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Mac's Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Journey - Issue 5


Final Fantasy

I've shifted focus slightly from last time, as this is the first issue in a while without some Final Fantasy XIV action going on. I've dug into two handheld titles this week: one old and another remaster. So far I've hit six of the fifteen main Final Fantasy titles, and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. It's been a blast so far, but I have a lot of ground to cover before the end of the year. Hopefully we get some more games announced to celebrate the 30th anniversary at E3 this year to keep me even busier.

If you want to catch up on my prior pieces, here's a link to last week's Issue 4.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (DS)

Some games hold up well in your memories, but when you replay them there's something lacking. Other games did not seem great at the time, but upon a revisit you find a new appreciation for them. That's how my time with the two FFTA games has been. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was hard to return to, but Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has aged better.

While both games take a while to ramp up, A2 does so much quicker. I know one of my complaints when playing this the first time was how it gave more jobs and skills than I could ever make use of. I think I have a better appreciation for that level of depth now, so it appears much more enjoyable. While Luso might be yet another kid out of place in Ivalice, at least he doesn't dwell on it and accepts his role as a plot device. All I can really say after playing a bit of both of these is that I'd love to see this level of depth again with a serious story. There's so much room for more Tactics.

Final Fantasy X HD (Vita)

Not long ago I restarted a playthrough of Final Fantasy X HD on Vita, and this time I opted for the expert sphere grid. It's amazing how something I loved so much about this game the first time I played it is now its biggest deterrent.

Back in 2001 I loved the fact that I was able to swap between all of my party members during combat and made an effort to use everyone a little in each battle. This was my favorite feature of the game and I lauded the game for it. Now this has been the biggest barrier to reentry for me, because it makes things take so much longer than it should to be able to upgrade everyone on the sphere grid. I must have gotten burnt out on this nearly a decade ago, because I still can't manage to get back into it now with FFX HD.

I keep thinking if I can just get Auron and Rikku I might be able to bring myself to just focus on just three characters for the rest of the game, but that goes against my nature. I'd love to hear about others who have done it, which three characters they focused on, and how they shaped them. Please inspire me to reshape my thought process on how I play this.

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