I’ve been keeping my eye on this game for quite some time because I’m a huge Hironobu Sakaguchi fan. I’ve been playing Final Fantasy since the first one way back on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I might have waited a week or more to grab it (I’m kinda broke at the moment), but boy am I glad I went out and bought it.

It brings back many memories of my childhood. It feels like a Super Nintendo RPG on steroids, and that is a great thing. The last mashup of Sakaguchi and Akira Toriyama that I remember playing was Chrono Trigger and that was an SNES RPG. Some small bits of it also remind me of EarthBound (another of my favorite games), since you fight robots a lot, and there are a bunch of weird sounds, and a voice saying certain things to you at certain moments. You’ll see what I mean if you’ve played both… I hope.

The gameplay is very reminiscent of Final Fantasy V and its job system. You can change the class of your shadow from a Monk, Black Mage, White Mage, Assassin, Sword Master, etc. As you earn Shadow Points from battle, your shadow gains abilities that can then be equipped when they are a different class. So you can have a Sword Master who can cast White Magic or Support Magic. The graphics are insane, they look just like a Toriyama cartoon should. At some points, it almost looks like claymation (that’s another thing that reminds me of EarthBound because of all the clay models they used in their promo materials) but it’s mostly all real-time game engine, I’ve only noticed a few pre-rendered scenes so far.

The story so far (I’m only 5 hrs. into a game that spans 3 DVDs) is pretty standard, but it’s very well directed. It is everything you should have expected from this game. I highly suggest any RPG fan go out and get it.