A treasure of the 80s, but does it really hold up compared to other games of its time?
Despite its simple concept, Final Fantasy could get quite addicting and even intense at times. Turn-based role-playing games were created before the release of Final Fantasy, so the concept wasn't anything too new. However, Final Fantasy implemented new ideas into this already-classic idea, like the advantages/disadvantages of choosing specific classes for your team, which would affect you throughout the game in either a good way or bad way. The classes ranged from Black Mages (specializing in offensive-based magic) and White Mages (specializing in healing party members), Warriors (who specialized in using weapons to fight, and could equip almost every weapon in the game) and Thieves (who didn't really specialize in fighting, but had luck and agility to make up for it), etc.
Items, equipment, weapons, etc. could also heavily determine the outcome of the battle. This showcased the complexity behind the game, where earning Gil (the currency of the world of Final Fantasy) was made possible by defeating enemies, which would eventually benefit you if your party was in trouble or in need of an upgrade. If your party is low on health, stop at an inn and get some rest to recover it, or if the enemies in the area are starting to get a bit too powerful for your party, stop at an item, weapon, or armor shop to prepare for grueling battles to come.
Not only does the complexity lie in boosting up character stats, but also the layout of the story. One task leads to another, and it eventually leads to the 4 Warriors of Light saving the world from the evil Chaos, who was fought earlier in the game in his first form under the name "Garland". Though you are basically given a blank slate to form your characters with the right armor and weapons until your characters finally evolve into something stronger, the story based around it, like the enemies and the people you meet along your quest, is a strong base for a storyline for what seems like such a simple game.
The random encounters are like a necessary form of grinding. Though this was put in the game most likely as an intention to simply challenge the player, it ends up being one of the most frustrating features of the game. For example, you just finished a boss battle that took out every member of your party but one, which happens to be a class not known to specialize much in fighting (white mage, thief, etc.). You begin to walk a few steps to an inn only to be stopped by an enemy jumping at you literally out of nowhere. Your last party member gets slaughtered, and it's a Game Over. Having to fight enemies that come out of nowhere can not only get frustrating, but tedious and repetitive. It's different from other role-playing games, but all in all, in my opinion, it should have been kept out.
Another part of the game not particularly good would be the graphics. Although the enemy and character designs are nice, the game completely lacks when it comes to the environment. Comparing the graphics of Cornelia to the graphics of Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda
just makes Final Fantasy look bad.
The Bottom Line
Though it can seem pretty overrated at times, and even a mediocre start to a popular series, give Final Fantasy a chance. Patience will show you what is actually a pretty fun game.