The megalithic Final Fantasy series of RPGs has travelled a long and storied path over the years, appearing on numerous hardware platforms, arriving in different regionalized versions and undergoing updates and remastered editions. Now four of the very best Final Fantasy games to date are available to own and enjoy on Android devices and NVIDIA SHIELD. Here is why you should check out Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI on SHIELD.
It’s the Father of the Role-Playing Genre
The original Final Fantasy was released in Japan in 1987 and between then and 2015 it has spawned 14 games in the main series as well as dozens of spinoffs and updates. It’s a huge franchise with each subsequent release selling in the millions. One of the key reasons for Final Fantasy’s enduring appeal is that it has always remained a fresh experience. While there are similarities in plotlines, by and large each new game takes place in a new world or timeline with new characters and enemies. And with each change of scenery comes innovation or evolution in the gameplay. This is why over the years the Final Fantasy games have influenced and inspired other RPG developers to an enormous degree.
The four games available now on SHIELD represent the best of the Final Fantasy series and offer gamers the opportunity to experience a unique and important slice of Japanese role-playing game history.
Wonderful Worlds to Explore
The worlds conjured up in the Final Fantasy series are fantastical places full of joy, terror, light and darkness and with every new game there’s an entirely new story to be told. The four titles available on SHIELD alone present an engrossing variety of plotlines culminating in Final Fantasy VI, which ditches the traditional medieval fantasy worlds of the previous games in favor of an industrial steampunk universe that fuses technology and magic.
Perhaps most important to the success of the series are the memorable characters in the Final Fantasy universe. There’s always one primary protagonist but they are joined by a small band of party members each of whom has his or her own backstory that we learn about over the course of the games. We also get to see those same characters develop and form a bond with them. There are countless villagers and townsfolk all with their own trials and tribulations that you can ask about and help with as part of your quest. These are tales richly told and stay with you long after the credits have rolled.
Many of Final Fantasy’s protagonists begin as humble people who are eventually fulfilling a foretold destiny. But victory is hard fought, and it’s combat that has always played a large part in Final Fantasy’s appeal. In chapters III to VI alone there are several key innovations in RPG combat. Initially combat was turn-based with players instructing their party members whether to attack, defend, use an item, run and which enemy to target.
Then we saw the introduction of the Active Time Battle system, in which commands could be issued to your characters in real-time while the battle was still in progress leading to a much more seamless and exciting flow of combat. Then, of course, in FFVI there’s the introduction of technology into the mix bringing together military hardware, traditional weapons, magic and the summoning of creatures in one place.
New and improved
Chapters III to VI of the Final Fantasy series were all 8 bit or 16 bit games featuring blocky 2D visuals, but over the years there have been a number of remastered versions released on a variety of platforms. Final Fantasy III, for example was given a full 3D makeover while the other games discussed in this article have also received graphical overhauls and enhancements culminating in the four games available now on SHIELD. What you have here is, in short, the definitive versions of four of the most influential games in Japanese RPG history.
Final Fantasy III, IV, V and VI are now all available to download on NVIDIA SHIELD from Google Play for $15.99 each.
About the Author
Andy has been writing professionally for 25 years beginning his career on a magazine for the now practically antique Commodore 64 before going on to write for, edit and launch a number of games titles. More recently, as a freelance copy writer he has been making words on subjects as diverse as weddings, cross-stitching, home improvements, accountancy, architecture and chimney sweeps. Video games remain his favorite topic to write about, though.