Welcome to another edition of the Gaming Bus Live Stream. Last week, as requested by editor M. Ngai, we went back to my past, and played the Japanese-exclusive Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi. As someone who is still, inexplicably, considered a “big name” fan in a fandom I effectively left three years ago, this was a big deal. Unfortunately, I seem to have left my skills, and my memory of the stage layouts, in the fandom when I left it. The last stage I did was particularly traumatic, as I lost, at my count, three separate units. It was, to put it succinctly, a clusterfuck.
This week, Staff Month continues with Brandon Mietzner’s selection: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Here’s a protip, for those of you too young to remember an era before Final Fantasy VII: when a Japanese company that focuses on Japanese games releases a “USA” version of their #1 franchise, chances are good it’s going to be so simple, a child could beat it with minimal effort. This is apropos, since that’s about what Japan thought of both Western-developed games and Western gamers. If we’d have known any better in 1991, we’d have been insulted. However, I think this game gets a bum rap. While it was very easy, it was at least enjoyable, and fun for what it was. In fact, I would wager that if this very same game was released in 2011 as an indie game, without the Final Fantasy name, it would garner a lot of credibility as a very solid game.
Of course, we have pretty much gotten our revenge since those dark days. In 2011, Capcom and Square-Enix are specifically targeting the Western audience, while Japan is pretty much stuck with otaku bait for games. USA!! USA!! USA!!!