What is the most popular Final Fantasy game? What is the least liked Final Fantasy game? Yesterday, a story went up on the main page about Final Fantasy XIV. As always it was inevitable that some would start discussing Final Fantasy XIII.† ďItís great!Ē ďIt sucks!Ē You know the drill. I chimed in with my stance which was basically ďEven if you like it, you canít deny that itís the least liked game in the main seriesĒ. Pretty soon I got replies like ďThatís just a very vocal minority of haters.Ē
And thatís just the thing. Is it really that simple? Iíve wondered about that before. So for the past few weeks/months Iíve combed through different comment sections and forums where people have made their own rankings of what games in the series they think are the best, and what games they think are the worst. I put them all in a handy little Excel file (I have a boner for stats and rankings and such btw). In total, Iíve basically polled over 200 people, and here are the results:
Just a few notes first: I only included rankings of people who had played and listed the majority of the games, at least 8 of them. Only games in the main series are in the results since that was what people mostly listed (it's worth mentioning that a fair number of people did put Final Fantasy Tactics as their favorite). No MMOs. Why? Again, not that many people listed them, and the gameplay is pretty different. We could've discussed whether or not the MMOs should have been included until the cow comes home, but let's just leave it for now. Also, I decided to include 2nd places to give a little more variety and perspective, and give the games that almost got 1st place but just didnít quite make it some glory. If you wonder about what sites I've gotten these lists from, just google something like Final Fantasy ranking and set results for the last three years. Thatís basically it, not much more complicated than that.
Now you can interpret these results as you will, but let me give you my conclusion.
VI, VII and IX, in that order, are the most popular. Highest amount of 1st and 2nd places, lowest amount of last places.
IV and V. Not that many 1st places, but not many last places either. These games usually ended up in the middle of people's lists, although IV ended up getting a lot of 2nd places.
X, VIII and XII, in that order, are the controversial ones. A fair amount of 1st and 2nd places, but also a fair amount of last places.
The NES games all received very few 1st and 2nd places, and lots of last places, especially II which didnít get any 1st and 2nd places, and the second highest amount of last places.
And then thereís XIII. Few 1st and 2nd places, most last places.
And there you have it. It's not the most accurate polling in the world, but I do think itís the best some random dude on the Internet can hope to achieve, and it gives a clear indication of what the most and least popular FF games are.
So let me talk a little about XIII. I didnít go out of my way to find sites and communities who donít like it. All the people where just random gamers who listed their favorite to least favorite FF games. They were just as likely to put XIII on top of their lists as to put it on the bottom.
Personally I canít stand XIII, I will admit that, but Iím not saying that itís wrong to like it. Definitely not. The game has a Metacritic rating of 83 on PS3 and 82 on 360. It has sold over 6 million copies. But if you were to judge its popularity among the rest of the main series, it doesnít exactly rank that high, to put it lightly.
And now, I invite you to rank the games in the comment section, whether youíve played just a few entries or all of them. Just remember to keep it civil and polite. I'll go first. And please include spin-offs if you want to.
Hopefully this isnít going to get buried in the current spam-alanche.
I donít know how it is for people in North America, but in Europe you can change your region on your 3DS. Doing that will change the currency used in the eShop. So hereís the kicker: Depending on exchange rates, you can actually save some money doing this.
Usually not a huge amount, but some. And you can actually save a significant amount if you pick up the recently discounted Ocarina of Time (offer ends tomorrow by the way). Not all countries can save money by doing this, as it seems the prizes in pounds are the cheapest. Sorry, all you Brits. Iíll be using the exchange rates from xe.com, which seem pretty reliable. They are usually only 0.02 points lower than what my personal bank uses. And like I said, I donít know how it is for the North American 3DS. Maybe US prices are cheaper than Canadian prices. I donít have access to one, so I donít really know. Also, I don't know if you can do this on Wii U too.
Before I show of the fruits of my investigation, note that previously added funds you have stored in the eShop are not transferrable. Meaning that if you have 20 Euros, you will have zero pounds if you change your region the UK. And if your bank charges you a large fee for buying something in a foreign currency, or has really stupid exchange rates, it might not be worth it.
Now to the results. I havenít done all the eShop games, but a small selection of both first party titles and third party, full retail games, download-only and Virtual Console, which I think is a good representation of eShop prices. Take a look!
First the big one: Ocarina of Time for £19.99, which translates to Ä22.88. Now look at the eShop price for OoT in Euros. Ä 29.99! This means if you live in a country that uses Euros, you can save 7 Euros if you buy from the UK eShop. Maybe that doesnít sound like much, but take a look at what you can get for that amount in the eShop. Mighty Switch Force, Hana Samurai, Pullblox, Link's Awakening all cost less than 7 euros. So if you buy OoT from the UK eShop, the money you save is worth an entire downloadable-only game. Thatís a nice deal, isnít it? Two games for the price of one.
Itís quite strange really. For some reason, Nintendo decided to cut the price for OoT in the UK by 50 % but for other regions the discount is closer to 20-30 %. If youíre from New Zealand you can save 23 NZD. That amount gets you Dillonís Rolling Western or Mutant Mudds + maybe a Virtual Console game. If youíre from Sweden, you can save 87 Swedish kronar (kronas?), which nets you Crimson Shroud. And so on. I havenít compared all the prices, but thereís money to be saved here if youíre willing to put a little effort into it.
As for the rest of the eShop prices, they donít differ that much. On the smaller titles the difference isnít that significant, but you can still save some cash on the more expensive titles. Australians can save 10 kangaroo bucks on full priced first party retail stuff like Super Mario 3D Land if they use the UK eShop. Euro-countries can save 5 Euros on Sonic Racing in the UK eShop. Scandinavians can save 70-80 Skyrim dollars on Zero Escape by using the UK eShop. People in Poland and Switzerland can also save something on Zero Escape in the UK eShop And so on. You just have to be willing to look yourself, because my brain canít handle any more currency fiddling.
Thereís not much to gain for people in Russia, Poland and Switzerland. My general impression is that New Zealanders, Australians and Scandinavians are the ones who can benefit the most from changing regions, but, depending on the title, you can usually save a little even if youíre just from mainland Europe. Regardless, the main thing to look out for in the future are these special deals like OoT. Hopefully we will get more of them.
On Thursdays the 3DS's eShop gets updated. So naturally, I turned on my 3DS today and opened the eShop to check out what's new.
But not only that! I had heard that us here in Europe would get a demo for Dead or Alive Dimensions (I don't know if US will get it today too). I pressed the Demo-button in the menu, but couldn't find any new demos. I checked the News-section, and saw no mention of it. So I checked several sites and all of them, even Nintendo's UK-site, mention it. Then I remembered something. The game was never released where I live.
Dead or Alive Dimensions was not released in the Scandinavian countries.
So I tried changing my regions to the UK in the settings and lo and behold, there was the demo. Even the News-section was now mentioning it. Dead or Alive Dimensions Demo.
And I had no problems downloading or playing it. So Nintendo actually went out of their way to try to prevent access to a demo. As if they wanted to say that the rest of Europe is allowed to download and play it, but not us.
Now, we are all annoyed when a game is released in one region but not another. There was a time when it looked like the US wouldn't receive Xenoblade or The Last Story, and I have several times expressed my annoyance that Sakura Samurai has not been released in Europe and there has been no mention of it on release schedules. Just to mention a few recent examples. But a company intentionally going out of their way to hold back simple demo from a few countries within a region? Seriously?
Idiocy, in my opinion. Simple as that.
So this is not only a heads-up to other Dtoiders from Scandinavia with a 3DS if they want to try the demo and how to get around the restrictions, but to everybody to still be aware that sometimes companies will try to pull the wool over your eyes.
So, if you will excuse me, I'm now going to ogle Hitomi in all her 3D-glory. Because as a European, that is my right.