Yesterday, Square Enix celebrated the 30th Birthday of Final Fantasy. This wonderful series has been on this planet only one year longer than me, and it has been a favorite of many ever since. But this makes me wonder, what does Final Fantasy mean to you?
Final Fantasy is quite important to me, specifically Final Fantasy VIII. I know it is not the best Final Fantasy. It has a main character, Squall, that many people find irritating, and a battle system that is broken. The Junction system is so easy to manipulate that it's a joke. However, Final Fantasy VIII helped me become a better reader and better student.
When I was young I had some issues in school. I made good grades, but I was not focused and I hated reading. Reading was boring to me and it was hard. So may reading-related grades suffered due to my poor reading ability. I was usually placed in the average class in school, because I couldn't keep up with the advanced kids due to my extremely slow reading comprehension.
But I didn't care, I had video games to keep my mind occupied. I loved all kinds of games, and between getting games from Blockbuster, friends and family, I always had something new to play. During the summer of 2000, I somehow got my hands on a copy of Final Fantasy VIII.
The graphics for this game were stunning at the time, especially for a 12 year old kid. However, what drew me to the game was the promise of a very long story to enjoy, possibly even 80 hours. As a kid who only got to buy games maybe once per year, this was probably the easiest way to get me to buy a game.
My only problem with the game was that there was a good bit of reading involved. So of the conversation were controlled by the player but not all of them. The dialogue I couldn't control was sometimes lost to me, because I couldn't read it fast enough. I know now that I could have adjusted the text speed, but I was a dumb kid back then I guess. To not miss any of the story, I had to start comprehending what was going faster. As I played this game, I became better at reading the dialogue, which in turn helped me in school. The following year I was placed in the advanced class without studying more than I usually did, and I attribute that and my love of reading all to Final Fantasy VIII.
Without Final Fantasy VIII, I would not be the reader I am today, and I don't know if I would be into RPGs as I am now. So that's one major way the series has impacted my life.