I have a lot of love for Squaresoft (well, now they’re SquareEnix), despite the fact that I’ve played relatively few of their games. I think Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6 (originally released as Final Fantasy 3 in the US) are the pinnacle of their jRPG work. I’ve also played Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Chrono Cross. I didn’t really enjoy Final Fantasy 7 nearly as much as everyone else. I think it’s partly out of spite. All these new jRPG fans think that Final Fantasy 7 is the greatest Final Fantasy game ever. But they’re never played the SNES Final Fantasies. Nothing is better than Final Fantasy 6 story-wise. And Chrono Trigger is unmatched for the amount of differences your actions could make to the game. When I finally got a Playstation in college, I was lucky enough that all the Final Fantasies released up to that time had become “greatest hits” and were available for $20. I bought them all. I finally got to play Final Fantasy 7. I had tried before on our computer, but it just wasn’t up to snuff. Even owning it on Playstation, it took me two attempts to get through it thanks to real life getting in the way. When I finally finished it, I just didn’t see why everyone thought it was so awesome. It might partially have to do with the fact that I had a 2 month gap in the middle of my playing the game, but I just didn’t get what made it so amazing.
I started Final Fantasy VIII, but I only got into the second disc. I don’t know, it seemed to not be as good. But then again, Final Fantasy 8 is universally panned, so perhaps it just sucks. I finally am at a calm point in my home life where I’d like to give the rest of my Final Fantasy games a shot. I’ve also been energized jRPG-wise by Dan’s Dragon Quest series of blog posts. So I’m going to skip Final Fantasy 8 and go to Final Fantasy IX. I’m hoping to rekindle my love for Square’s brand of jRPG. I’ll be making short (or long – if the occasion merits it) posts here and there as I go through it. I hope Final Fantasy hasn’t become like Monty Python – something I loved in my youth and now I’m just not really that into it anymore.