Ok, you all know how much I love board games, and you know that I’m a sucker for subscription boxes, right? Well, Board Game Bento combines both of these loves. Each box includes $80+ worth of games, expansions, and accessories, and they arrive in the mail each month. It’s like a regular built-in game night delivered right to your door! And they’ve got something special happening for the May box…
Despite having 25% off my subscription, once the cost of shipping and the USD to CAD exchange were applied, I was still paying about $75 Canadian. Add another 25% to the cost and that is a hefty price tag for some mystery games. It might be more worthwhile if you were purchasing and shipping within the US but I'm not about to recommend it for my Canadian readers.
The Final Fantasy series and several specific games within it have been credited for introducing and popularizing many concepts that are today widely used in console RPGs. The original game is often cited as one of the most influential early console RPGs, and played a major role in legitimizing and popularizing the genre. Many console RPGs featured one-on-one battles against monsters from a first-person perspective. Final Fantasy introduced a side view perspective with groups of monsters against a group of characters that has been frequently used. It also introduced an early evolving class change system, as well as different methods of transportation, including a ship, canoe, and flying airship. Final Fantasy II was the first sequel in the industry to omit characters and locations from the previous game. It also introduced an activity-based progression system, which has been used in later RPG series such as SaGa, Grandia, and The Elder Scrolls. Final Fantasy III introduced the job system, a character progression engine allowing the player to change character classes, as well as acquire new and advanced classes and combine class abilities, at any time during the game. Final Fantasy IV is considered a milestone for the genre, introducing a dramatic storyline with a strong emphasis on character development and personal relationships. Final Fantasy VII is credited as having the largest industry impact of the series, and with allowing console role-playing games to gain mass-market appeal.
The Final Fantasy games feature a variety of music, and frequently reuse themes. Most of the games open with a piece called "Prelude", which has evolved from a simple, 2-voice arpeggio in the early games to a complex, melodic arrangement in recent installments. Victories in combat are often accompanied by a victory fanfare, a theme that has become one of the most recognized pieces of music in the series. The basic theme that accompanies Chocobo appearances has been rearranged in a different musical style for each installment. A piece called "Prologue" (and sometimes "Final Fantasy"), originally featured in the first game, is often played during the ending credits. Although leitmotifs are common in the more character-driven installments, theme music is typically reserved for main characters and recurring plot elements.
Funky Truck turns off-road driving into an arcade sport. This single-player racing game features delightfully cartoonish graphics and over-the-top physics. Players can bounce, flip, and even fly in their monster trucks. With limited time on the clock, driving at high speeds is a necessity. Funky Truck’s creatively designed levels are filled with towering hills, frightening valleys, and ramps galore. Guts, glory, and a passion for thrills are all it takes to win.
Magic is another common RPG element in the series. The method by which characters gain magic varies between installments, but is generally divided into classes organized by color: "White magic", which focuses on spells that assist teammates; "Black magic", which focuses on harming enemies; "Red magic", which is a combination of white and black magic, "Blue magic", which mimics enemy attacks; and "Green magic" which focuses on applying status effects to either allies or enemies. Other types of magic frequently appear such as "Time magic", focusing on the themes of time, space, and gravity; and "Summoning magic", which evokes legendary creatures to aid in battle and is a feature that has persisted since Final Fantasy III. Summoned creatures are often referred to by names like "Espers" or "Eidolons" and have been inspired by mythologies from Arabic, Hindu, Norse, and Greek cultures.