The PlayStation console saw the release of three main Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy VII (1997) moved away from the two-dimensional (2D) graphics used in the first six games to three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics; the game features polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. It also introduced a more modern setting, a style that was carried over to the next game. It was also the second in the series to be released in Europe, with the first being Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Final Fantasy VIII was published in 1999, and was the first to consistently use realistically proportioned characters and feature a vocal piece as its theme music. Final Fantasy IX, released in 2000, returned to the series' roots by revisiting a more traditional Final Fantasy setting rather than the more modern worlds of VII and VIII.
The series' popularity has resulted in its appearance and reference in numerous facets of popular culture like anime, TV series, and webcomics. Music from the series has permeated into different areas of culture. Final Fantasy IV's "Theme of Love" was integrated into the curriculum of Japanese school children and has been performed live by orchestras and metal bands. In 2003, Uematsu co-founded The Black Mages, a instrumental rock group independent of Square that has released albums of arranged Final Fantasy tunes. Bronze medalists Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova performed their synchronized swimming routine at the 2004 Summer Olympics to music from Final Fantasy VIII. Many of the soundtracks have also been released for sale. Numerous companion books, which normally provide in-depth game information, have been published. In Japan, they are published by Square and are called Ultimania books.
Several games within the series have become best-selling games. At the end of 2007, the seventh, eighth, and ninth best-selling RPGs were Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Final Fantasy X respectively. Final Fantasy VII has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide, earning it the position of the best-selling Final Fantasy game. Within two days of Final Fantasy VIII's North American release on September 9, 1999, it became the top-selling video game in the United States, a position it held for more than three weeks. Final Fantasy X sold over 1.4 million Japanese units in pre-orders alone, which set a record for the fastest-selling console RPG. The MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI, reached over 200,000 active daily players in March 2006 and had reached over half a million subscribers by July 2007. Final Fantasy XII sold more than 1.7 million copies in its first week in Japan. By November 6, 2006—one week after its release—Final Fantasy XII had shipped approximately 1.5 million copies in North America. Final Fantasy XIII became the fastest-selling game in the franchise, and sold one million units on its first day of sale in Japan. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, in comparison to its predecessor, was a runaway success, originally suffering from servers being overcrowded, and eventually gaining over one million unique subscribers within two months of its launch.
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This product is supplied by Ultra Tokyo Connection for orders within the US and in some cases Canada. Supplies from Ultra Tokyo Connection will not have the Japanese licensor sticker as it is part of the manufacturer's North American supply only and not for sale within Japan, but will include proof of distribution by Ultra Tokyo Connection, a subsidiary of Good Smile Company, on the box.
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More experienced gamers (who have been in the hobby at least two or three years) already have a rucksack of game plays to draw from when picking out new games. However, if an enterprising game group pools their money for a monthly delivery and finds a way to share the spoils, Board Game Bento is also beneficial because the games will stay in the group for multiple people to share.
The series features a number of recurring character archetypes. Most famously, every game since Final Fantasy II, including subsequent remakes of the original Final Fantasy, features a character named Cid. Cid's appearance, personality, goals, and role in the game (non-playable ally, party member, villain) vary dramatically. However, two characteristics many versions of Cid have in common are 1) being a scientist or engineer, and 2) being tied in some way to an airship the party eventually acquires. Every Cid has at least one of these two traits.
Lastly is the much-honored Spyfall, which currently has a lot of buzz among the board game enthusiasts that subscribed to this box, as it was nominated for two Golden Geek awards, won the 2014 Best Party Game from the Dice Tower Gaming Awards, received a Major Fun! Award, and recently took a honorable mention in the announcement of this year’s Spiel des Jahres nominees.
Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.
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 a month-to-month 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 this box is pricier than the comic book version (and many other monthly subscription boxes), which obviously means you’re taking more of a risk.
Planet Surprise by Notre Game is a scratch and play, disposable game, much like scratch-off lottery tickets. I love playing scratch-off tickets, so I was intrigued, however, this one fell flat for me. Gianna and I tried this one and we both felt the same - it’s an interesting concept, but we didn’t feel it had any strategy involved or any real benefit to playing it against other people.