Final Fantasy Chronicles Review
*Disclaimer: This is my opinion. You can agree or not, thats okay. Flame me if you must. I guess its just me.
Back about a year ago, Squaresoft released Final Fantasy Anthology, a game that was a tribute to the series itself. It consisted of re-releases of Final Fantasy 5 and 6, with the promise of 4 as well.
They lied. Instead, they took 4 out, and included a Soundtrack CD with the "greatest songs of Final Fantasy" on it, and they asked gamers what songs they would like to hear on it.
Once again, they lied. Ignoring gamers' requests, they put a different set of songs out, and released it like that. It was pure trash. The translation was terrible, names and places from the original games were mispelled; sounds were missing; and the whole point of it was to simply make money off the Final Fantasy name. It left myself, and many others, disheartened and just pissed off at Square.
Final Fantasy Chronicles seems to be the apology gamers have been waiting for. After less-than-playable games such as Final Fantasy 8 and Anthology, with some other mishaps on the Playstation 2, they finally give us something we can be proud to have in our collection. While I do have some simple quarrels about it, Square has brought us something good once more.
First off, Final Fantasy 4. Instead of just re-releasing the chopped up American version (released as Final Fantasy II for the Super Nintendo), they went all out, translating the original Japanese one, complete with deleted text, items, and other gems (I must admit, I was quite pleased to hear Palom cuss.) The computer rendered cinemas at the beginning and end of the game are a nice touch. Everything else is like I happily remember it, visually. Even loading screens have the nice little touch of some animation. Music is still the same, thankfully. Final Fantasy 4 has one of the greatest scores in musical history, and I'm not the only one that thinks that. I also found the quick loading times rather agreeable, usually I need the disc-speed increasing power of Playstation 2, but when I tried that, I found the battle music freakishly sped up...kind of freaked me out.
I do have a bit of a thing for the sound effects, though. I noticed they sounded as if someone took a tape recorder, put all the sounds from the origial one on a tape, and then spat it back out in that low quality on this. It's nothing major, just takes some getting used to. They kind of fit after a while...
And then there's Chrono Trigger, a VERY fine game that I have many fond memories of. It has done just as well as FF4 in terms of music recreation, translation, graphics, and the like. And the anime cinemas are actually nicer, in my opinion, than FF4's CG cinemas...but thats my personal preference for hand-drawn over 3D. Oh well. Sound effects suffer the same problems as in FF4, but it's not as bad.
What is really awful is the loading times. I tried playing this without speeding it up with the PS2, and found that I couldn't. Didn't have the patience. Its really sad when you're used to the menu popping up instantly when you press a button, and it takes 4 or 5 seconds. I know thats not a lot of time, but in the heat of the game, it can certianly feel like forever. Especially when you want to make a simple check of a stat, or a simple equipment change.
So, my opinion: get FFC. Even if you have the originals, it's worth it. (Plus, the ability to watch any of CT's endings that you've gotten before without having to play through the game all over again...thats a good thing.) While they have their little things that might bug you, what game doesn't? Even the greats had their quirks.
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