Continuing the series of reviewing Final Fantasy games from worst to best comes the penultimate game of the series. Mystic Quest, the first ever Final Fantasy I played. I love feedback on these things as well as what people think should come next.
Pros: Not too long, finish-able. Good vibe. Suitably epic.
Cons: Not much freedom, no character development choices, only two members in a party over simplified battles.
Mystic Quest was Square’s first attempt to bring RPGs into mainstream gaming (as much as such a thing existed back in 1992). It failed not however because the world wasn’t ready, but because it was rubbish. That said, I played it till the end and enjoyed it, so it’s really a matter of how you look at it.
Because it was an RPG meant for mainstream American audiences Mystic Quest used an extremely simplified combat system. You move, then your opponent(s) move, than you go again. There were very few special events in ANY battles. Also, you’d never fight more than three enemys at the same time. AND the difficulty had been turned right down for this game. It seems like the Japanese use the same word for ‘mainstream American audiences’ as ‘intellectually handicapped’.
One of the things that makes Final Fantasy, and indeed, most RPGs good is the rich character choices that you as the play get to make. What job? What weapon? What is my style? Weighing up all the pros and cons is a surprising amount of fun to a nerd like me. Finaly Fantasy had all that removed for the sake of simplicity. Your weapons upgraded themselves when you found a better one, the storyline decided who was in your party and there is no (and that means none) choices in terms of character development. You get better at everything at the speed.
The story, another major draw card for many Final Fantasy games, left much to be desired. You must find the four (it isn’t really four) sacred, magic crystals and then destroy the big bad. That’s it. No twist, just complications. No “Luke I am your father.” just “Luke go kill that baddy.” You wont be on the edge of your seat.
To be fair though, although the story is simple it does have a sense of grandness that some of the later games lack. You’re saving THE WHOLE WORLD. It ALL depends on YOU and YOU alnoe. When everybody pulls together to help you, there’s this ‘crowning moment of awesome’ feeling, as if you were in a movie nad the good guys are doing something unbelievably cool.
Tie ins with other Final Fantasy Games: Although it’s a Final Fantasy game it has neither moogles or chocobos in it. Talk about a let down. Nor does it have Cid, Bicks, Wedge, Gilgamesh (heh, spell checker doesn’t like Cid or Bicks but has no problems with Wedge and Gilgamesh)…
All and all an enjoyable game to pass the time but nothing worth remembering, you wont be having a conversation years after you play it about how awesome some boss is because you wont remember it. And no matter what you expect after reading this review it’s going to be simpler.