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Ule's View: I Hate Final Fantasy

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Final Fantasy is a series that's quite beloved among gamers of all demographics and console generations. It's a franchise that has stood the test of time and has only brought innovation to the RPG genre...

And I HATE Every Single One of Them

The very reason why I always hated Final Fantasy was rather shallow for many. I hated the series because I saw them as constant grind-fests plagued with the annoying and primitive Turn-Based RPG mechanic. I didn't really have another reason to hate them and I always thought it was enough. However, people often said that my criticisms were empty and that "your opinion would change if you gave the games a shot!" or whatever.

So I did.

Let me just say that, after playing all of the main line Final Fantasy games (Not including side-games or spinoffs like Crisis Core - FFVII or FF Tactics), not only has my opinion on FF stayed the same. It also has made me realize that all of the Final Fantasy games have huge flaws that hold them back from being decent games on their own right. While I will definitely elaborate more on that view with future "Ule's View" installments; I will be talking about my thoughts in a general sense.

I started playing Final Fantasy games after Dissidia 012 brought my interest with one character in particular: Lightning. After I played through 012's story mode and enjoying the game as a whole. i joined the Dissidia server and started playing Final Fantasy games in the appropriate order and on their original release forms or PC ports. Right now I am finishing FFXII to gather my thoughts on it, but I fully played I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, X-2, XIII, XIII-2, LR, and XV. I didn't touch XI or XIV because those games are MMORPG's and.,. Well, if my opinion on FF didn't change, I don't think my opinion on MMO's will either.

Anyways, while I hate the FF games. I can't say I hate everything related to FF. I do think that there are some aspects in the series that held up quite well on their own regard. The Job System that was introduced in FFIII was a very prominent example of a mechanic that went through a very incredible evolution process. The music of the games also has various high points and it would be a huge disservice to the series to talk about the game's soudtracks. Songs like Eternal Wind (III), Saber's Edge (XIII), Aerith's Theme (VII), Esper Battle (XII), Dancing Mad (VI), Theme of Love (IV), Via Purifico (X), and The Man With The Machine Gun (VIII) are excellent examples of the timeless nature of the Final Fantasy music.

However, FF games were never really that good. FF is not a series I deem worth playing because either the stories are copypaste (I, V, III) awfully written (IV, VIII, II) poorly characterized (XIII, VII, IX) or, even if they actually cover these issues well they have other aspects that hold them back. III has this issue where a giant mountain is materialized right in front of your face in the form of a level grindwall with a boss that does nothing special (Cloud of Darkness), VI and II are held back by the same design flaw.  X is innovative but it also has an extremely painful grind which only gets worse the more characters you bring to the party, The FNC series often brings attempts at innovation and fails miserably at them (And no, I'm not talking about the Hallways, that's the least of the XIII series problems). Finally, XV is .... Well, it's the reason why Turn based RPG players hate Action RPGs. I could go on and talk about which game has what issue but I think the point is clear.

I played them all and I ... Definitely regret doing so with the exception of the Fabula Nova Crystalis series (Again, will be further elaborated in future "Ule's View"). Before someone brings mention to it, yes, there are bosses that break the problems I talked about. Rubicante (IV), Diablos (VIII), Ultros (VI) and such... But those are just a single moment before going back to overpowering everything and everyone.

I will admit, I didn't have to play these games. However, I wanted to show people the compromise I had with being a gaming journalist by not making any sort of biased judgement. This crusade to play every Final Fantasy game started over 2 years ago. Thankfully, the community in the Dissidia discord was quite welcoming to my criticisms of the game. I definitely enjoyed discussing the various problems Final Fantasy games had with them and I also feel like they know how to critically look at their games. It was the best Final Fantasy discussion I've ever had with people and I am grateful to at least make new friendships thanks to this series.

However, my opinion on Final Fantasy as a whole definitely hasn't changed. With upcoming games like the FFVII remake, I definitely will start to skip some games and favor other RPGs instead. I find it sad that I'm writing this text wall while listening to Lightning Returns's version of "Eternal Wind". But I learned a lot about Final Fantasy and the characters and I actually know why people hold this game series in high regard. Why is that? Well, you'll have to stay tuned for future Ule's Views to find out.

So yeah... Sucks to be me I gu ess.


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