Now that I've gotten the Pokerant out of the way, I'd like to talk about a game that pretty much hooked me and made me want to create games for a living (even though I don't.) Now, this story is going to be long, because I'm going to go way back to my youth as far as I can remember, then do a memento move and go forward, then back again. So stay with me.
So I was four years old, and I still recall when I got my first NES. It was 1989, and it was christmas. I had gotten the usual treasures, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, GI Joes, Legos. That sorta thing. However, one present stuck out. I opened it up and it was Bubble Bobble. Now my four year old brain was curious as to what this thing was. It wasn't a toy, but then I realized it was an NES game. I told my parents I don't have an NES to play this on! But lo, and behold behind the christmas tree buried out of sight was the NES. Complete with Mario! I remember playing Super Mario Brothers and Bubble Bobble and TMNT until my eyes fell out. My dad also jumped on the Super Mario train, and we'd play that for awhile. I even remember him telling me about the 1 Up Mushroom that is hidden on the first stage. (You know the one. If you don't then go back to gamer camp.)
This started a huge part of my life single handedly

  So anyway this started the whole video games are awesome process of thought. If my parents knew then what a huge influence that single day would have on me...they probably would have bought me a baseball bat and glove. Anyway so flash forward a year or so later. We were standing in a bookstore (my dad and I) and I of course was looking through the video game mags when I noticed that a new system was coming out. The Super Nintendo. I showed my dad and he saw the new Mario game, and I knew from there he was already scheming a way to get it.
Super Mario Woooorld!
Is this turning into a Super Mario article?

Then when I got the Super Nintendo, my dad rented R-Type which was awesome. SHMUPS are always good...but one game REALLY caught my eye as a kid. I think it had to do with the fact that I was really into dragons and medieval style things at the time, but that game was Final Fantasy II(which we now know as Final Fantasy IV). I begged helplessly for this game (see a pattern?) and on Christmas day I opened my presents to find...Final Fantasy Mystic Quest.
Mystic Quest ≠ Final Fantasy IV
Now a lot of gamers out there would say "oh man that sucks. MQ is terrible" but you know what? I loved every minute of that game. It's one of the first games I beat. (The other being Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. Another game I loved as a kid and actually got that on my birthday) Finally however, I did receive Final Fantasy II. Never have I ever been so dedicated to something in my life. To this day, I tell people that video games have helped my vocabulary, and helped me grow and mature. When I say that, this is THE game I'm talking about. Love, Loss, Triumph over Evil, Betrayal. It's all in there. My little 6 year old brain wrapped itself around these themes and just went for it. I can still remember how I felt when....
If you haven't played this game yet, skip this part. Kain betrays you for the 90th time. Cid sacrifices himself to save your party when you escape the Red Wings. Finding out Golbez is Cecil's brother and FuSoYa is your uncle. I remember fighting the Baigan and thinking it was the toughest battle ever, until you realized you can just defeat his body and his arms fall soon after. I remember getting the big whale and shouting "goodbye Earth! Hello Moon!" and vice versa. Wow I was lame. Anyway, I also remember when Anna dies and the whole Spoony Bard! line. This is grade A story telling. Even my second favorite game of all time Final Fantasy Tactics, I couldn't tell you every minute detail of that game like I can this one.
The classic. Life changing in a way

So fast forward to today (see I told you I would do that) and it's been a few months since I played Final Fantasy IV on the DS. It's a GREAT remake. I love it to death, and I'm glad to own it, however it doesn't give me that warm feeling the original did way back in the day. So much has changed (for the better!) but still..I like the broken English version in all of it's glory. While I'm on this subject, I want to take a minute to talk about the remakes. There have been three that I've had access to. Final Fantasy Chronicles for the Playstation, Final Fantasy IV Advance for the Game Boy Advance, and Final Fantasy IV DS. Both of these are fantastic games. They do the original total justice in my opinion. But like I stated above I'm pretty much like an old man yelling at cars to slow down. The original will always be the closest to my heart. Final Fantasy IV Advance was unique as it cleaned up the script. Replaced things from the original version that were removed. Such as certain items, certain dialog that was watered down by Nintendo, etc. It also had the interesting element of allowing you to bring any party member you had throughout with you to the final battle and a special cave to get their ultimate weapon. That was pretty amazing for me. There's not really much to say about the Final Fantasy IV for PS1 version. It's pretty much a straight up port from the SNES game. There are some things that were cleaned up, but overall all it added was the soundtrack and beastiary and CG movies that were pretty piss poor. Final Fantasy IV DS made a TON of changes to the game. First off the fact that it's in 3D and done by the same team that did the awesome Final Fantasy III DS remake helps. They also add a new Augment system which allows you to give extra abilities to your party. They also ramped up difficulty considerably. Back in the day, I could breeze through the cave that held the Evil Wall. Now I'm struggling hardcore. It's a nice challenge, but being as it's possibly TOO hard, I'm losing interest fast.
So going back one more time, Final Fantasy II/IV has always had a considerable impact on my life.
   Now why am I sharing my gamer history with you you may ask? Well, I mostly wanted to share with you all a brief synopsis of how I feel about games as a whole and what aspects I hold dear. So when I review games, you have a better understanding of my view point. I hope you enjoyed this!

Leave a Reply.