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Final Fantasy I
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
A slightly abbreviated tidbits today, both because the good news is a bit thin this week and also because I'm not working today. Funny that I have more time to post the news when I'm at my office, right?
Let's start with the news that is my favorite for the week but has the least overall impact on the gaming world: the original Final Fantasy is now available for the Nintendo Virtual Console. For 500 points, you can play the true original version, with all of its (by today's standards, anyway) slow gameplay and clunky mechanics intact. Will users have any use for this release beyond nostalgia, with revised ports already available for no fewer than three platforms in North America? Probably not, but feel free to prove me wrong here, Wii owners. We... do have Wii owners who read the site, right?
Next up is a followup to last week's tidbits with the subbed Final Fantasy XIII trailer. This week you can get the real deal - an authentic English voice-acted trailer straight from Square Enix. Since the rest of the trailer is the same as you've no doubt seen by now, what do you think of the English dub? As usual for voice acting in Squenix games, it seems to be pretty polarizing—I personally didn't really expect too much, but it does seem like the syncing from voice to character action is a little worse in this video than I would have expected.
Finally, Square Enix released some early monster renders for Final Fantasy XIV this week. This is a nice small news item, and from what I hear several of these renders are pretty much just updates of existing designs from Final Fantasy XI, but they're pretty cool nonetheless. I am a particular fan of the crazy zebra-dragon-velociraptor hybrid and the cactuar's pimp strut. And that marlboro? That thing is legitimately terrifying.
Oh, and just to see if anyone actually reads these posts, I want to point out that you need to start taking quizzes during October if you want to be qualified to win the prize at the New Year. You have to have at least ten quizzes in your name by then to qualify, and if you miss the ones that are open right now, there's no way to catch up!
Source: Nintendo, Kotaku, GameTrailers
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