The big 2015 Game Developers Conference (GDC) is currently on the go at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Legendary game creator, founder of the Final Fantasy series and later the Mistwalker game studio which produced such gems as Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey and The Last Story, Hironobu Sakaguchi is (deservedly) being honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 15th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards.
To mark this big achievement, Mistwalker is celebrating their boss’ big win by giving away free energy and items to all players of their current mobile gaming smash hit, Terra Battle (a personal favourite of mine at the moment).
You’ve got until 12 March 2015 to redeem this gift, so hurry up and launch Terra Battle, go to Options and click on Enter Gift Code. Enter the case sensitive gift code cyrkrnHAjfmjYDYf and submit! (Needless to say, it is a one use only kind of thing.)
In return, you’ll be gifted with 5 energy, 2 animations and 10 serenity shoots – just enough to upgrade Bahamut if you were lucky to snag him during his latest special arena appearance!
Related Link: Terra Battle on Google Play
Twelve years ago, a mysterious purple column appeared in the heavens – This was the Day of Succession. Out of it emerged two fearsome beasts, one white, the other black. These beasts clashed and the resulting explosions left nothing but the mysterious dark pillar stretching between the earth and the heavens. This pillar is the gateway to the Inner World.
Marie and Joe Hayakawa were two of the scientists present when the day of confusion first arrived. They were instrumental in chronicling it’s story. They were also the first two people to actually travel to the new and strange world, but on their last mission they left their children and simply vanished. They have been lost somewhere inside the Inner World ever since.
Now the young Ai and Yu have decided to enter the Inner World to find their lost parents. Boarding the mysterious dimensional subway train that appears only at midnight, Ai and Yu need to take a giant leap of faith to enter the strangeness of the Inner World.
As Ai and Yu continue their quest through the many strange places that make up the Inner World, they continually meet new friends and make new allies. Lisa, the girl who hears the currents of energy. Cid, the inventor genius. Nav, leader of the revolutionary Comodin. And Kaze, the Black Wind. Controller of the Demon Gun, creator of the Soil Summonings.
But the Inner World is run by Chaos. The Count rules these dimensions with an iron fist. Together with his Gaudium Deathlords, the Count has now turned his attentions to these outsiders in his domain.
And slowly the appetite of Chaos grows…
2001 saw the release of Final Fantasy: Unlimited, a 25 part sci-fi fantasy adventure based in Square Enix’s Final Fantasy franchise universe and directed by Mahiro Maeda, with animation production handled by GONZO.
The plot of Final Fantasy: Unlimited revolves around a brother and sister’s search for their missing parents. However, their search takes place in the Inner World, a dimension separate from ours. The many worlds that inhabit this dimension are varied and wondrous, though things are not all that well in the Inner World. There exists a tyrant known as the Count who rules this area with an iron fist, and slowly he has been making his way across the worlds, destroying each and incorporating bits into his own vision.
Added to this is the story revolving around the hate relationship between the mysterious Black Wind, Kaze and the White Cloud, Makenshi. Kaze controls the Demon Gun, responsible for the creation of summoned creatures using the power of Soil. Makenshi on the other hand controls the Mist, and is able to summon huge white creatures from its essence. These two are sworn enemies, destined to face each other in battle.
The story of Final Fantasy Unlimited slowly builds up until it finishes with a great crescendo, though unfortunately, it is somewhat lacking in the build up stages. It is pretty formulaic in that it follows the standard “New monster arrives. New monster defeated by Kaze’s summoning” plotline for well over half the series!
On the other hand, the characters introduced throughout this show are really cool. Character development is good, and the characters are all interesting. One can’t help but want to learn more about the Inner World with each and every episode.
The animation is okay, with a lot of CGI graphics thrown in. It kind of captures the feel of the later Final Fantasy RPGs which also make use of CGI to blend in with the in-game graphics. A small gripe that I have is that this series makes a lot of reuse of animation sequences – something that can become particularly annoying.
The voice acting is superb and the musical soundtrack is top notch.
Overall, this isn’t a horribly bad title, but unfortunately it just isn’t as engrossing as a Final Fantasy fan would have liked. Fans will enjoy seeing their favourite creatures such as Chocobos making an appearance, but other than that, most people could probably give this title a skip.
It’s a pity, because SquareSoft could have done so much more with it.
(Historic Note of interest: This review was written back in 2004)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy:_Unlimited
The feverish fight to rescue the town from complete annihilation makes reluctant allies of everyone – Tian and Drei, Anna and her special task force, the religious chick, and, worst of all, Nagi, the thief. And, surrounded by Zombies and with little hope of making it out of the city alive, the lot of them sallies forth into the hordes of walking dead to face death… or worse.
From writer Creative Hon with art from Yong-Wan Kwon, volume 5 of the Last Fantasy Korean manhwa brings to a close the short fantasy/comedy adventures of the low-level magic user who can pretty much only throw fireballs Tian, and the strong as an ox, but dumb as one too warrior Drei von Richenstein, the two unlikely heroes (who are almost always broke) with a knack of turning allies into foes.
Plunging our main characters directly into battle against the hungry horde of zombies right from page one, the action is relentless until the final and satisfying closing scenes, which bring about the end of the main storyline around two thirds into the book – leaving the rest of the volume to be padded out with some extra stories set in the world Creative Hon has created from the inspiration that is Final Fantasy, generating enough story threads towards the end so that should they ever be called upon to one day craft some more Last Fantasy books, they’ll at least have something to carry on from!
Although the book maintains it’s slapstick comedic value from the previous issues, it definitely is a lot less silly in tone thanks to the loads of action and anguish that drives the lion’s share of the story along. There is a lot of drama to be had, and as a whole, this is a really gripping finale to an enjoyable fantasy romp, one that doesn’t seem to have a problem mixing up as many genres as possible and to be frank, getting away with it.
On the artistic side of things, I have to say I really enjoyed Yong-Wan Kwon’s illustrations, with him coming up with some beautifully detailed and full panels, dripping with loads of line work, and with a knack of correctly capturing the mood of the panel based on what is happening in the text. His facial expressions all work, and he manages to capture all the dark and gritty action sequences just perfectly.
In other words, other than his sometimes tiny waists that he puts on his characters, very little to complain about!
In summary, volume 5 brings with it a great end to an enjoyable little comedy fantasy romp, featuring great art and not so bad writing. It’s a pity that the main action is over two thirds into the book, but I guess it could have been worse – they could have just left it unpadded and thus leave you with a much lower page count in your hands!
So worth a read if you are looking for a break from Japanese manga and American superhero comic books, and are in particular a fan of sword and sorcery based fantasy, mixed with a splash of comedy of course.
Related Link: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=5955