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Final Fantasy I
2017 will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Final Fantasy franchise, with the original game having been released on 18 December, 1987. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing about the game turning 25, so it seems very strange indeed that I could already be writing about 30 - and in some ways, it is strange, because the actual anniversary is still more than a year away and it's easy to forget that North America waited almost two years after its initial Japanese launch before it came ashore here.
So, even though the real anniversary is more than a year away, Square Enix are ready to celebrate. Or, at least, they're ready to tell us that they're ready to celebrate via their old standby - a trailer video released at TGS. There's also a website, which is pretty neat as such things go even though it's fairly bereft of content at the moment, with just video clips from each game and an announcement of Final Fantasy XIV events at Zepp music halls in Japan starting in February.
There's no current indication as to what other events might mark the anniversary year, or whether any locales outside of Japan will be included.
Source: Gematsu, Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary
Starting today, the North American PSN store has a series of Final Fantasy games half off. Which games, you might ask? Well, a bucket of them. You can get a version of every numbered Final Fantasy game up through IX (not including III, which never has had a Sony release). Most of the games are the PS One versions, including Origins, Anthology, and the three released originally for the first PlayStation. Final Fantasy IV's PSP version is included, as is Tactics: War of the Lions. Rounding out the set are three games from the Dissidia series.
This sale is 50% off the top and will be running for two weeks. The game selection is a little different than the European-region sale that we, uh, forgot to post about until right now. That sale's over, though. Sorry about that.
Source: US PlayStation Blog
To celebrate their Indonesian, Korean, and Thai language releases, Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II are each only $3.99 on iOS devices - for this week only, so get 'em while they're hot!
If you've always been wanting to try one - or both - these historic titles, or even just a new game to tinker around with on your Apple device, this is probably as good an opportunity as you'll ever get. And don't forget to make use of CoN's FF1 guide while you're playing it!
Game Art HQ, a site which I've recently started visiting, has just published a fanart tribute to the original Final Fantasy in honor of the game's 25th anniversary (and, of course, by extension the series). The tribute gives a little bit of history and description to the original game - as loyal CoN readers, you need neither - and, naturally, fifteen solid pieces of fanart by various artists from all aspects of the classic game with more to come.
GBK, the content manager of Game Art HQ, said that he was stunned by the number of submissions he received from artists on deviantArt for a game of this age, and how dedicated the artists were to producing fitting tributes. The success of the project has him planning for more tributes to the Final Fantasy series next year and even into 2014.
As you celebrate Final Fantasy today and going forward, with the 25th anniversary in mind, take a few minutes to check out this art. Obviously, we'd love to share some of this fanart with our visitors in our own galleries, so give Game Art HQ and its artists as much love as you can manage!
Source: Game Art HQ, Game Art HQ on dA
This is a day that truly sneaked up on me, even though in the back of my mind I knew it was coming and have for months. It might be a sign of the times, or at least a sign of my times, but I couldn't let it go unmarked here or anywhere else that I frequent: on this day, twenty-five years ago, Final Fantasy (back then, it didn't even need a Roman numeral) was released in Japan. Well, technically, that day likely came about yesterday for you if you're reading this, due to time zones and such. But still! 18th December!
I personally played that game almost from the day it was released Stateside. I'd seen all sorts of hubbub for the game in the months leading up to its American release in 1990, mostly from Nintendo Power magazine - of course, back then, that magazine and its ilk were the only ways to find out about such things. It had already captured my imagination, causing me to create my own ideas of what the weapons might look like, and even writing proto-fanfiction, and by the time I was able to get my hands on it the hype it had created in my own ten-year-old mind was massive.
And the game lived up to it.
It felt different from the only other JRPG I'd seen before it, Dragon Warrior (Quest). The party system, the more animated battles, and the sheer accessibility of the game relative to Dragon Warrior felt like a sea change in gaming, and it was one I was crazy for. While I didn't actually complete Final Fantasy for a great many years after first playing it, it triggered a fandom in me that led to me playing and/or owning every American-released game in the series within days of its release all the way through Final Fantasy IX.
That's a good part of my story with regards to the original Final Fantasy, now turning twenty-five. From a wider angle, though, there's more to it. This game not only essentially introduced an entire gaming company to the West, it also saved that same company, should you believe Hironobu Sakaguchi. That company went on to produce dozens and dozens of games, games that made a splash on generation after generation of gaming consoles and the gamers who owned them, and that was before they merged with another JRPG titan, Enix.
This game was and is huge. It didn't sell the most, and none of the many incarnations of the first game will ever win any beauty awards. It did, however, pave the way for just about every JRPG that came after it, and created a killer app for a lot of hardware manufacturers; how many people must have bought a SNES for Final Fantasy VI, VI or Chrono Trigger? How many people bought a PlayStation when they saw the gorgeous TV advertisements for Final Fantasy VII or in one of the dozens of entertainment magazines carrying them?
This game created Final Fantasy. This game jumpstarted the JRPG in the West. This game did a lot of things right and still moves units, all the way up to the PSP and iOS releases. But most importantly to me, it made it possible for all of us to be here right now, though we didn't cover it here until 2004. What legacy could be better than that?
Join us in celebrating Final Fantasy today. Share this news or your own thoughts both here and to your social networks (if you're on Twitter, use our hashtag, #FinalFantasy25, on Facebook, tag us!). It's okay to be excited about this. A good chunk of your lineage as a gamer came from this day twenty-five years ago, even if you weren't here to see it.
As part of the celebration for the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary, Square Enix brought in a wide array of artists to create an album celebrating the music of the series up to now. This is not exactly new news, though I believe we missed it in tidbits around the time that it was announced in October. The album was released last week, though, and to promote it a bit more, Square Enix Music posted this medley video to YouTube earlier this week, with samples of a large number of the tracks.
There's a lot of variety on show in this video, and it really makes for some fresh takes on some of the Final Fantasy music that we've heard for many, many years. It's piqued my interest, so I took some time to try to find some English-language shops that sell the double disc; while AmaCoN looked a bit pricey, I found that another of our shop affiliates, Play Asia, has the set for $35.00 including free shipping. If the video makes you want this for Christmas or... New Year's (?), hit that link right away.
Source: Square Enix YouTube, Destructoid
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