How a Mobile Game Became My Favorite Final Fantasy in 15 Years

The original Final Fantasy was released in 1987, two years after I was born. I have quite literally grown up with the series. Final Fantasy IV on the Super Nintendo (or as it was known in the United States back then, Final Fantasy II) was my introduction to the series and I was immediately hooked. The story, characters, combat system, and world were incredible for young Trevor to behold. A few years later, Final Fantasy VI came stateside as Final Fantasy III and improved on absolutely everything I loved about it's predecessor. Both of these games still hold the place at the top of my favorite games of all time list and I own many iterations and re-releases of them both.

Final Fantasy IX  sits holds the number three spot as far as my favorite games within the series (don't worry Final Fantasy VII fans, it's there at number four). But all of the games from Final Fantasy X to present have lacked some of the magic I fell in love with. Most notably, I haven't been able to connect with the story or characters. I often feel like I've outgrown the more juvenile aspects of the JRPG genre: adolescents in wacky outfits just doesn't have the same surface appeal like they did when I was a kid. But even then, characters like Cecil, Terra, Locke, and Vivi had incredibly vivid stories to tell. Tidus, Vaan, and Lightning never managed to resonate as well with me. Admittedly a large part of this could be the (in my opinion) atrocious voice direction on the American localizations. Back before the characters had voices, it was up to me to determine what people sounded like. But SquareEnix has managed to take some of the best voice actors in video games and just get the worst performances out of them. On top of that, the more action-RPG elements of the recent games just don't match my preferred style of Active Time Battle of my youth.

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