Sometimes, I’ll admit that I appreciate the modern quality-of-life features of JRPGs. Over the years, the genre has made it easier for players to jump in and have a good time without the overbearing stress of being under-leveled or forgetful of saving. However, growing up, I never had an issue with grinding or long conversations. Still, everything has been streamlined now that it’s hard to remember what it was like to spend an entire night trying to get past a difficult boss or find out where to go, for that matter.
Enter Fantasian from developer Mistwalker. The game is from the mind of Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, who wrote and produced the project, along with Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu and Director Takuto Nakamura. While it introduces some very creative dungeon designs and a unique battle system, it also is unapologetically old school. So, we decided to list some things you’ll find in Fantasian that you don’t usually see anymore.
Ah yes, we’ve all joked about this once or twice. However, the protagonist has somehow lost their memories. Well, Fantasian is bringing it back. The main protagonist, Leo, begins his adventure by losing his memory. Players will then have to retrace his steps and try to connect his lost memories. This ends being a significant part of the game as memories are unlocked during story scenes and major plot points. These memories can also be revisited in the menu in case you missed something.
No Voice Audio
That’s right, kids, you’re going to have to read through this entire game if you want to learn about the story. Everything from the cinematics to the character interaction is without voiced audio. In many ways, this forces the player to be engaged in the conversations and not just sit back and have some voices read it off to you. This isn’t something we see too often in modern JRPGs that strive to include dual audio options. In many ways, I think it works for this game and gives it a layer of charm.
Explorable Towns With Townspeople That Have Nothing Really to Say
Modern JRPGs have towns, I know, but it’s rare to find one that lets you randomly enter houses and search through their stuff. Fantasian really pushes this explorable element by hiding chests and shiny objects around town that will beg you to explore every nook and cranny. There are even special locked chests that require keys to open. The townspeople are also all rather chatty and have nothing significant to say. However, I couldn’t help but talk to each and every one of them because most modern JRPGs don’t allow you to interact with everyone.
Here it is, the overworld map that we’ve all been missing. We saw it Bravely Default II, but Fantasian does in a way reminiscent of PlayStation-era JRPGs where the camera is over the character, and you’ll randomly enter battle. Further, there are even explorable points on the map to distract you from your destination. It’s more common now to simply throw us in an open world and find our way, well forget that, give me an overworld map that I can get lost in.
No Fast Forward Option
YES! Not this time, ya modern nerds. There are no shortcuts through life, and the same can be said for grinding, so suck it up and enjoy fighting the same enemies over and over at normal speed. Ah, isn’t it nice to just execute the same skills against similar packs of enemies, find their weakness, and keep doing that until you get to a boss? I love it. Why? Well, fast-forward options stress me out. When the game is going super fast, I feel like I have to go fast too, and I hate that feeling. There’s also no auto-battle option, so just play the damn game.
And there you go, five ways that Fantasian is unapologetically old school, and I’m having a blast. Let me know if you’re playing in the comments below and what you think about the systems.
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