the game frustrating, or fixed things that were simply limitations in programming knowledge at the time.
For one all of the items in the game cost significantly less than they did in the original. You would have to spend hours upon hours decreasing populations of the same monsters just to buy a single weapon or spell previously. Because there was not as much of a world divide in the game, you would run into the pathetic weak enemies that hardly gave you a lead gil, right along with the strong rich ones, which meant you could not count on consistently gaining money. Oh and god forbid you should be poisoned or have a character die because that will mean a long hard trek back to town to buy some ludicrously expensive antidote, or get shaken down by the local church. Our heroes had it way wrong. They should have become merchants...
Next up you can now save your game anywhere at any time. This is a great boon in a game where you can potentially encounter nine enemies that can each cast a party targeting instant death spell... Before, you could only save your game at inns. Oh and did I mention that you actually had to pay to stay at the inn? That's right you had to pay your had earned gil just for the privilege of saving your game. This essentially leashed you to the towns for most of the game, and going from a town to a dungeon, could likely turn disastrous if you were to take a wrong turn and end up in the middle of nowhere. It might be better if anyone in town had a clue where the places you had to go were, but then I guess if the people you play are legendary warriors of light, and even they get the crap kicked out of them walking through a field...
They also mercifully changed the attacking mechanic in battle. Previously, you had to have all your characters select their targets in combat and then they and the monsters would attack in a seemingly random order. The problem being that you would often have to sit through 6 wolves gnawing your leg off, before you even got a chance to retaliate. In addition to this, if an enemy died from the last person attacking it, the next person would still try to swing at the dead monster instead of selecting a new target. This made battles 10 times harder and more frustrating, because it was always a guessing game as to whether you were going to kill three enemies, and reduce your incoming damage, or lightly scratch three different enemies, and have them turn around and beat you half to death. Thanks for doing away with this miserable mechanic guys!
Finally I will mention that the entire magic system has been changed to be like the later MP or "magic point" based system. The magic system was set up more like Dungeons and Dragons, where the characters have 8 different levels of spells, and could cast a specific number of each level before resting. I'm a bit conflicted on this one, as I actually liked the old system a little better for the game. In the new system you have boatloads of MP and never really need to conserve your magic. In the old version there was a strategy based around saving all your most powerful magic for big encounters. The result was that you ended up getting use out of most of your magic, instead of just using whatever spell is most powerful all the time. Still I think it does make the game a bit more accessible to most players, and its not bad exactly, just different.
There are also some extra dungeons to explore, which helps to lengthen the game a bit, and give access to some new items, weapons, and armor, but all of these feel a little tacked on, and I found myself so irritated by them that I didn't bother going through them after the first couple. I found them boring and hardly necessary, as the game becomes something of a cake walk by the time you even gain access to the final extra dungeons. I suppose it could be fun if you care enough about completion to want to do everything. I suspect that most of us will be ready to move on to bigger and better things however, and will just want to get it over with. You see side quests with extra powerful weapons usually work best when you do them so that you can fight some super powered secret boss. Unfortunately in this game you have to fight all the secret bosses to get the new items so after you have them, you are left with almost nothing to use them on...
This game is a remake plain and simple, and its a game that will most likely appeal to people with nostalgia for the first Final Fantasy or those who want to lightly explore the series' roots, without being forced to go mad from punishingly rigid old school game play. As remakes go, I can recommend this one, and I was very pleased with the reverent but firm treatment of the title. The team that does remakes for old Final Fantasy games is terrific. I only wish they would release them all for PSP with similar touch ups. 3,4,5,6 would be welcome in particular!
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