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#Enix

Final Fantasy III Review Rewind

Final Fantasy gets a job.

When Final Fantasy VII appeared in the late 90s, my initial reaction was that of shock at the significant gulf in sequels for the US. It was a harsh reality to learn that, of the three mainline Final Fantasy releases we received, Japan had double that number by the start of the PlayStation era. As time marched on, Square (now Square Enix) eventually released the sequels we had missed. Meanwhile, I’ve been playing a nearly 30-year-long game of catch-up since 1997. A particular blind spot for me was Final Fantasy III- the last one to be developed for the Famicom. However, after finally getting around to playing it, I now have a new appreciation for this long-running series.

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Final Fantasy IV Review Rewind

The “Golden Age” started here.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy IV. Originally released on July 19, 1991, it was a momentous event due in no small part to the fact that this was the first in the series to debut on the Super Famicom. It was released to critical acclaim, and once again several months later when it came to the US on the Super Nintendo as Final Fantasy II (since we missed the first two sequels on the NES). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play it until a decade later, when it was re-released as part of Final Fantasy Chronicles. And although I was late experiencing my first 16-bit RPG, it was undoubtedly worth the wait.

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Final Fantasy Review Rewind

Not so final after all.

Final Fantasy is the stuff of legend. No, seriously-- it is. Just ask any enthusiast about the origins of the series. Watch as their eyes gleam while recounting the story of how it all began. Legend has it that a long time ago (1987) in the land of Japan, a fledgling company known as Square (now Square Enix) wasn’t doing so well financially. Despite earlier releases like Rad Racer and 3-D World Runner, their games weren’t selling well enough to pull them out of the slump. It seemed as if all was lost. Wanting to go out with a bang, Square chose to develop a role-playing game. They called it Final Fantasy (*cue epic music*).

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Nerds Without Pants Episode 152: Digital Erasers

Would you miss them? Would you?

Welcome to an…interesting episode of Nerds Without Pants. It’s Justin’s first time in the hot seat, as he’s on Stage Select and Video Game Cage Match duty. Things get a little spicy! Also, we announce our third winner of the Great Game Giveaway and kick off the next contest, and get into it with Nier: Automata. Give it a listen, will ya?

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Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride Review Rewind

Family Matters

August of this year will mark the 20th anniversary since Dragon Quest was introduced in the US. With 10 core sequels and many spin-offs since then, you’d think an RPG fan such as myself would be well-versed in the series by now. But in reality, my Dragon Quest knowledge over the years has only been cursory at best. I got started about eight years ago when I completed Dragon Warrior (the series’ name in the US until 2005), and I’m currently nearly halfway through the massive adventure that is Dragon Quest XI. My depth of familiarity with the series pretty much ends there. Or at least it did until I recently finished Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride- a Nintendo DS remake of the beloved Super Famicom original.

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Dragon Warrior Review Rewind

This RPG is a real grind. No dragon your feet here.

If there’s one thing I absolutely adore about Dragon Warrior (aka Dragon Quest), it’s how much its subtle charms have influenced each sequel to come after it. There’s just something special about playing the latest game in the series (currently Dragon Quest XI) and still hearing the familiar sound cues of attacking an enemy, taking a hit, or the brief but satisfying victory chime and level-up fanfare. Additionally, the character designs by Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball creator and illustrator) give a visual continuity throughout each game. Without question, the Dragon Quest series has laid down some deep roots that all started here. But although it's a beloved first entry for nostalgic fans of the series, newcomers might not warm up to certain gameplay elements that would not be refined until much later.

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice Review

Capcom’s strange, yet strangely compelling series returns.

“Well Mr. Wright, would you care to explain how the witness could been at the crime scene during this time?”

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ActRaiser Review Rewind

Playing God never felt this ethical.

By the time the Super Nintendo was introduced, games that combined multiple genres were nothing new. Games like The Legend of Zelda, Crystalis, and The Guardian Legend were outstanding pioneers of the action/adventure variety. But developer Quintet partnered with Enix to publish ActRaiser in 1991 on the Super NES. Released just 3 months after the new home console, it was one of the earliest post-launch SNES games. Particularly outstanding is that it combines side-scrolling action with building simulation gameplay elements. Usually, building simulations send me running for the hills because I'm terrible at them. But after spending a little time with the game, I was able to put my fears aside.

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Backloggers Anonymous Final Fantasy X Finale

Featuring fan made music!

No... Not fans of Backloggers (although that would be nice) I decided since the FFX soundtrack is already world famous, I'd throw in some fan made versions of some of the music. If you like what you hear, they're all from YouTube. I'll post the links so you can hear the songs in their entirety.

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