Of the many video game franchises that have appeared over the years, one of the most popular and long-lasting is undoubtedly the Final Fantasy series. Incredibly, the very first instalment of Final Fantasy was released way back in 1987 for the NES and the franchise is still going strong today. Given that in the fickle world of video games where a single year is a long time, it is amazing that over a quarter of a century laterthe game is still relevant and popular as ever.
A Brief History of Final Fantasy
Created by Japanese games designer Hironobu Sakaguchi, the Final Fantasy series has spawned a hefty thirty-five entries to date, spanning most of the major consoles. The colossal success of the franchise has seen it branch into other areas of entertainment too, including films and a comic book series. With over 100 million copies of the series sold worldwide, it is fairly safe to say Final Fantasy is one of the biggest-selling game franchises in history. As a matter of interest, the top-selling individual entry is Final Fantasy VII, released for the PlayStation in 1997and PC in 1998. Sales of that seventh instalment topped ten million.
Final Fantasy on the PSP
Although Sony did not really need any help to sell PSP units, they certainly received some when news of the debut of Final Fantasy on their handheld console first broke. This was in 2007 when a twentieth anniversary edition of the very first entry in the series was released on the PSP. This was quickly followed up by the release of a new edition of Final Fantasy II.
Final Fantasy: War of the Lions
2007 was a big year for Final Fantasy on the PSP. In addition to the two anniversary games, Sony’s handheld console also benefited from Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions. The technical capabilities of the PSP meant that transferring the huge Final Fantasy world across to handheld was never a problem. As with many others in the series, War of the Lions features extremely impressive full motion video scenes which really capture the flavour of the Final Fantasy world. Although the game is an updated version of the original Final Fantasy Tactics released for the PlayStation, it boasts a number of new elements exclusive to the PSP, including new character classes and brand new cut scenes.
Unlike films, which can often succeed at the box-office despite receiving poor reviews from critics, video games are a different breed. If a new release gets a lambasting from games magazines, it is unlikely to sell in any great numbers. Fortunately, that was never going to be a problem for Final Fantasy: War of the Lions on the PSP.
It was almost universally praised by critics upon its release and embraced by fans of the series, both old and new. Despite its advancing years, it seems the Final Fantasy series is going to be around for a long time to come.