Final Fantasy - hands-on

The gameplay is similarly basic. As you start the game you create a party from four different unnamed characters of different classes - warrior, thief, red mage, etc. Each has his own abilities (and trying to beat the game using parties that make it more difficult is one of the ways enterprising gamers have managed squeeze some replay value out of this game in the past 20 years.) The abilities are limited compared to what you'd expect from a modern FF game, of course (noticing a trend?) but offer enough differentiation to make balancing your party something worth thinking about.

Graphically, the game really does shine. Of course its 2D visuals don't push the PSP's hardware from a technical standpoint, but seeing artwork this crisp and clear is a rarity, and it easily exceeds previous versions of the game. If you miss the days of 2D sprite-based RPGs, this game provides some of the sharpest and most appealing visuals in that vein that we've yet seen. The musical score also sounds fresh thanks to competent arrangement.

Basically, there's not a lot to say based on a hands-on with this title. We've been here before and done all of that. All of the improvements (hidden dungeons, mainly) from the GBA remake are here, as well as all-new graphics and music that seem to make this the definitive version of the game (until it gets remade in 3D for some platform down the road.) If you've recently plowed through the GBA version you'll probably be bored; otherwise, it's a charming but dated RPG enjoying its 20 year anniversary in style, and might appeal. It beats the hell out of playing the Engrish-infested Legend of Heroes games, at any rate.