Final Fantasy Complete

posted on 28 Dec 2019

Not even including direct sequels and spin-offs, Final Fantasy has a long legacy. I’ve recently discovered a fondness for RPGs I had forgotten, and my Twitch channel has been moving into that direction with longer-form games taking precedent. For this reason, and to have a clear goal for the next year, I have decided to play the first 10 of the mainline games throughout 2020. I’ve figured that this will mean I have approximately a month to beat each game. Some of the later ones might need longer, so I have 2 extra months to spend on that. First thing first, I need to figure out which version of each I am going to be playing, and also all the work that is going to entail for streaming it!

The Original Trilogy

Final Fantasy 1-3 were originally released on the NES. They were fun, but glitched, buggy and otherwise lacked the many quality of life upgrades modern RPGs have. Not to mention that Final Fantasy 3 was never released in the west until its massive remake!

So after some discussion with a great discord friend named Choco, I’ve decided that I want to try for either Final Fantasy I + II: Dawn of Souls released on the GBA or Final Fantasy Origins released on the PSX for Final Fantasy 1. My biggest debate is that while Dawn of Souls will be easier to set-up for a stream, Origins is the last remake of the original game to have used the Spell Level MP mechanic the original game is known for. Currently, this is up in the air.

Final Fantasy 2 provides a different layer of complication. Either of the two mentioned releases could work, but it is somewhat universally agreed that Final Fantasy II as released on the PSP is, in fact, the best version. I am debating if it is worth it to find a second avenue for this game or just use whichever version is bundled with my choice for Final Fantasy 1.

Aside from a translation patch for Final Fantasy III on NES, I only have one real option: the 3D remake of the game. For this, the easiest and best choice is to go with the PC release as it fixed audio quality and provides a nice clean upgrade to textures. Also, there really are no other choices.

The Second Generation

The next set of games, Final Fantasy 4-6, were originally released on SNES and is where the series hits its stride of grand storytelling and unique, stand out characters. However, this generation was also plagued with misnumbering, having been released as Final Fantasy 2 (instead of 4), Final Fantasy 3 (instead of 6) and Final Fantasy 5 didn’t even have a western release officially on the SNES (something-something-Job System-something).

Final Fantasy 4, much like Final Fantasy 1, is proving the most contentious of this bunch. While the Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection release for PSP is the hands-down winner for the best original version, Final Fantasy 4 has a remake on the DS that brought it into the world of 3D. A completely different experience, some say that the 3D edition is a better, and truer experience with the exception that it has no sequel in its style (AN: I have just discovered that there IS a 3D edition for the sequel!). While I won’t be completing the sequel during this series, it is something I could find myself coming back to. The verdict on 2D and 3D is still out, and may, or may depend on my capacity to get the PSP to stream. If that isn’t an option, I might default to Final Fantasy IV as released on PC, which is not unlike the release of Final Fantasy 3 I am using.

Final Fantasy 5 and 6 are by and far much easier than their older brother. Final Fantasy V Advance and Final Fantasy VI Advance released on the GBA are the superior versions in terms of programming and translation. While there are complaints about the sound quality and the color palettes, those can both be remedied by fan-patches which restore the original colors and sound quality to the GBA editions, making them as perfect as possible.

The 3D Era

This is the place where analysis and consideration have no place. There are PC releases of Final Fantasy 7-10, all of which are HD Remasters for the most part. This leaves little questioning as to which version to use. So this makes my job easier.

And so there we go. My considerations for which version of each of these I am going to play. So with this, I have a pretty straight forward sequence of events ahead of me actually: See if I can get Final Fantasy Origins to work, test PSP viability for streaming, and depending on the results of that, I will either play Final Fantasy 2 on PSX or PSP and Final Fantasy 4 on PC or PSP. Not too bad honestly, expect to hear more about it as I do.