Although Nintendo announced the re-release of the "Nintendo" Final Fantasy series (I-VI) on the Virtual Console at this year's GDC, the real surprise came today when Nintendo announced Lego Final Fantasy. This title will recount memorable scenes from the first six Final Fantasy titles, except in Lego form. Although some might decry such rich and involved games being truncated into small 2-hour levels, the folks at Traveller's Tales are confident that this experience will bring Final Fantasy to a whole new generation. "Besides," one representative was heard to say "It's not like Cloud is in this game."
The game will be formatted similarly to other Lego titles, having a Fantasy Hub where you can access game-specific levels. Each game will have three or four scenarios from the original Final Fantasy title appear as playable levels. However, it is important to note that since these standalone levels could hardly begin to recount the vast stories in Final Fantasy I-VI, they have opted to abandon plot altogether. For example, confirmed levels for the Final Fantasy IV hub include a Rosa-retrieval level, a brick battle with Kain and Cecil, and a ruby-collection level in the lunar palace. Sure, these might have been emotion-evoking scenes when you first played Final Fantasy IV, but their re-creation in brick ensures no feelings will be hurt and no attachment to the characters will be formed.
In a very interesting twist, the gameplay in Lego Final Fantasy will not only be puzzle-platform based, but there will be turn-based battle segments in this game as well. Each character will have special "Brick Attributes," which can be leveled up to unlock attacks throughout each series' levels. However, since each series will be so short, each character will get two attacks: Standard Physical Attack 01 and Standard Magic Attack 01. You can power up these attacks with power bricks scattered throughout the game.
Basically, Lego Final Fantasy looks like it will be like the greatest hits album of the Final Fantasy series. If you didn't find the 300+ hours needed to play these games when they were originally released on the NES and SNES, or re-released on handheld systems like the DS and PSP, and don't want to invest the time when they are re-released again on the Virtual Console, then Lego Final Fantasy will give you a very basic taste of what these games were like if they were set in an alternate universe - with bricks. At least there's no Final Fantasy VII on the Wii.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor