(Just a warning, if you have not played the games there will be possible spoilers ahead. Just a warning if you actually care.)
Yes I had already made a Final Fantasy post not too long ago but that was just about the game Final Fantasy X-2 in general, which I am still currently playing. This one is about the series as a whole. It's really kind of hard to believe how long this series has been around. Since I was 8 years old! The first game came out when I was 8 on the Nintendo and the series has been a part of my life since. That's almost 20 years and the majority of my life. I remember the first time I saw the game played. It was at my aunt and uncle's house and I was watching my older cousin playing it on the NES. I was young so I didn't quite understand how you were supposed to play. I was all about Super Mario. It wasn't until a couple years later where one of my neighborhood friends got the game and he let me borrow it.
This is probably the precise moment in my life where my life was either ruined or awakened (depending on how you see it). I'm going to go with the latter on this one. It introduced me to a whole new world of gaming that I found to be incredibly addicting. And thus began my obsession with leveling up. An that addiction still haunts me til this day.
As the years went on more and more Final Fantasy games were being released. It wasn't until the Super Nintendo came out that I was able to dive into this universe once more. What I didn't know at that age is that I was getting jipped! Final Fantasy 2 here in the US was actually FF4 in Japan and FF3 here in the US was FF6 in Japan. I didn't find this out until later on in High School but once I did I was torn between being angry and happy. On the one hand I was happy because that just meant that there were more FF games out there for me to play. But on the other hand they had only been released in Japan so how would I ever get to play them? But we'll get to that later.
I believe the huge milestone in FF history came when I was in Middle School in the form on Final Fantasy VII. A whopping 4 discs worth of 3D game play and eye-popping CG cut scenes. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. The story was absolutely amazing and it had you hooked from beginning to end. But one of the big moments in the game is when Aeries was killed by Sephiroth. I mean, wow... It was probably the first ever video game to actually make me tear up. You really cared for the characters and not only that Aeries was killed so suddenly but you had NO IDEA it was coming. Considering she was the main love interest in the game I was amazed she was killed at the end of the first disc! Plus FF7 had Materia which is probably the greatest thing ever and the only thing lacking in the other FF games.
Then came FF8 and FF9. I really enjoyed 8 but it just didn't match up to 7 story wise. 9 on the other hand is sadly one of the few games I never got to finish, something I hope to take care of soon. I was really excited for 9 too since they were going back to a more classic Final Fantasy look (Black Mage!). FFX is just finished about a month ago. Even though it came out while I was in college I never got to play because I didn't have a Playstation 2 at the time. After playing it recently it's definitely one of my favorites. FFX made me care about it's characters as much as FF7 did.
FF11 was an online only game (like World of Warcraft) and unfortunately by the time I was able to actually play it it was pretty much too late. But FF14 will also be online so we'll have to see about that one.
During college is when I played all the FF games that were not released in the US. That's right! I was introduced the a Super Nintendo emulator that you could download online. After waiting many years all the missing games that I had wanted to play were at my disposal. Plus a whole crap ton of other SNES games that I loved playing as a kid. What's cool now is that they have re-released FF3 and 4 (the Japanese ones that never came here) on the Nintendo DS with updated graphics and CG cut scenes. So I will definitely be picking those up at some point.
Then there was FF12. My god do I love this game. Not sure which I love more out of 7, 10, and 12. I definitely put the most time and effort into 12 than any other video game ever. I clocked in at around 115 hours or so. 12 has by far my favorite game play. I like being able to control my characters in battle and to actually be able to avoid random battles if need be. While I didn't get 100% in the game I came damn near close. Stupid Shadowseer made sure of that!
So 12 games and 20 years later here we are! It was finally announced the other day the release date for Final Fantasy XIII here in the US. April 2010! So actually it's not too far off. I plan on quitting my job and locking myself in my room without any human interaction until the game is complete. Well, not really, but that's what I would like to do. If I can't afford to pay my power bill then I can't play the game at all right?!