Recent Event Highlights: Squaresoft + Square Enix = Square Enix!, Final Fantasy X. Wait, another one?, Final Fantasy VIII proves that I'm truly a Square girl., The Discovery of Final Fantasy VI, and 10 more...
Created by dipity on Nov 4, 2009
Last updated: 11/06/09 at 09:53 PM
I know I wasn't the only one skeptical of Squaresoft's endeavor to make a crossover game between Final Fantasy and Disney, but I, like so many others, were quickly proven wrong in our doubts. I never thought that two of my favorite entertainments, Disney and Final Fantasy, could be so fun, somehow finding the perfect balance between Disney's lightheartedness and Final Fantasy's dramatic characters and storyline. But this game caught my attention and held it fast, and it didn't take long for it to become one of my favorite video games. I think the main aspect I was drawn to was exactly what I'd said before - the perfect crossover between two drastically different franchises. Also, with the ability to add voice overs, the characters were able to be even more rounded, their voices reflecting their personalities. Kairi and Sora were playful and lighthearted, thus having slightly higher voices, while Riku was dark and had a deeper voice. Although I was introduced to the idea of characters having voices in video games with Final Fantasy X, I think it was the extremely well-chosen voices in Kingdom Hearts that caught my attention. Fanart of Kingdom Hearts character, Sora, done by me.
Just after the release of Kingdom Hearts, video game companies Squaresoft and Enix joined forces, combining to become Square Enix in a deal that cost $727 million. Only first-run copies of Kingdom Hearts contain the Squaresoft logo. All the ones afterwards contain the Square Enix logo. Reference: Jim. (Sept. 20, 2002). Square and Enix Announce Merger. Retrieved on November 6, 2009 from http://www.gamecubicle.com/news-nintendo_gamecube_square_enix_merger.htm
Final Fantasy X was the first game I ever played on the Playstation 2, and I still remember how amazed I was at how far video games had come. Most noticeably were the graphics, and I was completely amazed at how realistic everything looked, right down to folds in clothing, fingernails, the inclusion of teeth, and the shine in the characters eyes. Also, this was the first game I played that included voice acting, and I remember wondering how on Earth they managed to fit all the gameplay, amazing graphics, and voice acting on one small disc (since the PS1 games I'd played were all multiple discs long). Although I was entirely in awe of the whole game, the graphics, and character design were what inspired me to want to pursue the creation of games as a career. I wanted to (and still want to) create such lifelike characters and world maps, and come up with such intricate character designs. It seems as if every Final Fantasy has more in-depth characters, and I always wanted to be a part of that process of creating everything about them: their look, clothes, background, personality. And Final Fantasy X is definitely one of the ones that pushed that desire even further. Fanart of FFX character, Rikku, by me.
Another Squaresoft game goes on to prove that they are the main inspiration for my love of video games. Final Fantasy VII was constantly praised for it's leap in the graphics department, going from 8-bit and 16-bit to 3-dimensional renderings of characters and environments, I found that it didn't capture my attention like VI did, and I fell out of the Final Fantasy games until the release of VIII in late 1999. Final Fantasy VIII featured an all-new battle system which involved the characters using the "junction" system to equip themselves with magical beings called Guardian Forces through which they used magic and strengthened their statistics. Although it was difficult to get used to at first, it eventually became one of my favorite systems to use. Also, as is usual with Squaresoft/Square Enix games, the storyline is one that I have come to love. It has a complex storyline with villains to feel sorry for, flawed yet likable characters, and side quests to keep you busy in your spare time. Also, this is one of the first games whose soundtrack I loved and had to own, and the wonderful pieces of music definitely enhanced the playing experience with this game.
I had just barely turned eleven when my dad went out and bought our first Playstation and the game Resident Evil: Director's Cut and gave it to us for Christmas. Although I've never been able to really play this game because the control scheme is too difficult for me to grasp, much less master, this game began my love for zombies and horror games. Resident Evil has many continuity errors in it's timeline, but the evolution of the zombies, the creepy storyline of an underlying conspiracy, and the characters have enticed me into enjoying nearly every single Resident Evil game that has come out (and even playing several of the newer installments). The man villain in all of the games, Albert Wesker, is a character I'm in awe of and would one day like to create characters like him: mysterious, arrogant, an intriguing background, with a charm that many fall prey to. Photo of the Resident Evil logo tattoo on my arm.
November of 1997 sees the release of PaRappa the Rapper on the Playstation, inspiring many more rhythm-based games to come. Most notably, Dance Dance Revolution. Reference: Polsson, Ken. (October 28, 2009). Chronology of Video Game Systems. Retrieved on November 6, 2009 from http://islandnet.com/~kpolsson/vidgame/vid1997.htm
February 5, 1996, Nintendo announces a delay in the release of the Nintendo 64 due to a shortage of chips required to run the system. This will be the first in a short series of delays over the next several months until the system is released in Japan in June. Reference: Polsson, Ken. (October 28, 2009). Chronology of Video Game Systems. Retrieved on November 6, 2009 from http://islandnet.com/~kpolsson/vidgame/vid1996.htm
Squaresoft helps me delve further into the art of gaming with their game Chrono Trigger, a game that I've repeatedly played on various platforms since my initial play in 1996, and it remains one of my favorites. I would have to say that the storyline is definitely what captivated me the most with this game since the idea of time traveling was so new to me and this game is centered around changing events in the future by affecting the past. And because the characters travel through time, there are many different characters from different time periods that you meet, including a knight from the middle ages, a robot from the future, and a cavewoman from the BC era. This was also the first game I played where the main character died, and that affected me as a player because I had become attached to the characters throughout the course of the game.
Secret of Mana was released in 1993, but I didn't start playing it until my brother borrowed it from one of his friends from school in late 1995, and I was immediately in love. Although I had previously been awed by the realistic graphics of Final Fantasy VI, I was even more blown away by Secret of Mana's graphics which, although they were done earlier, were much better. The characters had distinguishable legs, arms, torsos, and heads; their hair, clothes, and the plants swayed in the breeze; they were so animated when they moved and attacked, walking with determination and attacking with all their might. And never before had I seen a battle system that was anything but turn based, so when this one was real-time and I could move the character around the screen while attacking (or running, as the case may be), I was just in awe. I don't remember much about the characters beyond their looks and that there was a princess because most of my memories of that game are of being in love with the exciting graphics and falling in love with the way the characters and environments moved. Reference: FantasyAnime.com. (N/A). Secret of Mana. Retrieved on November 4, 2009 from http://www.fantasyanime.com/mana/somabout.htm
Acclaim Entertainment makes a US release of Mortal Kombat 3 on Super Nintendo. Also, in the same month, Nintendo announces the name of their next system: Ultra 64: Nintendo 64, more commonly known to gamers as the N64. Reference: Polsson, Ken. (October 28, 2009). Chronology of Video Game Systems. Retrieved on November 6, 2009 from http://islandnet.com/~kpolsson/vidgame/vid1995.htm
As of March 31, 1995, the number of gameboy units sold, in just the previous twelve months, reached approximately 5.5 million. Impressive, considering the Gameboy was released in 1989! Reference: Polsson, Ken. (October 28, 2009). Chronology of Video Game Systems. Retrieved on November 6, 2009 from http://islandnet.com/~kpolsson/vidgame/vid1995.htm
Although it was released in late 1994, I didn't begin playing Illusion of Gaia until early 1995. Illusion of Gaia is a game created by Enix nearly a decade before they merged with Squaresoft. Even though I didn't get it until months after it was released, it was another game that blew my mind away. Along with Secret of Mana, this game had graphics that were amazingly realistic to me, and I was impressed with how their hair, clothes, and the environment were able to move with the character's movements and the wind. Another aspect of this game that caught my attention was the storyline. Unlike many other RPGs, this game featured a relatively linear, simple story that was intriguing and drew the player in and didn't branch off into other side stories. I revisited the game in 2006 and found that I was still impressed with the story's simplicity yet ability to be so exciting. It only takes a few hours to beat, but (with the exception for the extremely lame ending) it is definitely worth the time spent playing it. Reference: Gamespot. (1994). Illusion of Gaia for SNES. Retrieved November 4, 2009 from http://www.gamespot.com/snes/rpg/illusionofgaia/index.html Video edited by me.
At the age of seven years old, I began playing Final Fantasy VI with my older brother, David. I believe that this game is one of the earliest inspirations I had to be a part of the team that creates a video game. The characters were one of the first things I noticed since they are all so fleshed out and unique. But it was everything about this game that eventually drew me in. The characters are just the beginning, because the storyline is wonderfully enticing, the world is interesting and well thought out, and the control scheme is one of my favorites. I'm sure I wasn't inspired at the age of seven to want to make video games, but even at that young age, I was in love with every aspect of the game, and I have gone on to play it several times. Video footage credits to: GameTrailers.com. (February 9, 2007). Final Fantasy VI Advance. Retrieved on November 4, 2009 from http://www.gametrailers.com/game/final-fantasy-vi-advance/4019 Video editing and cosplay of FFVI character, Celes Chere, done by me.
Gaming companies and publishers realize that many violent video games are appearing on the market, so they present a proposal for a rating system to be implemented. This way, game buyers are aware of what a game is rated and why so they will know exactly what they are purchasing. Reference: Kohler, Chris. (July 29, 2009). Videogame Makers Propose Ratings Board to Congress. http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2009/07/dayintech_0729/