Final Fantasy Month

Last year in December there were a couple of streamers on Twitch playing through Final Fantasy. This was followed by Games Done Quick in January and sooner than I realized, I had a hankering to play Final Fantasy 1 and found myself even trying to learn how to speed run the game.

After a few days into mucking around with it, I thought to myself how cool it would be to go and play through all the Final Fantasy games. I didn’t own all of them, and haven’t played any game in the series since it left Nintendo consoles after 6. But I thought it would be fun to do as the older games in the series were some of my favorite RPGs on console of all time. So I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be cool if in December I go and play through them all?

Why December? Well because in December, I traditionally have a decent amount of time off from work and often find myself playing more video games during this time frame. This year is no different as I will be taking off between Christmas and New Years. I generally have my daughter for an extended period during this time and do some family stuff as well, but will still find myself with some extra time. So a few days into December. I thought to myself… Oh Shit it’s Final Fantasy month! And while I was a little late going into it. I headed forward through the Final Fantasy titles.

So obviously you start with the first in the series. Final Fantasy I long credit with my addiction to Video Games and my love to RPGs. I remember as a child going out and renting Final Fantasy 1 for the standard 2 or 3 day time, and bringing it back 2 or 3 weeks later having thoroughly played through the game and emptied my pocket with late fees. Many games give me nostalgia joy, Final Fantasy 1 is #1 on that list. Nothing beats it.

I decided not to speed run and just to play like a normal person. Not overly optimized either. I ran with a warrior, black belt, red mage and white mage. I will say that though the BB is really weak in the first few levels, they are pretty awesome the further you get with them and I totally want to try an all black belt group at some point just because they are so awesome. Still, it was a fun group.

Final Fantasy isn’t the longest game in the world, took me about a week to run through it with casual play time. Given that I spent a week on FF1, chances of getting through what 17 or 18 games in the series seems very unlikely in a months time. I still hope to at least get to through the NES games, if not the SNES games as well.

The story is pretty basic as well, though honestly, it is also extremely interesting. Bad guy travels back in time 2000 years, creates 4 fiends that in 2000 years sends bad guy back in time again and destroys the world. Process repeats over and over again. Doesn’t seem to be any real motive as to why or anything. And unfortunately most of the story line isn’t really given to you until you defeat the bad guy. Most the game, you walk around doing what you need to do with little idea as to why other than you are supposed to and if you do you will save the world. You get this really long dialog at the end explaining what was going on the whole time and then explaining how the 4 heroes aren’t the real heroes, you are! Ugh. That was hokey. Again, FF1 was a very simplistic game but they were doing some new things and it was a more simple time as well. Shouldn’t count that against the game. I still love the game in all its simplicity.

I plan on updating my progress through the series as I continue to play the games. As of this writing I am currently undertaking Final Fantasy 2… the Japanese version. I did originally want to record or stream my playthroughs, but I still don’t really have the capability of recording console games so not this year, maybe I will have the set up to be able to do that next  year. And I really want to play the original versions. Even in its most truest form, Square likes to muck with their games when they re-release. An example is in FF1, they usually make it so that your heroes attack the next enemy if the one you told them to attack is already dead. I like the strategy involved in how that works in the original, so poo on that.

Retro Game Collecting

Last year for Christmas, my sister was getting ready to move out of state and thus was getting rid of a lot of stuff.  Some of the items that they indicated that they were putting up for sale was their old Nintendo system and games. Naturally i bought them at a fairly low price because

I always love having more games in my collection. That particular stockpile got me a NES complete in box, a Nintendo Power Pad in Box, Jack Nicholas Golf Complete in Box, Super Spike V’Ball in box, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, Super Mario Bros. 2, R.C. Pro Am, and a few other minor games that I can’t recall off the top of my head. In addition, my brother-in-law gave me his Intellivision console and about 20 games from when he was a child. The Intellivision doesn’t work, but I think all it may need is a power supply (hard to say for sure though).

I never really thought about these games and systems again. I stored them in my mom’s basement and that was that. However, when I bought my new condo, I also went out and bought a new television stand as my old one had not weathered some previous moves very well. After setting up my new stand, I looked at the shelves under the television and wondered what to put there and soon decided to put my GameCube, N64 and Sony Playstation there. I decided that they looked really good and then sparked a thought. Why not collect console games?

I’ve always been a huge Nintendo fan (big surprise I know), and have heard the stories of people getting a complete collection of NES games. I have always been fairly jealous of these people because NES and SNES was the generations that I grew up with. I very much remember going to the video rental place and oggling at all their games, being sad that I can only choose one and then two days later sadly bring the game back, wanting more time but not having enough money to rent it longer. Owning games never really came natural to me.

I was always relegated to owning whatever we could find at garage sales and saving pennies in order to purchase the few games that I owned straight out like Super Mario Bros. 3. I did manage a decent collection of SNES games in Junior High and early High School, but come the N64, I really only had one game (Banjo-Kazooie). Everything else was based off rental. It wasn’t until I started getting better jobs in the GameCube era that my game collection really grew and with the Wii, I own 30-40 games (still wish I had more too).

Now I’ve decided I want to get these things permanently to allow me to just sit down with NES controller in hand and play whatever I feel like. It feels like kismet after all. PC games are dying out and more and more I find myself being pushed towards consoles but still unimpressed with most modern games. Why not go back.

I have done some minor purchases so far, gone to a few thrift stores and flea markets to find bargains. And so far have found myself Hybrid Heaven Complete in Box (CIB), Star Wars Rogue Squadron CIB, Star Tropics CIB, Driver, Final Fantasy VII Black Box, Secret of Mana and Dragon Warrior. None of these are particularly high value games, but I decided that to start with, I want to get the low value games that I’ve always wanted.

Originally I also didn’t care about the boxes, but I decided they would probably maintain value better if I had the boxes and they just look nicer on the shelves (also for N64 and atari games, they are just easier to store in boxes). The collecting has run into a bit of a stall when my car broke down and I went out and bought a new car. But I think I have some good additions to the collection overall. Hopefully in a few months, if I continue all my savings and can get some bonus money, I can get back in the collecting habit.

Classic Arcades from an Arcade Owner

I recently found an article that a Utah arcade owner wrote about how his last year went in the industry. It is actually a really good article. It is rare to have arcade owners actually write stuff like this explaining what has been working, what hasn’t been working, plans on the future and thoughts on the industry. This might be for a few reasons including there just not being many arcades out there. Continue reading “Classic Arcades from an Arcade Owner”

So Many Arcade Ideas, Not enough $$

It has been three weeks since I originally thought up my idea of the classic arcade and still my mind is racing with new ideas. Literally thousands of things popping through my head. Quarters, Tokens or entry-fee? Prices for everything, general feel of the establishment, what kinds of food to have. Then I move on to how I do every little bitty thing. Where do I start it, I do have it narrowed down to three key areas, but it is mostly a matter of where has the available space.

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New Classic Games

Mario has always been a trendsetter, it is only recently that his role in video games has largely diminished. However, Donky Kong, Super Mario, Mario 3, Super Mario World, and Mario 64 all created buzzes in the industry. Even Mario Galaxy is hugely innovative, though the platformer may be so dead by now that we may not see the clones like we once might have seen.

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