It’s an Final Fantasy X-travaganza! Sorry, I really couldn’t help myself. With Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns earlier this month, and the Final Fantasy X / X2 remastering due for the next, it’s a good time to be a fan of the series. Though they suffered some bad press with the whole FFIV boondoggle, after eating crow and fixing up that mess, the folks at Square have (or so it has seemed) been turning it around, further emphasizing my point. If Final Fantasy is your bag, saddle up folks, here we go.
Lighting Returns : Final Fantasy XIII
Rounding out Lightning’s turn at bat, Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is the third and final installment of the FFXIII series, following Final Fantasy XIII, and Final Fantasy XIII – 2. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, Square Enix might have to think about how convoluted these naming conventions are getting, it’s becoming a little tough to keep them in order. In Lightning Returns, Lightning…. well, ‘returns’ after a self imposed 500 years of beauty sleep, and finds that there isn’t even a fortnight left before the end of the world. The god (with one truly tongue tying name) ‘Bhunivelze’ is pulling the plug on this reality, and it’s up to Lightning to gather up as many folks as she can save. The story gets a bit trickier from here, but with JRPGs, Final Fantasy included, that’s to be expected. With the world on its last legs, the clocks ticking, and I mean that quite literally. Adding to the tension of the thing is a timer, much like Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, telling you when the apocalypse cake is about to be pulled out of the oven. I get enough anxiety facing a big nasty boss, I can only imagine how stressful something like that would be, but as a vehicle for engagement and immersion? Well, it’s a pretty clever way to get someone emotionally involved at any rate. The battle system has also been changed, gone are the squad centric battle groups so familiar to Final Fantasy / JRPG fans, this time Lightning goes it alone in combat that looks dynamic and compelling, and is getting kudos from the critics. Just because it’s the end of the worlds doesn’t mean one shouldn’t accessorize…. and in that vein, Lightning has a fully customizable wardrobe. Relax, its not entirely superficial. Lightning can battle with three different Schemata, or loadouts, each geared to a particular battle style, which makes complete sense, but why just be practical when you can also be fabulous? Though I’d probably have a hard time matching my socks on the eve of the end of everything I loved, Lightning Returns : FFXIII has a fairly in-depth customization suite, and let’s face it, who doesn’t love some customization?
Release Date: Feb 11, 2014
Genre / Rating: JRPG / T
Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remaster
There’s a lot of this (remastering games of old) going on right now, particularly from Sony; in the midst of a generational shift, I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense. Given the love fans have for the Final Fantasy series, and how ahead of their time many of these games have been in the past it begins to make a great deal of sense. With FFX being the first of the lot to feature real voice acting, and whose success spawned a series first direct sequel with FFX-2. Through which, not to be left out, Japan illustrated how they’ve never had any trouble with female protagonists, far from it. Long before Lara Croft put away the booty shorts and crop top, FFX-2 (in 2003 mind you) was rocking an all female cast. FFX was also the first to have an unbalanced turn based combat system, essentially giving faster characters more chances to attack, adding much needed dynamic to the turn based combat system(in my opinion anyway). Coming packaged with both games both are receiving the full HD makeover, meaning updated models, more advanced lighting and a widescreen format. Players also get access to FFX- Eternal calm, a cinematic sequel to Final Fantasy X, and a prequel to Final Fantasy X-2, as well as Final Fantasy X-2: Last Mission, a playable sequel of FFX-2, for a grand total of a whole heck of a lot of content for your money.
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Genre Rating: JRPG / T
A long standing legend in the gaming industry, I’m honestly not sure if there’s another series with quite as many titles to its name as Final Fantasy. With three coming out over a month’s time (and yes, two of them are a Remaster combo deal, but still) for the FF faithful, it’s an excellent time in gaming.
And if you’re interested, don’t forget to grab these great Final Fantasy titles ,Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, Xbox 360), Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3) and the MMO Final Fantasy XIV a Realm Reborn (PC, PS4, PS3,)