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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Stuff is Awesome. AKA Japan Gets All the Goods Stuff.

Despite the recent turns this series has taken, I'm still a Final Fantasy fan. I don't blindly follow Square Enix and defend every single decision the make, but I'll always have a place in my heart for those two special Fs. You know what's even better than being a Final Fantasy fan? Being a Final Fantasy fan that lives in Japan. Square Enix Rolled out the red carpet for the series big 25th anniversary in 2012 and all the merchandise for the series' big birthday just makes me all the more envyous that they only way to obtain any of it is by means of import. Yeah, I'm late discussing this stuff. Don't look at me like that.

Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box

Now this is a RPG compilation dream. The Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box collects Final Fantasy I-XIII on the PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 format. Final Fantasy I-II & IV-IX are on PS discs, Final Fantasy III on a PSP UMD disc, Final Fantasy X-XII on PS2 dics, while Final Fantasy XIII is on a PS3 disc. Each game disc is coated in Yoshitaka Amano's gorgeous artwork with a character from each respective game. The comes come packaged in their own spiffy cases, too. Amano also drew a lovely piece the features the numerous main protagonists of each Final Fantasy title that comes with a stand for you to display to all your jealous friends. There's also a splendid hardcover art book with tons of artwork throughout the series, including delicious pieces from Amano. As if that weren't enough, included is 25th anniversary video, a 2-disc music compilation with various themes from the series. I'd have made the music collection disc bigger, but that's just me.

I already own most of these games (except XI-XIII) a few times over, but it's still a very sexy collection with some intriguing bonuses. Though I do find the absences of the NES versions of Final Fantasy I-III a little jarring. I'm fine with the PS and PSP remakes, but you'd think the originals would be included. Oh well. The price for this baby isn't cheap either. Last I checked, you could pay $500 or more. Ouch.

Final Fantasy 25th Memorial Ultimania 

You can never have too much video game artwork. If you thought the art book from the Ultimate Box was good, the Final Fantasy 25th Memorial Ultimania books sound even better. There's an indepth look at the art from the Final Fantasy series. Characters, locations, it's all here. Someone on YouTub was kind enough to post a huge video on these books alone. It's very much worth a look if you've got 34 minutes to kill.

There were a few 25th anniversary games released, the most noteworthy being Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, which is a great game. But it was one of the few 25th anniversary gifts we got. Japan gets goodies like the above all the time. Us gamers in America and Europe aren't so lucky and don't even get me started on those import prices. The odds of the Memorial Ultimania books being translated and released in English are slim. There was also a slew of albums released that, like the the Ultimate Box and Memorial Ultimania stayed in Japan. Sucks, but that's just the way it is. If I had a disposalable income, I might be able to afford this stuff. As it stands, I'll have to celebrate the series 25th anniversary in my own way. 

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