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Forever a Treasured Classic
on April 15, 2009
I'm a 27 year-old guy who landed this game on NES back when it was first released. Zelda was my first RPG; I loved it, then Final Fantasy came along and sealed the deal for my love of RPG's. Years and many RPG's later (everything from Dragon Warrior to Neutopia to Breath of Fire to Landstalker, etc.), I landed Final Fantasy III for SNES and was - once again - in awe of the superiority of Final Fantasy.
Skip ahead however many years and Final Fantasy gets a HUGE facelift, but becomes linear and nowhere near as expansive as its predecessors. To this day, I've not liked any Final Fantasy past FF III for SNES. There's just something about the overhead view RPG's that has the look and feel I love. Because of this, this remake of Final Fantasy 1 is like a breath of fresh air... even having purchased and thoroughly beaten the, "Dawn of Souls" (FF1 and FF2 in one cartridge) remakes for GBA a year or so ago.
Having just purchased a PSP for the first time since they were released (I know... a late-bloomer), I've been scouring the internet for good RPG's on this platform. Needless to say, I saw this remake and swiped it right up (along with the FF2 remake as well). Now, I know a lot of people here say they can't really justify telling someone who has owned this remake on other systems to buy this one, but... if you love FF1 and still come back to revisit it through its entirity every couple of years or so, DEFINITELY buy this version!
It's everything you're familiar with, and then some. Being a truly COMPLETE rework (that is, this game was developed from scratch), the game looks great. You can check out a graphical comparison of the bosses (from NES development up to the PSP) here:
With the ability to save anywhere, the game is definitely a lot less challenging than it was on NES, but it's a welcomed addition for those of you who couldn't quite make it to Chaos. The four new dungeons add a lot to the game; including, new weapons, new enemies, new bosses, new levels (obviously), and - thus - new game play. While they're the same as the new dungeons from the GBA remake, the graphics are completely reworked; the whole game is just much more enjoyable to play as a whole.
Nobuo Uematsu's soundtrack is back, but with a bit of a touch-up. I'm an audiophile and a music buff, so I'm pretty fickle about classics being changed (even upgrading something from 8-bit to real instrumentation, lol) but nothing in this game has been changed in what I felt was a negative way; so, that's a definite plus! In addition to his soundtrack, the new dungeons have their own new music that I really dig.
Along with a complete rework of the graphics and an updated soundtrack, the next major PSP-only feature is the addition of the, "Labyrinth of Time." Man, this is one of the most frustrating things I've ever played in ANY RPG! It's EXTREMELY challenging, has NUMEROUS paths and outcomes, and generally just makes the rest of the game seem like a cakewalk (which it kind of is anyway, being 27 and not 9 or 10, lol). Chaos is *nothing* compared to Chronodia (who has artwork that reminds one of the majesty of Kefka at the end of FF III or perhaps a boss that would've been found in Breath of Fire 2)... but that's all I'll mention in regards to that. I won't post any spoilers or additional information, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. If you want to know more about the Labyrinth of Time, Gooooooogle!
The only gripe I have (and that's just because I'm diggin' for one) is the time it can take to load new enemies you encounter, new towns, new dungeons, etc... but we're talking 3-4 seconds, max; a small price to pay for as much enjoyment as I get out of this game.
So... if you're like me and you're absolutely, hopelessly stuck in the land of - and in love with - 8-bit and 16-bit RPG's (but dig cleaned up enhancements and a few additions to the game), I HIGHLY recommend this version of FF1. I realize there are a lot of people out there who disagree with my opinion, but they have their opinions and I have mine. Hopefully, I've spelled mine out enough to reach out to the exact demographic of those who share it.
Now, if only I can somehow convince Square-Enix to port FF III (SNES) to PSP...