Topic: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.
TLDR: I have stuff to say about games I should've completed earlier and/or wanted to play again. Consider this a blog post. Comment, read if you will.
In early December 2022, I noticed how my ratio of playing games vs buying them was much more in camp "buy" than in camp "play". Completely unrelated I came across this dude on youtube with the same problem, who promptly made a spreadsheet with his unplayed games. He made a list of games that he wanted to finally get around to, and used howlongtobeat.com to figure out how long it'd take him.
I immediately thought I should do the same.
But then I didn't.
For Christmas, I got 4 more games from my Steam wishlist; Final Fantasy 1, 2, 3 and 6 Pixel Remasters.
That settled it. I had to play them. For more reasons than having not completed most of them, but also because my Steam library alone is 262 games, most I haven't even played, as they've been from the odd Humble Bundle, crazy sales, gifts etc. Games that are "nice to have if you need to play them", in the multiplayer category, and games that are "games you should have played" in the single player category.
As such, I figured enough is enough.
I went ahead and made my own spreadsheet. I used howlongtobeat.com to figure out play times, vs completion times(100% completion), and combined it all to find out a complete play of all the games would take me 507 hours of playtime. 1140 hours of completion time.
Alright. I can do that. Aiming for the prior, obviously, and if I play 2 hours per day, I'd have that done by sometime in June. Faster, obviously, if I play more hours per day.
The first title seemed natural. Final Fantasy I. Never did complete that game. I first played it in the EU version of Final Fantasy Origins, a remastered version of the NES classic for PSOne, bundled with FFII. It was redone graphics, had a bestiary, cinematics, and a remastered soundtrack. All the makings of a perfect experience for me at the time. I even got Final Fantasy Anthology at the same time, to play through FFIV and FFV too. Hell, at the time the shop even had FFVI bundled with a demo for FFX, with the same treatment as the former 4 games.
Never did complete the first 2. IV I completed back then. Must've been almost 20 years ago now. V sat a little different, and I was more tempted by VI, which to this date is tied with VII as being my favorite FF game. III Never came in any bundle. It was released in Japan only at the time of release, and never made a europe/NA release, until a 2006 Nintendo DS, 3D remake came around. At the time, I didn't own a DS, and I never got around to playing it either.
January 4th, 2023.
FINAL FANTASY I PIXEL REMASTER
Let's do this.
Right off the bat, I know Final Fantasy. The mechanics are always more or less the same. Fire, Ice, Lightning, etc. Potions to heal, phoenix down to revive, ether to refill magic points. Bla bla bla. All the same. The thing that differentiates the titles are the stories, settings and plots. The first games, albeit barebones compared to some later titles, is no different. Except, of course, that it is. You start the game with a simple prelude; The world is in peril. Something has happened to the governing crystals. Wind, Fire, Ice and Air, respectively. They've gone out, so to speak. So it falls to you, the four heroes of light to restore balance etc. Classic stuff. Your heroes in this first outing are nameless. You can name them, or you can select 4 of 8 or so premade names. I did the latter, and although I've completed the game, I can only remember my main damage dealer Andii.
In this title, our heroes are mute, dumb, silent protagonists, whatever you want to call it. They never utter a word, and being a Legend of Zelda fan, I can respect that. The story starts. You visit a town, and a castle, to learn that the swordsman Garland has betrayed the kingdom and kidnapped the princess. You, being the heroes, are tasked to deal with it. You jump to the overworld to grind some levels, and immediately I start noticing the similarities with the source material that inspired these games; Dungeons & Dragons. There are levels, of course, but having set the classes before playing, namely a warrior, a thief, a white mage(healer, support) and a red mage(offensive AND defensive magic), they have x amount of uses for each magic levels. Healing is level 1, but healing+ (cure, cura, respecticely) is a level 2 spell, and I have less uses before I need to rest. Ok, gotcha. Different from the later series, where you have hit points and magic points. But magic isn't that important in this game. Only versus a few foes, and if you're not using a guide/walkthrough, you'll soon find out which ones, as physical attacks do no damage. Fair game.
So, we set out to defeat Garland. Job's done. Garland disappears, you return the princess, all is well. Then, it's assumed, as you are the heroes of light, you will also, since you posess some orbs, heal the aforementioned crystals. Fine. Let's do that. We have to visit 4 shrines, kill 4 fiends that protect the corruption, and then return to finish the job against the big bad behind the curtain. No problem, I got my guide. I also pay attention to Steam Achievements, as according to howlongtobeat.com, FFI is about 17 hours to beat, 20ish to complete. Fine. We slay the 4 fiends. We return triumphant. We actiave the main shrine, only to be sent 2000 years into the past, where Garland(SHOCK AND AWE) is waiting for us. He survived our first fight, back at xp level, what, 10? and now that we're all level 50(4 heroes at level 50 achievement? CHECK) we meet again. He explains, like you do, that when we beat him, he went back in time 2000 years to heal and improve, and send 4 fiends to the future to ruin the world. We beat him, which makes sense. As 2000 years from now, he'll still be alive to go back. It's a time loop. The heroes never existed. But they did. And they didn't. It's nice.
For 1987, this is pretty badass. Starting the Final Fantasy franchise. The seeds have been planted. There's Tiamat, Garland, Bahamut, Fire, potions, phoenix downs, etc. The foundations have been laid.
All in all, I spent 12,5 hours on the game. Missed 4 achievements. Might go back later. howlongtobeat said 17 hours. So I've already saved 5 hours of the total 507 hours. Nice. Job well done.
So. Let's say I have to give every game I play a score. Scores are hard to do. Do you do 10, 6, 100 as the top? Who's to say. Let's say I switch it up. I give it a base score out of 10, because it's a nice, round number, and a little "should you play it" at the end.
So, for Final Fantasy I Pixel Remaster, I would give a score of 5/10. Is it bad? no. Is it great? No. But I had fun nonetheless.
Should you play it?
Different beast altogether with this title. It's not a long game. It's not a hard game(unlike the original, which is much harder), and it sets the bar for future titles in the series. I say YES. Play this game. It won't take you long. With a walkthrough(of which there are many, but I recommend "lylat" on Steam's walkthrough. Not spoilery, will take you through all of it, no bullshit.
And, not to forget, although the original doesn't have many different music tracks, what it does have, is downright amazing stuff.
1 game down, 21 to go.
Will post again after the next game, which, unsurprisingly is Final Fantasy II.