Board Game Bento, today’s sponsor, has a different theme each month, and they guarantee at least $80 worth of games and accessories in each box. A monthly subscription (with no commitment and the ability to cancel anytime) will set you back $50 + s/h. Committing to a six-month subscription reduces that price a bit. So it’s pricier than the comic book version (and many other monthly subscription boxes), which obviously means you’re taking more of a risk.
For the original Final Fantasy, Sakaguchi required a larger production team than Square's previous games. He began crafting the game's story while experimenting with gameplay ideas. Once the gameplay system and game world size were established, Sakaguchi integrated his story ideas into the available resources. A different approach has been taken for subsequent games; the story is completed first and the game built around it. Designers have never been restricted by consistency, though most feel each game should have a minimum number of common elements. The development teams strive to create completely new worlds for each game, and avoid making new games too similar to previous ones. Game locations are conceptualized early in development and design details like building parts are fleshed out as a base for entire structures.
Final Fantasy has spawned numerous spin-offs and metaseries. Several are, in fact, not Final Fantasy games, but were rebranded for North American release. Examples include the SaGa series, rebranded The Final Fantasy Legend, and its two sequels, Final Fantasy Legend II and Final Fantasy Legend III. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was specifically developed for a United States audience, and Final Fantasy Tactics is a tactical RPG that features many references and themes found in the series. The spin-off Chocobo series, Crystal Chronicles series, and Kingdom Hearts series also include multiple Final Fantasy elements. In 2003, the Final Fantasy series' first direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, was released. Final Fantasy XIII was originally intended to stand on its own, but the team wanted to explore the world, characters and mythos more, resulting in the development and release of two sequels in 2011 and 2013 respectively, creating the series' first official trilogy. Dissidia Final Fantasy was released in 2009, a fighting game that features heroes and villains from the first ten games of the main series. It was followed by a prequel in 2011. Other spin-offs have taken the form of subseries—Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Ivalice Alliance, and Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy.
I originally wasn't going to subscribe for this one as the theme didn't really interest me, but a discount offer, the mention that this box would have over $100 worth of games, and the hint that one of the games was a Spiel des Jahres nominee got me to give in. Based on the month's theme, I thought the SdJ nominee would've been Codenames or less likely, T.I.M.E. Stories. Alas, the "nominee" was Spyfall. Overall, I'm not very excited about this box as I don't play these types of games, though Salem looks interesting.