Sunday, March 7, 2010

COUNTDOWN: Final Fantasy XIII, Day Two


I've always had a special place in my heart for the front cover of Final Fantasy II. I think it's pretty cool looking, apart from the fact that the guy on the cover is wearing eye liner. He actually just looks gay, but who cares? He was holding up a wicked sword, which could only mean one thing... Final Fantasy II was going to be awesome.

The truth is, Final Fantasy II is not that awesome.

With the growing popularity of the first Final Fantasy, Square was able to release the originally unplanned Final Fantasy II on December 17th 1988. Final Fantasy II was released 364 days after the original Final Fantasy.

Since Final Fantasy was never intended to be a smash-hit, the story to the first game had no opening for a sequel. This meant that Final Fantasy II was not a direct sequel to Final Fantasy; making Final Fantasy II the first video game in history to not be a direct sequel to its predecessor.

The story began with four youths fleeing from the forces of the Emperor of Palamecia. He had attacked their hometown, Fynn, killing their parents. Unlike the original Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II contained no ancient prophesy that said they were destined to destroy all evil and save their world. Instead, throughout the story, the characters naturally developed into warriors, mages, monks, etc.

The story followed these heroes as they tried to stop a corrupt empire, and save the world from the many villains the game contained. The plot strangely mirrored Star Wars Episode IV, in the fact that there were young heroes joining a rebellion. The empire also had built a gigantic floating metal ship with a princess trapped inside, that you had to go and save, and eventually you had to destroy the metal ship.

Final Fantasy II was almost released in America in 1990, but under the title of, Final Fantasy II: Dark Shadow Over Palakia. However, it was canceled due to development issues, and the release of the Super Nintendo. Final Fantasy II wasn't released in the United States until 2003. The game was remastered and was released on the Playstation, and also came with a-revamped version of the first game.

The remastered versions of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II on the Sony Playstation... The cover still looks awesome, and he still looks gay.

I think out of all the Final Fantasy's, Final Fantasy II is my least favorite. (Excluding X-2.) Why? Well... the gameplay to Final Fantasy II was like a weird experiment. You leveled up in the weirdest way. In the previous Final Fantasy game, you leveled up by defeating enemies which gave you experience points. However, in Final Fantasy II, you level up by performing actions that were related to the attribute that you wanted to level up. For example, if you attacked an enemy that increased your strength. If you got attacked by an enemy, then your defense and life increased. It sounded pretty basic, but the amount of time it took to level up... ... ... ... ... ... moving on...

Final Fantasy II isn't too bad of a game, its just the leveling up system that throws many gamers off. The game is often called the "Black Sheep" of the series due to its frustrating gameplay. Unfortunately, I have to agree. Final Fantasy II is just to frustrating to play, and it takes too long to beat.

However, Final Fantasy II introduced many aspects into the series that would become mainstream. For example, the cute lovable Chocobo was first introduced in Final Fantasy II. The airship master Cid, was also introduced into the series at Final Fantasy II. Ever since Final Fantasy II, Cid has been in EVERY single game. Final Fantasy II was also the first game in the series to have different characters join your party throughout the course of the game.

Even though I don't really like Final Fantasy II, I still respect it for its front cover, and how innovative it was. Plus, without Final Fantasy II there would be no Final Fantasy III... or IV, or V, or VI, or VII, or VIII, or IX, or X, or XI, or XII, and of course XIII.

The Countdown to Final Fantasy XIII is finally ending! Tomorrow we'll talk about the game that started it all, and we'll also take a deeper look at what makes a Final Fantasy game a Final Fantasy game. (I hope that sentence made sense.) Sorry that this post was short and kind of lame... there's not much to say about Final Fantasy II because I don't really like it.

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