E3 2015 was an amazing event and featured massive reveals, stunning tech demonstrations, and a slew of surprising, and occasionally odd, celebrity appearances. And somehow, even after a demonstration of Microsoft's Hololens, gameplay footage of Halo 5, Gears of War 4, The Last Guardian, and a good number of new IPs, Final Fantasy still managed to steal the show.
E3 2015, and 2015 in general, have proved one simple fact: Final Fantasy, everyone's favorite JRPG franchise, is making a huge comeback after being beat down and left in the gutters for years. Having been a Final Fantasy fan since my earliest gaming days, I can confidently say that never in the history of gaming has there been a better time to be a fan of the long-running series, nor has there been a better time to get into the series if you never have played any of the games before. For the first time in years, you can go into a gaming retailer and see multiple Final Fantasy games on the shelves, with even more on the way. So if you're looking for a reason to start playing some FF titles, or maybe get back into the series, I've got ten reasons for you right here.
Final Fantasy Record Keeper
I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy this game, now available for iOS and Android devices. Record Keeper takes the player through the halls of Final Fantasy history, where records are kept of the series's most pivotal moments. Half fan-service and half celebration of history, it lets players experience moments like the Opera House from FFVI, and Aerith's death from FFVII, unlocking new characters while doing so.
Record Keeper is primarily made for long running fans of the series. So, if you're like me and have played all or most of the main Final Fantasy games, make sure to check out Record Keeper, available now for free on the App Store or Google Play Store.
Final Symphony II
Most dedicated Final Fantasy fans either know of, or have attended, a Distant Worlds concert. For the uninitiated, Distant Worlds is a live symphony orchestra that plays various songs from the FF series. I had the chance to attend a New World concert, which is a smaller and more intimate version of Distant Worlds, and it was an amazing experience.
But even more epic than Distant Worlds or New World is Final Symphony, a partner project between Nobuo Uematsu and other Final Fantasy composers, and the London Symphony Orchestra. Songs from the series are arranged into beautiful and epic suites and rhapsodies that tell the entire story of each game, using only music. The first Final Symphony album was released earlier this year, and contained music from Final Fantasy VI, VII, and X. in September, the live performance of Final Symphony II will begin, and will feature music from Final Fantasy V, VIII, IX, and XIII. If you like good music, you'll like Final Symphony. And if you don't like good music, you'll probably still like Final Symphony because its just that good.
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
If you need even more evidence that Square Enix is trying to make things better for their fans by giving us what we want, Type-0 is another great example. Type-0 (and that's a zero, not a letter O, otherwise the title sounds like a game about diabetic vampires) was released for the PSP in Japan a few years ago, and ever since North American fans have been bugging Square Enix for a local version of the game. Square answered the call and delivered this remastered version of the game for current-gen consoles.
While Type-0 is a far cry (video game pun) from the greatness of some of the series's main games, it is an interesting title considering its heavy usage of the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos established in FFXIII. With a huge cast of playable characters, each one unique and interesting, Type-0 never gets boring and is a fun ride, especially for fans of the series and for those looking for a fast paced, more action oriented RPG game. You can read my full review of the game here, or watch the review here.