CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
Definitive Final Fantasy Game Versions

Posted: 26th September 2017 18:29

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It came up a few times during TSG's FF marathon a while back, and again in our chat just the other day, so I thought I'd spin up a topic. With all the remakes and re-releases of Final Fantasy main-series-non-MMO games over the years, which ones are the absolute best at what they do, and why? Here's my list, thrown together with great haste.

FF1: PSP - it's got all of the content of GBA, but it's prettier.
FF2: Hard for me to say, I haven't really given it any time.
FF3: I've only ever played the NDS version, but I suspect I'd prefer it on PC or iOS, if it doesn't make the polygons too messy. The NDS screen is pretty small for it.
FF4: Again with the PSP, for the same reasons as FF1.
FF5: GBA because the other official releases just aren't as good, even with the GBA version's faults.
FF6: Still going with GBA, mainly due to the additional content. Some folks would argue going back to SNES for this, though, and I can't blame them - I get the reasons.
FF7: I actually rather liked the PC version, once I got it all patched up with community patches. I suspect I'd like the Steam version since it's essentially a Steam-packaged version of that with achievements and such. However, I can't be sure so I think I'd call this a draw.
FF8: Funny, there haven't been many versions of this. Seems shocking...
FF9: Definitely Steam. I wasn't sure I'd like it because of the big menus ported directly from mobile, and to be fair I don't like them that much, but everything else about the package is just fantastic. It's not even close. Now that it's out for PS4, I suppose you could make that argument as well, particularly if you play on a smaller TV. I'm not sure how it will look and feel on a big screen.
FF10: I just got the PS4 version this week, but I have yet to even open it. Even so, I'm sure it's the way to go.
FF12: The only game in the this series I haven't played at all. Pretty confident that from what I've seen you'd have to be mad to not pick Zodiac Age.
FF13: Square Enix don't do PC ports all that well, though I think they've ironed them out for this game well enough over time. I only played the 360 version, but I have heard repeatedly that the PS3 version is actually the best of them.
FF15: Must be nice to have a PS4 Pro, I guess? That PC version looks like it could be pretty insane next year with the right equipment, though.

And for the other games CoN covers, while I'm here:
FFT: Definitely the tablet version of War of the Lions. I'll never love the touch controls - they're almost enough to make me buy a bluetooth gamepad - but the rest of the package is glorious. I can't go with the PSP version, even if you're someone who has patched out the slowdown bug, just because I can't deal with the small screen these days.
CT: PSX! No, just kidding. The NDS version has all of the content, and more, from the PSX version without the awful load times. The small screen is an issue but it's worth it on this one.

Come on, come at me. You know I'm right in every case... like usual.


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Post #213441
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Posted: 26th September 2017 19:54

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My list won't be as large as I A. haven't played even most FF games and B. haven't played every version out there of the ones I have. But, I can give an opinion on a few that qualify:

FF1: NES. This is a highly unpopular opinion, and I've only played the NES and Mobile version of this game. The mobile version is prettier, fixes huge bugs, balances the classes better and doesn't use the crazy Spell Charge system....and the experience is over in a couple of days of casual play, another run-of-the-mill RPG. The NES version, for all its flaws (and there are many), emphasizes preparation, careful decisions and determination, and the dungeon crawls can be intense. My take on the two, using the Earth Cave as an example:

-Mobile Version: You go to the Earth Cave, and the monsters fall easily to your fire spells by and large because you have a generous MP pool and the monsters are easier in this version. You've been quick-saving after each floor just in case something crazy happens, so no big deal if you have a chance encounter with the Cockatrices, they stone you, and it's an instant game-over. You kill the Vampire, get the Ruby, remember how annoying it is to have to leave the dungeon at this point to get the Rod and come all the way back, and delve further.
-NES Version: Before hitting the Earth cave, you stock up carefully in town on all Potions (lol one at a time), Softs, Antidotes, all of which requires a lot of grinding to obtain the gold to purchase. You perform the almighty Tent/Cabin Save before entering, because this is the last save chance you get for possibly a long time. The random encounters are numerous, and you use discretion for each battle because your spells are *very* finite and you know you have to save them for the worst situations. You know that the wrong enemy might attack someone weak, they die, and you have to keep going without them until your objective is complete or your whole party dies because you can't save. Fortunately, this version gave access to the Silver Sword in Elfland if you decided to grind for it, so your melee fighters are doing at least okay. The Cockatrice encounters make you wonder if it is wiser to run, kill them quickly, or use magic. You kill the Vampire, get the Ruby, and hope your luck holds that you don't die or all become Stoned by Cockatrices as you backtrack to the beginning. You get out of the cave with great relief and a sense of accomplishment, save and head back to town to revive and stock up. A solid dungeon crawl!

So yes, I vote NES. You are playing this game because you want to see how it all started, so play it as it was originally released: as an unkempt beast with claws, but one not entirely unfair and with some satisfying challenges.

FF4: I have only played the SNES and NDS versions. I prefer the NDS version. I finally got to see all the character abilities they took out in the original, the translation is cleaner, and the art style was good while remaining faithful to the original.

FF6: I have only played the SNES, and I don't see much of a draw in any version I have seen so far to entice me otherwise.

FF13: I only played the PS3 version, and like you have heard it is the definitive version, but cannot verify.

Chrono Trigger: Definitely NDS since it's the same game but with bonus content and adds the anime scenes not present in the original. I appreciated that they did not touch the gameplay otherwise in this case.

This post has been edited by TheEvilEye on 26th September 2017 20:11
Post #213443
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Posted: 27th September 2017 10:47

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My list will be ...5/6 as large as Ranger's...Idk

FF1

I am choosing the NES version, because of similar reasoning to TheEvilEye. If you want to know where the series comes from, start here. This is what the limitations of an 8-bit console produced, and it was a hit, and everybody and their second cousin was playing it.

Complain about the difficulty all you want (I still do), but there is something there that conditions your ears to enjoy hearing the ending theme, you know. Or would you have Chaos simply wipe off the screen like any monster sprite...?

FF2

I would say, go with the PS1 version, FF Origins. I despise the GBA's sound processing unit, it wouldn't know a treble frequency if it ran up and bit it in the butt, and its's mid response is equally weak, if you want to know. It was made this bassy to make bass frequencies audible through the tiny plastic speakers of a GBA. Makes sense right?

But I'm going with the PS1 version, not the least of which reasons is that the CGI Opening Movie is actually rather awesome. Unlike the one done for FF1 which is merely a Knight fighting a Dragon and nothing else, this one is part of the story, and not in a montage of events sort of way, the way FF4 NDS's intro is.

FF3

Steam version. smile.gif You can't beat sitting on a couch with a stereo system for gaming, imho. I don't like going places, so I've little use typically for a portable console.

FF4

I'm going to again say the Steam version. You can restore the SNES music to it, and boost the framerate at which animations in battle play. I use these two modifications when I play, and it really beefs the game up a bit. The NDS music is an irritation to me for the reasons outlined above...I really don't like portable systems' speakers.

FF5

The SNES version is not available in English to this day. It ought to be, and some took matters into their own hands a long, long, time ago. But if you don't want to go there, the Steam version is not all that bad. Auto Battle speeds up the time battles take, which is a feature not in the FF6 Steam Port (grrr...), and FF5 is one of those things you can kind of stretch and push and pull without worrying too much about it, it kind of has a strong center which just makes it fun.

FF6

I'm definitely going to advocate going with the SNES version. There are advantages to the Steam version, of course. But it's basically just the GBA version running in ROM form with a lot of fluff thrown on top of it, and the auto battle feature. It isn't half bad being able to have Sabin Bum Rush every turn without having to do the insane motion on the controller every time, but honestly...it isn't as fun. Nor is the music as good. And they screwed up the timing on the opera just like the GBA version, and music doesn't fade out when it's called to, just like the GBA version.

SNES is still the king of the hill, and that shouldn't be celebrated, really. It should be rectified.

FF7

I would go with the PSX version. FF7 Steam's timing is messed up on the music, and I'm going to bet every version more advanced than that which is based off the PC version. It is in a spoilery scene right near the end of the Flashback In Mideel, so you can understand me being very upset that this particular musical cue is not done correctly. It is obviously a programming error; someone forgot to include the command to loop back to a previous part of the overworld map theme, and it screws the entirety of the rest of the scene up.

This is a very important scene in the game, and it was sort of crapped on. PSX version for me.

FF8

The Steam version has a mod called Roses and Wine, and also one that replaces the FMVs with hi-resolution versions. I'd get it, and those.

FF9

The Steam version and I'm sure the PS4 version are both insanely great and make my brain feel like it is turning into Wild Cherry Pepsi. That is a good thing, and I enjoy it, and these games have NEVER looked so gorgeous. Music sounds kinda strange (sounds kinda like a bad compression job), but a mod could fix that, and the story, while adorable in the extreme, doesn't really hold up for me as well as it used to. But that's neither here nor there.

Chrono Trigger

Whaddayou, kidding me? Get the SNES Version you dweeb!! biggrin.gif

FFT

This is a tough call because I've only ever played the PSX and PSP versions, and I'm not sure which is preferable. I don't like portable systems for above mentioned reasons, but WotL has a better script. But I can barely read it. And I can't hear the gorgeous music. Slowdown patch notwithstanding, I'm going with the PSX version, unless you want to use an emulator and play the PSP version on a TV. Won't fix the tinny music, though.

Secret of Mana

Need I say more?

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