Category Archives: Top 5 Lists

Top 5 Mini Games in Final Fantasy VII

The Final Fantasy series is no stranger to Mini games or including scenarios that change up the main gameplay style. From card games, to underwater sports games, to even learning lines for an Opera performance these diversions added variety to the main narrative. Final Fantasy VII took these ideas to another level and added a plethora of mini games that were either ingrained in the main story or fun extras to earn rare rewards. Here are the Top 5 best mini games to distract you from taking down Sephiroth:

1. – Midgar Motorcycle Chase (G-Bike) –

After the climatic battle with Rufus at the top of Shinra HQ the party escape Midgar by stealing a truck and being chased down the highway by Shinra guards. Cloud follows on a motorcycle and the player is tasked with protecting the truck and slicing through the Shinra attackers. While initially part of the main game, the player can play G-Bike again at the Gold Saucer later in the game earing points for taking down other bikes.

ffvii_crazy_motorcycle

2. – Snowboarding (Icicle Inn) –

After obtaining the snowboard and map from the village at Icicle Inn, Cloud rides a snowboard down the mountain through various routes before landing in the Great Glacier. The paths you take result in where you start your trek through the Glacier. Later in the game Snowboarding can played at the Wonder Square in the Gold Saucer and Cid and Tifa can be controlled instead of Cloud. The player can compete in time trials and unlock different courses to race on.

snowboard_jump

3. – Battle Square and Speed Square Shooting Rollercoaster (Gold Saucer) –

Final Fantasy VII had its own amusement park known as the Gold Saucer that housed numerous mini games itself. Each different Square of the Gold Saucer had different events to participate in, such as partaking in the medieval play on the date with Aeris, Tifa or Yuffie (you skip the play if you win a date with Barret). Although the biggest attractions are the Battle Square where you fight a set number of battles with increasing handicaps imposed upon you to gain rare items like Cloud’s Level 4 Limit Break; Omnislash and the Shooting Rollercoaster which plays like an on-rails shooter where you rack up point for hitting targets.

speed_square2

4. – Chocobo Breeding and Racing (Gold Saucer) –

Your first encounter with a Chocobo will usually be when you can catch one to ride over the Marshes and avoid the Midgar Zolom or when you must come first in a Chocobo Race to win your freedom from Corel Prison. After that you can either bet on Chocobo Races or breed your own and ride them to win items and rewards. Chocobo Breeding is extensive and later in the game you can breed different colour Chocobos that have new abilities like crossing rivers and mountains to allow you to explore the World Map and find extremely strong Materia in hidden caves such as the Knights of the Round Summon and Quadra Magic.

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5. – Tower Defence (Fort Condor) –

Once you have access to Fort Condor you can help the villages defend the giant Condor that has makes its home above the reactor on top of the mountain. It is played again in the main game to stop the Shinra from gaining the Huge Materia. It plays like a strategy tower defence game where you buy different soldier types and place them on the field to defeat and block the advance enemy troops.

ff7_minigame_fort-condor

What are your favourite mini games in Final Fantasy VII and how do you think they will be updated in the remake?

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Top 5 Final Fantasy Summons

After first appearing in the 3rd instalment in the Final Fantasy series, Summons have been a recurring and integral part of the franchise. They can be known my many names, such as Espers, Eidolons or Aeons, but no matter what these magical beings can be relied upon in battle to deliver some impressive spells to take on the toughest enemies.
Here are my Top 5 Favourite Summons:
1. -Bahamut-
The King of Dragons, often the most powerful Summon obtained during the main storyline, Bahamut flies around and rains non-elemental damage against your enemies via his Mega-Flare attack. Although Summons are not used in the first Final Fantasy Bahamut still appears and grants the Warriors of Light more powerful classes. In Final Fantasy VII Bahamut even has different forms such as Neo Bahamut and Bahamut ZERO.
Best Incarnation – Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII Bahamut Zero2. -Shiva-
The Ice Queen has appeared in almost all of the mainline Final Fantasy titles. Usually obtained early in the storyline, Shiva can be a powerful ally dealing Ice damage to your enemies. With Summons controllable during Final Fantasy X, Shiva is fast and has attacks that delay the enemy’s movements and she is very helpful in the initial fight against Seymour.
Best Incarnation – Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X Shiva3. -Alexander-
Originally appearing in Final Fantasy VI, Alexander is a giant castle-like robot that attacks with Holy based attacks such as Divine Judgement. During the events of Final Fantasy IX, the main antagonist Kuja summons Bahamut to destroy the Kingdom of Alexandria, but Garnet and Eiko counter it with Alexander. The two powerful Summons engage in a mighty battle with Alexander overpowering the Dragon King.
Best Incarnation – Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX Alexander4. -Anima-
Being an Aeon, Anima is a dream of the fayth, specifically the mother of Seymour in Final Fantasy X. It is one of the most powerful Summons in the game and must be obtained by finding all the hidden treasures in the Cloisters of Trials. Anima is dragged from the underworld to deal immense pain to your adversaries.
Best Incarnation – Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X Anima 25. -Phoenix-
The eternal fire bird, Phoenix deals Fire damage to enemies and can revive your knocked out party members. In Final Fantasy VI Locke attempts to revive his lover Rachel using the Esper. but only manages it momentarily. In Final Fantasy VII you can pair the Phoenix material with Final Attack to revive all of your party even after an attack that would normally lead to game over.
Best Incarnation – Final Fantasy VII
 Final Fantasy VII Phoenix Summon

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Top 5 RPG Series That Need A Comeback

Some RPG series have been dormant for many years now. During the Super Nintendo, PlayStation and PlayStation 2 eras these series were seen as some of the best and most innovative. A few of these series have seen some spin-off games or Japanese only titles recently, while others haven’t had a new release in over a decade. These are the Top 5 RPG series that need to make a comeback.
1. -Suikoden-
Starting life on the original PlayStation back in 1995, the Suikoden series is well known for it’s focus on political storylines, ability to recruit 108 characters and three different types of combat, including turn-based party battles, one-on-one duels and large scale strategy war battles. Suikoden II is probably the most critically acclaimed in the series, while the last mainline instalment was Suikoden V released in 2006. It would be amazing for Konami to release Suikoden VI and bring back the epic storylines and intense battles.
Suikoden II Battle
2. -Grandia-
Developed by Game Arts, the original Grandia is seen as a classic released on the Sega Saturn and PlayStation. Grandia featured one of the best turn-based battles systems ever made, that allowed your characters to counter or even interrupt enemy attacks. The rest of the series followed on with this great system, but despite an online entry recently the last mainline entry was Grandia III released on the PlayStation 2. I would love to see a Grandia revival capturing the sense of imagination, spirit and adventure of the first game.
Grandia Fun
3. -Wild ARMS-
Like a few of the series on this list, the first Wild ARMS game was released on the original PlayStation. Published by Sony, Wild ARMS was notable for having an “Old West” theme and characters that used firearms as weapons. While beginning with a traditional turn-based battles system, later entries changed up the formula to incorporate a Hex System allowing characters to move around a grid when fighting enemies. With 5 main games and a tactical RPG spin-off all releasing on past PlayStation systems now is the time to bring Wild ARMS 6 to the PlayStation 4.
Wild ARMS 5 Dean Rebecca
4. -Dark Cloud-
Level 5 has created some fantastic RPGs over the years, but their very first was Dark Cloud for the PlayStation 2 back in 2000. A sequel, Dark Chronicle was released a couple of years later improving on everything from the original featuring action RPG battles, city-building system mechanics and a magical cel-shaded art style. With the last game released over a decade ago, many fans have waited long enough for a 3rd Dark Cloud game.
Dark Chronicle Characters
5. -Breath of Fire-
The oldest series on the list, Capcom developed the first game for the Super Nintendo back in 1993. After a sequel on the SNES, the series moved to the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 and really hit it’s stride. The battle system is turn-based and the main protagonist of each game is named Ryu who can transform in different types of dragons. The last entry Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter was released in 2002 and brought some unique design elements to the series. Despite a sixth entry being announced in Japan for smartphones, RPG fans would rather a console game returning to the style of Breath of Fire IV.
Breath of Fire Battle

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Top 5 RPGs of 2013

There were some fantastic RPGs released in 2013. From stellar entries in long running series, to some fresh new experiences. The Nintendo 3DS had a great year and some of its best games are reflected in this list. Unfortunately there are a few quality RPGs I have yet to play so please leave some thoughts on your favourite RPGs of 2013 in comments.
1. – The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds –
A true triumph of game design, A Link Between Worlds manages to rekindle memories of one of the greatest games of all time while also reinventing the classic Zelda franchise. Focusing on straightforward design lets the gameplay really shine as the combat is fast and fluid and the dungeon puzzles are creative, imaginative and rewarding. The fresh elements include the item rental system and Link’s ability to turn into a painting and merge into walls. These seemingly simple mechanics completely change the way you play the game as the world is yours to explore very early on and not only do you have to think about puzzles from the top down view, but sometimes the answers can only be achieved by looking at them from a completely different perspective. The 3D effect also adds to the gameplay in a meaningful way. This is Nintendo at the top of their game.
Zelda ALBW Battle
2. – Bravely Default –
While the start of a new series, this game feels like the direction the classic Final Fantasy series could have taken in recent years and what a game it is. Bravely Default features beautiful hand-drawn backgrounds, an exciting and strategic new take on tradition turn-based combat, a robust customisable job system, fully explorable world map, charming and interesting characters, brilliant soundtrack, memorable villains and a story centered around crystals and saving the world. It perfectly combines the spirit, freedom and customisation from the SNES era Final Fantasy instalments with the presentation, atmosphere and character development of the PS1 era titles. If this sounds like the things you look for in an RPG, you need to play this game.
Bravely Default Ship
3. – Fire Emblem: Awakening –   
While Fire Emblem is a long running series, not all of its entries have been released in English or really gained any mainstream success, that is until this brilliant title. An in-depth strategy RPG at its core, Awakening also features the ability to create your own character, manage interactions and relationships between the enormous amount of party members, superb presentation, substantial addition content and an engaging story with great dialogue and character development. The experience and difficulty is adjustable making it approachable to new players, while also keeping its hardcore gameplay the series is known for. A game that will keep you coming back for a long time.
Fire Emblem Awakening Battle
4. – Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix –
A high definition update to a PS2 classic. While the original Kingdom Hearts is the gem of this collection it also includes the PS2 remake of Kingdom Hearts: Chains of Memories and cutscenes from the Nintendo DS spinoff Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. The first game in the series is still a fantastic action RPG expertly combining some of Disney’s greatest animated movies with popular Final Fantasy characters connecting it all with an entertaining original story, superb voice acting, fun real time combat system and a fantastic soundtrack. Whether you are playing this for the first time or reliving fond memories this is a great collection and will get you ready for 2.5 Remix coming in 2014.
Kingdom Hearts Sora Riku
5. – Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch –  
A combination from acclaimed RPG maker Level 5 and famed anime company Studio Ghibli, Ni No Kuni features some of the best visuals you will ever see in a video game. The art direction and animation will draw you into the magical world, but you will stay to explore the imaginative locations, quirky characters, intriguing story and unique battle system that combines real-time action with menu commands and monster collecting. A whimsical adventure that is both charming and inviting.
Ni No Kuni Forest

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Top 5 Boss Battles from Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII will be remembered for it’s great characters, atmosphere and narrative, but another aspect that really stands out is the memorable boss battles. All the way from the Guard Scorpion at the very beginning of the game to the final showdown in the Northern Cave you better be ready for action. Here are the Top 5 Boss Battles from Final Fantasy VII:

  1. – Rufus Shrina –

The opening hours of Final Fantasy VII is filled with more memorable moments than most games have in their entirety. You bomb two Mako Reactors, meet Aeris, dress in drag in the Wall Market to sneak into Don Corneo’s Mansion, narrowly escape the plate being dropped on Sector 7 and then infiltrate Shrina HQ to find the President murdered by what appears to be Sephiroth. This all leads up to an epic one-on-one showdown on the roof of Shrina HQ between Cloud and the President’s son Rufus. The introduction of Rufus, his speech and the fight all make up a fantastic experience. If you didn’t know much about RPGs you could have been mistaken into thinking this was nearing the end of the game, when in fact it had only just begun!

Final Fantasy VII Cloud Vs Rufus Battle

  1. – Jenova LIFE –

Final Fantasy VII has an unparalleled knack of building up tension and then throwing an epic boss battle at you when your emotions are high. There is no better example of this, than after working your way through the mysterious City of Ancients in search of Aeris, to then witness her sudden death at the hands of the heartless Sephiroth, to then be confronted with an intense battle against another form of Jenova. You hardly get a chance to catch your breath or comprehend what just happened when you are forced to fight for your lives. The emotional rollercoaster is complete when you realise the normal boss battle music when fighting Jenova is not playing, but rather the beautiful Aeris’ Theme instead, a spectacular design choice from the developers.

Final Fantasy Jenova LIFE

  1. – Sephiroth –

After battling your way through the Northern Cave and one last gathering of the party, it’s time to face the final challenge: defeat Sephiroth and release Holy to allow it to try and save the planet. Sephiroth’s first two forms are the real challenge and the angelic second form utilises the lengthy cinematic Super Nova attack that destroys entire planets just to try and stop you. The final battle is just Cloud and a human Sephiroth facing off as Cloud unleashes his ultimate attack, Omnislash to end Sephiroth once and for all. Even though the last battle is unlosable, it is every bit as satisfying as you can feel all of Cloud’s anger, sadness and resentment spill out as he finally settles the score after all those years.

Final Fantasy VII Cloud Omnislash

  1. – Ruby/ Emerald WEAPON –

Final Fantasy VII has a few optional boss battles, but none come close to the complexity of these two WEAPONs. While some of the other battles on this list are memorable because of the storyline that surrounds them, Ruby and Emerald WEAPON are here because of the challenge they present and the strategies needed to cover come them. Final Fantasy VII has a deep and rewarding combat and customisation system and you need to have a strong grasp of how to master it if you are to have any chance of being victorious in these battles. Both offer different tricks such as Ruby being able to permanently knock party members out of the fight or Emerald’s attack that hits harder depending on how many materia you have equipped on each character. The ultimate boss battles in Final Fantasy VII.

Final Fantasy VII Ruby Emerald WEAPON

  1. – Demons Gate –

Fought in the Temple of Ancients, this is a terrifying and difficult boss battle. It is likely the toughest battle at that stage of the game and will really challenge the player’s ability. The design is intimidating and there is a real sense of urgency to the fight as Demons Gate is fast and has some devastating attacks such as Demon Rush. It is a great accomplishment to see the end of this battle and it feels like the start of many more challenging bosses to come.

Final Fantasy VII Demons Gate

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Top 5 Moments from Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is remembered as one of the greatest RPGs of all time. Not only did it possess great game play, but some of the events are the most memorable of any game. From travelling through time on the Epoch, to playing games at the Millennial Fair, narrowing it down to just 5 is no easy task. These are my top 5 moments from Chrono Trigger:

1. -The Battle With Magus-

After discovering that Lavos will destroy the world in 1999 AD and believing Magus to be the reason, the party travels to the middle ages in 600 AD to confront the magical fiend. After scaling his terrifying castle and defeating his minions, you reach the top and begin to walk slowly towards what you think is the final battle. Erie flames light the path and at the end stands a menacing Magus. The battle is difficult, the theme music is epic and at the end you are thrown into another time gate into the distant past to find out Magus was not behind Lavos and your real journey has only just begun!

2. -Chrono’s Death and Revival-

When returning to the mystical Kingdom of Zeal to challenge the Queen, Lavos awakens and Magus, revealing his disguise, attempts to defeat it. Outmatched, Crono sacrifices himself and is killed by Lavos allowing the party to escape as Zeal is destroyed. Killing the main character was a major surprise to the player and he can be left dead for the rest of the game. Although later, the party acquire the “Chrono Trigger” from the guru of time and can use it to go back and save Crono’s life. The touching scene is then shown of Marle embracing Crono in front of an eclipse as Lucca bursts into tears.

3. -Frog Unleashes the Masamune-

After learning of Frog’s sad past with Magus killing his friend Cyrus and then cursing him by transforming him into a frog, the party power up the Masamune and attempt to open the way to Magus’ Castle. Frog accepts his fate as the true wielder of the Masamune and unlocks its full power. After turning it to the heavens, he then leaps at the mountain side cutting it in half, revealing the secret passage to Magus. The scene is even more epic with the heroic “Frog’s Theme” playing triumphantly in the background.

4. -Recruiting Magus, or Gaining Your Revenge-

Later in the game, after Zeal has fallen and Crono is thought dead, the party once again finds Magus on the top of North Cape. After viewing the flashbacks of Magus’ former life as the Prince of Zeal, he gives you the option of one last fight to the death. If Frog is in the party he will challenge Magus alone and if he succeeds, he will not only kill Magus for good, but also lift the curse, returning himself to human. The player also has the option to spare Magus’ life as Frog accepts that killing Magus will not bring back his dear friend Cyrus. Not only is the choice entirely up to the player, but if you refuse to battle Magus he will actually join you party as one of the most powerful characters in the game.

5. -The Trial-

In front of one of the most striking images of the game, depicting a beautiful stain glass window, Crono is put to trial for being accused of kidnapping Marle, the Princess of Guardia. As the evidence mounts, the game replays segments of the opening when you were free to roam around the Millennial Fair. Did you take the old man’s lunch? Did you try and grab Marle’s pendant and see how much it was worth to sell? Did you help find the little girls cat? These seemingly normal fun mini-games were actually being tracked by the game and the player’s decisions results in whether Crono is proven to be a thief or not. Of course the trail is rigged and you are sent to prison either way, but it is scenes like this that show the genius design of Chrono Trigger and why it is so fun to play!

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Top 5 Songs From Final Fantasy X

Final Fantasy X was the first main title to feature composers other than Nobuo Uematsu. This gave the soundtrack a more diverse sound and featured multilayered melodies. It was also the first Final Fantasy game with voice acting. These are my top 5 songs from Final Fantasy X:

1. -To Zanarkand-

This is a deeply beautiful and sad song. With only the use of piano, this melody transports you to another world and takes you through the emotions of despair, regret, loss and hope. One of Uematsu’s greatest compositions.

2. -Suteki Da Ne-

The main vocal piece of the soundtrack, sung in Japanese. It is a tragic, but heartfelt love song featuring a sweeping melody and nice vocals. I would also recommend listening to the English version translated for the Final Fantasy orchestral concerts.

3. -Main Battle Theme –

The main battle theme of Final Fantasy X is very different to others in the series. It is more upbeat and rhythmical. It matches Tidus jumping back and forth getting ready for action. While the melody starts off calm and collected, it still includes enough energy to fit the harder battles.

4. -Silence Before The Storm-

An eerie and mysterious song, like you have just wandered into an enchanted forest. The melody is both comforting and intriguing. The composition features a wonderful chord progression that really makes the song stand out.

5. -Otherworld-

Something completely new to the series, the distorted guitar and grinding vocals came as a surprise to long time players, but the heavy metal sound was the perfect background for the final battle against Jecht as Braska’s Final Aeon.

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