By Sam Coles:
Final Fantasy is a strange love to me, what do I mean by this? Well if you told me to play a Final Fantasy game 5 years ago, I would have more than likely laughed at you, chugged down another cup of coffee and played another round of Battlefield or Call of Duty. However as I have gotten older and with the privilege of being able to try any game I want with my writing, I found I’m open to more genres. Not only that a very close friend of mine got me into them as I witnessed her passion for the series.
It was around 2014/2015 where I first got to know my friend Kim; we would talk about games here and there. This was when my Twitter community was somewhat small where I was only just breaking a thousand followers, I started to notice her deep passion for Final Fantasy and at the time I just shrugged my shoulders at the matter. However as the months passed I began to take more notice of her posts about the games, and I thought maybe I should give them another chance. It was around early 2015 I started to write reviews for 365bristol, which were much bigger than me compared to the infant state my blog was in.
I got the opportunity to check out Final Fantasy Type 0 HD, a bit of an obscure game in the series but I fell in love with it. Why? It was the somewhat dark story in that game, where they are training children to become soldiers and killing machines and the emotional intro cutscene to the game got me hooked. After playing and reviewing that game, I went back and played the older titles and I was enamoured with the world, characters and music especially the music.
The worlds are something to behold even the old original PlayStation titles, there is something appealing about the pre-rendered backgrounds from the old PlayStation games. I went back and played Final Fantasy VII, I know people like to bang on how good the game is but they are right as it has beautiful world to explore with a mix of science fiction and high fantasy. The environments are truly beautiful and yes even in Final Fantasy XIII (more on that game later), with its crystal aesthetic which is thematically appropriate with the story.
The characters are what also drew me into the games to with their goals and flaws. Lightning controversially is one of my favourites, now I know people say she is bland but honestly I disagree. I would say she is reserved and trying stay strong for her sister that she is trying to save, where she is withholding tears to show she is strong.
It’s not just Lightning, Noctis and his friends are another group of characters are people I can relate to. It reminds me of my years doing my A-levels where me and my friends during the hot months, we would pack some things up and just explore and camp sharing stories and experiences around the orange glow of a fire. Final Fantasy XV as unfinished it was, is one of my favourite games of the generation and one of my favourite games in the Final Fantasy series, due to it having a simple yet relatable plot of sticking with your friends until the end.
The music is also something that sticks with me; I don’t think I’m the only one who sits there on the main menus just listening to the calming and sombre tones especially in FF XIII. The music can either be grandiose and epic to really emotional which heightens scenes which can make the most hardened of people shed a little tear.
Final Fantasy is a series that I would have never thought I would love, but here we are where I have a deep love for the characters, worlds and superb music. I know it’s not for everyone but maybe give it a chance, and perhaps you’ll be swayed like me.