Nintendo is looking to get back into the money making endeavor that is the Final Fantasy series, and why shouldn’t they? It’s about time Final Fantasy got back to it’s “mother” system so to speak, and while this particular build of an FF game is quite different from the ones before it.
Final Fantasy has seemed to turn into a four player romp in this installment for the Game cube, but does that necessarily mean it’s not going to be everything we expect from the Final Fantasy name? Hard-core and casual Gamecube fans alike should be in for a real treat. Checking out the E3 Demo, we hear at Mygamer can tell that the change of pace is going to be a fun twist, especially if you have the GBA connectivity available. This is a good feature to start with, the GBA connectivity availability. The GBA allows the bringing of extra twists and quirks that help the game move in different directions. It also helps to bring a sense of unique importance to it’s players, as the screen will flash on the TV above your character indicating that you have a message or a series of information on the GBA screen. Different characters receive different information. The pendulum swings both ways with this one, however, as not many Gamecube owners will have the access to a GBA let alone four to use in a multiplayer affair. If you have the luxury, then it works quite well. Although, if you don’t, you’ll be missing out on a small portion of what the game has to offer.
As a whole though, the game seems to be taking you into a bit of a dungeon hack similar to the Gauntlet series both old and recent. All the combat is real time and could often result into a button mashing affair. The different spells you equip to use are quickly charged up and used in real time also, and it’s a bit strange be it a Final Fantasy title considering all the most recent installments have had a big theatrical scene with an enormous amount of detail that often carried on into a great deal of length. Much like sephiroths “Nova” in Final Fantasy 7. With that said, strange it is but it doesn’t by any means make it bad as it fits well and seems to be done correctly. While it can turn into the aforementioned button mashing there’s still a small bit of strategic elements within the game that coincide with the multiplayer affair, as well as the single player. Multiplayer is where this game seems to shine however, as the carrying of artifacts that ward off certain things like Poisonous mist and other heinous negative effects negates the use of attacks. This makes for a little bit of a reliability on the people you’re playing with to defend you or whoever may be carrying the artifact.
The graphics are a little bit reminiscent of Final Fantasy 9, but a lot more finely polished and detailed, all while maintain that cartoonish nature to it. The sound has a lot of familiarity to it considering it has the classic menu and selection sounds that you come to expect from a Final Fantasy game. The E3 Demo had maybe one or two scores on it and they sounded good enough for a demo build, although some of the people here may tend to enjoy it I found it just a little bit lackluster. Especially with what we’ve come to expect from the company and they’re amazing musical scores of the other FF installments.
The levels seem to keep up a unique pace, and even though there were only three on the demo they all looked distinct and lush. Square Enix isn’t the type to disappoint on a graphical front, nor an innovation front. So the other levels within the actual released portion of the game will be expected to be just as gorgeous looking as the others. Basic gameplay and good visuals have chalked up to a promising title with emphasis on neat cooperative play due to ship sometime in November.