GSJ10: Six into three

Since yesterday’s post consisted of a Donkey Kong Country article in the context of “Hey this game reminds me a Thanksgiving from a few years back,” today’s update consists of the flip side of that memory: Final Fantasy III. VI. Whatever.

I had picked up FFIII at launch on the strength of the fact that Secret of Mana had basically been awesome and I was eager to see what Square would cook up next. I played it, finished it, loved it. Then DKC rolled around and of course I had to pick that up because Nintendo had mailed me a VHS tape covered in a banana leaf print mailer so I mean come on, right? When I got bored of that game over Thanksgiving break (somewhere toward the final world, I think), my sight drifted over the FFIII cart I had brought home to my parents’ place for no particular reason. And I thought, eh, why not? I merrily jumped into a second playthrough — one where, this time, I was determined to see if I could get Shadow to appear in the ending.

If I were to pin a single moment as the one at which I finally gave in and became an RPG fan, I think that would be it. Before that I’d played through a bunch of RPGs, but I always thought of them as “not my kind of game.” FFIII made me realize that yes, in fact, they are my kind of game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I still have another 130 hours to invest in Skyrim.

(You can tell this game is good because it’s the first article that prolific contributor Jake Alley has ever submitted to GameSpite which consists entirely of praise — quite out of character for a fellow who began shaking his cane  at damn kids from a young age! Though he does have a second one like that as the opposite bookend of the DKC piece. I get the feeling the man likes his Super NES games.)

12 thoughts on “GSJ10: Six into three

  1. Skyrim….is really taking ahold of my life, significantly more than I expected. I have logged 4 hours of sleep or less 3 or four times in the last two weeks (on work nights, no less), my girlfriend says she misses me and instead of spending time with my family on Thanksgiving I hauled my 360 and TV home and vegged out for probably close to fifteen hours in two days. And yeah, conservatively I too would say I probably still have over 100 hours worth of play time before I will get tired – I’m at level 40 and I’ve barely touched the main story yet. And this is BEFORE any DLC.

  2. I picked up FFIII sometime before I got a PS1, just before FFVII was coming out and really got my interest. FFIII was rare then, but I was desperate to play it, and ended up trading in a ton of NES games to cover its $70 cost at Funcoland.

    I loved it then, but for some reason, it doesn’t hold up very well for me. I like to think of it as the first modern FF (yeah, not VII), given how it used a more overt steampunk world, its breezy difficulty, its attempts at cinematic presentation, and it uses the same Star Wars-riffing plot (nearly) every FF has used ever since. None of these are bad things to me, but now choosing a favorite FF is just like picking a flavor.

    And the huge cast seems spread thin and shallow to me, now.

    But hey, it was/is a great game and gave me one hell of a memorable experience. I really hope we’ll see it given the remake treatment that III and IV got for DS – i.e. nothing too fancy or drastic, but just enough to make it interesting to me again.

    • It was already remade – check out Final Fantasy VI Advance for GBA. Not sure exactly how much different it is to the original, but then I don’t know how the DS FFs are different either, so I have no frame of reference here.

      • The GBA games are basically updated ports; FFIII and IV (for DS) were 3D remakes (no, not that type of 3D remake), complete with voice acting in the case of the latter.

    • I feel the ideal remake of FFVI would not be a game but a musical TV show that merges the soundtrack and dialogue into a long series of songs. Just about everything else in the game has been riffed to death by both video games and recent Hollywood movies (I’ll elaborate on the latter if anybody asks). Only the soundtrack is generally unsurpassed by later games.

      • I dunno if the soundtrack has been surpassed or not, but it certainly has been equaled. Uematsu’s score is pretty much always the most important driving force in the best FFs. Vi and VII, the two best games in the series, at least, both have an amazing score that pretty much makes the game.

  3. “I propose to you that it is actually the music of FFVI which is its most endearing quality.”

    Complete agreement. FFVI is my favorite games evar, and while the game itself is fantastic, it’s the music that drives it from “great game” to “best game.”

    Honestly, when I stop to consider my favorite games, the common factor in nearly all of them is not gameplay, visual style, difficulty, or anything else, but the sweet tunes.

  4. I’m with Jeremy here: FFIII really honed in my complete devotion to the genre. I can’t remember if I played it first before Secret of Mana (probably, given their release dates). I know I skipped over FFII at the time. I played the original FF on NES, but my original enjoyment didn’t translate into genre-wide buy-in. FFIII was so deep and so well-done that I basically became a SNES square whore after that.

  5. Still one of my favorites as well. It was FF2/IV that got me into the RPG genre, but 3/VI that really cemented the fact that I was going to follow Square wherever they went for quite a long time.

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