game news Final Fantasy 35 years: What are the main novelties of the famous role-playing game?
As Final Fantasy prepares to introduce a sixteenth episode (June 22, 2023 on PS5, save the date), the flagship RPG license is also celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary, this December 18. The perfect opportunity to sit down for two minutes, look in the rearview mirror, and piece together all the “FF” innovations over the years. Between jobs, ATB, 3D, what is your favorite add-on?
Final Fantasy II: The importance of heroes
If Final Fantasy is known today for its epic frescoes and its heroes, each one more cultured than the other (Cloud, Noctis, Tidus, etc.), we must not forget that at the base, the first part is a rather raw game, with a summarized scenario and characters unable to speak. It is therefore Final Fantasy II, released in 1988 in Japan, that brings fat on that side! For a good reason, unlike the previous part: you can’t compose your team however you want. Your heroes prevail, they all have a past, and a personality that will guide your choice. “This is how we found out that Firion was adopted by the parents of León and María, who are therefore brothers and sisters,” our test explains. Set characters | aware, nothing better than stopping the horrible emperor “Pelmecia”, whose thirst for power threatens the world of this Final Fantasy II.
- Release date : 1988 (Japan)
- Platform(s): NES
Final Fantasy III: The “jobs” system
Although the work system already exists, to a certain extent, in the first part of the series (we are talking about class then), it is Final Fantasy III to whom we owe its arrival in the strict sense. Because yes, it is no longer about choosing a specialty and maintaining it throughout the title. This third work offers 23 occupations to try throughout the adventure… There is, for example, “Warrior”, a specialist in physical combat but unable to use magic, “White Mage | red | Noir”, “Monk” – martial arts expert! From time to time, unique abilities are even included, such as the “Thief” who can pick locks. Therefore, an important system, just like the summons, which also land with this nice third episode.
- Release date : 1990 (Japan)
- Platform(s): NES
Final Fantasy IV: The “ATB” combat system
Another novelty of the Final Fantasy saga that will nest in many other episodes: “ATB”, or Active Time Battle, a combat system that takes the previously installed turn-based bases, but with a time concept… Basically, for a character to be able to perform an action, the ATB bar must be full, knowing that certain techniques (often the most powerful ones) require a longer cooldown. Fun fact: even if this system exists in Final Fantasy IV, it’s Final Fantasy V, which came a year later, that sets the ATB bar itself! Regarding the fourth episode, we will have to wait until 2006 and the Gameboy Advance version for the caliber to find its original owner. Holy “FF” huh!
- Release date : 1991 (Japan)
- Platform(s): Super nintendo
Final Fantasy VII: 3D graphics
A small jump in time to now talk about Final Fantasy VII, a cult component that tells the story of Cloud, Sephiroth, Shinra, the Avalanche eco-terrorist group. A major change for the license, which abandons medieval fantasy in favor of science fiction. What better way to embody this change than by moving to 3D, with the power of the PlayStation 1? What to give the universe a unprecedented scale, thanks to computer generated kinematics. After all, there’s a reason FFVII is one of the franchise’s most beloved installments. Precision, although the arrival of the third dimension is to be appreciated, the exploration is very marked -with the use of decorations made by hand-. To have something more “open”, we will have to wait for Final Fantasy X.
- Release date : 1997
- Platform(s): game station
Final Fantasy X-2: The first direct sequel
If there’s one thing you should know about Final Fantasy, it’s that the license always strives to offer different universes and characters, from one episode to the next! Ultimately, this was the case until Final Fantasy X-2, a direct sequel to the tenth opus. The story centers on the character of Yuna, a promising “Invoker” who once managed to kill the big bad Sin with the help of Tidus (Final Fantasy X hero). In “X-2”, he is a sphere hunter who decides to investigate a mysterious power. The easy solution for Square Enix? Not really, because as we can read in our test, “FFX-2 a UFO in the FF series”, by far bold ideas. Thereafter, Final Fantasy will once again play the game of sequels, especially with the three installments of FFXIII.
- Release date : 2002
- Platform(s): ps2
Final Fantasy XI: The first episode of the MMORPG
We just talked about Final Fantasy X, so let’s jump right into the next episode: Final Fantasy XI. A sequel like no other, since it is the first part. 100% online, like the fourteenth part (which is a hit, by the way). Of course, there are things here that are familiar to fans of the license, like the Chocobos, the Mogs, the jobs. But MMORPG obliges, above all we see many changes, such as the possibility of creating your own character, combats that are not turn-based although they maintain the usual menu-based navigation. In short, an evolution of the formula, which will lay the foundations for the formidable revival of Final Fantasy XIV.
- Release date : 2002
- Platform(s): PC, PS2
Final Fantasy XII: End of Random Encounters
Little by little, we move forward in time, this time with another episode, Final Fantasy XII! A component that is at the origin of many additions (such as the famous “gambits”, a system to literally program your fellow travelers) and especially changes in fights. Yes, for the first time, random encounters are no longer the order of the day, with enemies wandering right into the play area, waiting for the fight to start, unless they spot you first! In other words, more frustration the idea of walking a few steps and being interrupted, without having asked anything, no matter where you are. Subsequently, all other episodes will take the seed… which is obviously for the best.
- Release date : 2007
- Platform(s): ps2
Final Fantasy XV: The first open world
We end here with the most recent part of Square Enix’s flagship saga (for the moment), Final Fantasy XV. We’re sure you’ve heard of this particularly ambitious work by now, for good reason, it’s the first time the series has gone open world, a path Final Fantasy XVI won’t take. In fact, it changes a lot of things in terms of progression. Even if some fights are still mandatory, here’s no forced leveling for the main story! So you don’t need to spend hours in a region to be sure you have the right level, it’s the additional content that acts as the “end game”. So yes, maybe Square Enix will go open world again later on, only time will tell.
- Release date : 2016
- Platform(s): ps4, xbox 360
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