Greetings, readers! Up-to-date Lusifans will recall that in last week’s TSM, our
dictator benevolent leader talked about his experiences with revisiting Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and how significantly his opinion of the game has changed. This, in turn, got me thinking about some of the games I have revisited and how my opinions have changed, and generally for the better. So, without further ado, I would like to talk about a few of these games.
Perhaps the most significant experience I had revisiting a game was Final Fantasy X. As a kid, I hated FFX, and my opinion of the game stayed soured until early 2010, when I finally gave the game another try during my quest to play every main numbered Final Fantasy. On my replay, I absolutely loved the game, and eventually went out of my way to complete the game and all its sidequests, even the horrible butterfly minigame. My overall opinion on FFX has since become more moderate; it is still an excellent game but by no means the best in the series. I do have a number of issues with the story, especially its pacing, but the battle system is not really like any other Final Fantasy and I may be the only person on Earth who actually liked the Sphere Grid as a means of character progression. The complete turnaround of my opinion on Final Fantasy X has easily been the most surprising change in my gaming tastes; I fully expected to have difficulty even seeing the game through to the end, much less doing the incredibly long monster arena sidequest.
This brings me now to another game in the series, Final Fantasy IX. Those readers who are somehow not aware of my initial position on FFIX should know that it was always my least favorite of the PS1-era FF games for reasons that I have never really been able to pin down. I have been replaying the game recently, and found what I always suspected about FFIX – I like the game far more now than I did a few years ago when I first played it. Now that I finally have a bit of nostalgia built up for the non-FFVII games in the series and a heightened appreciation for character-driven storylines, I am finding FFIX to be significantly more enjoyable. My complaints about the game (namely its incredibly slow battle system) have not changed, and I still am torn on my overall opinion of the game, but I can certainly admit that regardless of my own personal opinion, Final Fantasy IX is an extremely well-made game. In particular, the pacing is good; unlike the other two PS1 games, the events of FFIX flow cohesively and the plot remains interesting throughout. Hopefully, by the time I finish this playthrough of FFIX, I will be able to finally figure out whether or not I like the game overall.
These two cases are probably the most extreme changes of opinion I have had playing games, though there are several games where my feelings are moderately different. I have gone from neutral to generally positive about the first Mario and Luigi game, for example, and my opinion of Final Fantasy VIII was lower after a replay. And while my opinion of the games are still high, I definitely noticed aspects of the second generation Pokemon games that I did not notice when I was playing the games for the first time at nine years old. The hardware limitations of the GBC cart were definitely felt in the Kanto sections of GSC, but my feelings about the second generation of Pokemon have not really changed much as a result. The only real significant lowering of my opinion on a game was Magi-Nation; while I like the Pokemon-esque battles, the dungeon design is absolutely terrible and the terrible GBC sound chip did not do good things for that game’s soundtrack.
Strangely, my opinion of games rarely seems to go down after replays. Instead, I find myself more forgiving of many games than I once was. I worry sometimes that my opinions get boosted too highly by my nostalgia, but I have recently decided that my reasons for liking something are irrelevant so long as I enjoy whatever it is I have chosen to experience. Still, I do find it odd that I rarely like a game less after replaying it; once I decide I like a game I apparently do not stop liking it except for a few cases. What about you, readers? Has replaying a game ever changed how you felt about it? Comment and discuss, readers!