When the first Final Fantasy landed on the NES in 1990, I didn't own it.  In fact, a neighbor who was several years older than me was playing it one day and introduced me to the genre of RPGs. Up until that point I'd been trying (and failing) to play Mega Man/Mario.

So when the SNES rolled around I snagged FFII (or, as it's been re-labeled, FFIV as it's technically the IV in the series but only II to reach the United States at that point).  I loved it (though admittedly as a kid I was confused as to why the Red Wings were named after a hockey team).  I loved FFIII (re-labeled FFVI) even more and is my favorite in the series.  I'd argue it has the best developed story of all of them.

Then the series migrated to the Playstation, and my love grew as I played FFVII (hello sexy cut-scenes).  That, to me, was the end of the super awesome Final Fantasy games.

From there came FFVIII - which I was more or less indifferent to.  FFIX was interesting but failed to deliver to the majority of players that had been picked up by VII & VIII.  I loathed X (though the first game with audio dialog was AMAZING, even if the voice acting was terrible), but still bought X-2 (lovingly dubbed the dress-up game) which was the first direct sequel of any of the games.  Both X and X-2 are incredibly popular with a lot of the player base that's been picked up since the series jumped to the Playstation. 

To date I've bought and started XI (an MMO) three different times.  But by the time I started to really give it a chance my cousin had long since put it down and there wasn't much appeal since I'd been exposed to World of Warcraft which was much more solo-friendly in the higher levels (because you cant always find a group to play with!).

XII is still sitting alone, in its collectors edition box collecting dust.  Lovely game, but I loathe the main character and feel like the focus should have been kept elsewhere.  You tell that the story had a dramatic shift in focus 1/2 way through development and it's just...disappointing.  I doubt I will ever finish that game, which is a shame because I suffered through both X and X-2.

So that brings us to Final Fantasy XIII.  So far I'm less disappointed with this game than the last several.  Part of that has to do with all the reviews I've read that have basically told me what I'm NOT going to see (no towns, for instance).  And part of that has to do with I now have Dragon Age to fill the void that honestly, a Final Fantasy game SHOULD fill. 

Thus far the game feels like a mashup between several elements in Final Fantasy VII and X.  That's not bad per se, but it's not groundbreaking either. But then the series has been anything but that since it's gone mainstream.

Nonetheless I took the day off from work to enjoy the game (and Leki is enjoying his people being home).  Back in the day I used to do that every Final Fantasy launch day so that I could knock out several hours of gameplay before getting back to work and school.  This year is apparently no different, despite the fact that four years have passed since the last game.

Ok, I've wasted entirely too much time updating this blog and not playing the new video game in the next room.  I must maximize my day off (and yes, I've been outside to see the lovely weather)


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