All this to blow up one tile [Final Fantasy on 3DS]

Games I beat in 2015: #3 – Final Fantasy (3D)

Cow Town was kind of a flea market, but also had a rodeo. I picked up Power Ranger import toys, trading cards, Magic: The Gathering cards and all sorts of goodies. The racks of video games were always the most enticing. One fated day in a forgotten year, I saw Final Fantasy in a plastic "rental-case" for $5. I bought it and took it home.

This wasn't my first experience with the series. The Nintendo Power guide for the game had been a bible to myself and good friend Paul. It was our Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master Guide before we knew of those things. We fought some monster, which went fairly poorly as I ended up pulling him around in a wagon as I looked for the store that sold LIF2.

IMG_6796As a young boy, starting a new game of Final Fantasy was the most exciting part. Create a party of characters, go save the princess, go get a boat. Explore. More quests. Everything to get some TNT to blow up one tile and explore the rest of the world. And then it gets hard. I never finished the game until early 2002 when I began a full series play through.

The party that brought me my first victory was two Fighters, a White Mage and Black mage. The idea of using two of the same jobs felt like cheating, but it sure did work. In playing Final Fantasy on the 3DS I decided to go with the "classic" Fighter, Thief, White Mage and Black Mage setup. Sorry, Monk and Red Mage.

Final Fantasy on the 3DS is the PSP 20th Anniversary version with the addition of 3D. Which looks funny in some dungeons with the pixels on the wall. So I kept it turned off. I hardly ever use the 3D function. The game contains the controversial changes of dropping spell level charges for MP, the addition of staple healing items such as Phoenix Downs and the dropping of the game's difficulty. The game was neither particularly challenging nor a breeze to play. Perhaps my experience with the game allowed me to keep a fast enough pace to stay at the right level of difficulty. Chaos took me a turn and a half to beat in the NES version of the game. With his 2000 HP, two Knights can hit pretty hard if the Black Wizard is fast enough to get Haste on them.

On the 3DS it took a few tries and a bit of luck. For some reason Chaos would always open up with a physical attack that took out my Black Wizard - until the Black Wizard moved to party slot three and the White Wizard took the rear. Something in the random-number-generator? After the change he then would start off damaging all characters with a fire ability. Much easier to handle than a dead Black Wizard.

Which brings us to the most interesting and perhaps important change - save anywhere. Reaching Chaos and annihilating him in the NES version was a treat after making it through the rough Chaos Temple. Had I to do it over from the start I'd be bitter. A more challenging Chaos with a save one step below where the event triggers was an acceptable for my now grown self.

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The game is easier, but I don't find it too easy. With the original Final Fantasy also available for download on the eShop, I am able to go with whichever version tickles my fancy. It would be nice to have a version of the game with all the (many, many) bug fixes, modern UI niceties and so on. But Final Fantasy for the 3DS offers a different but equally enjoyable experience.