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Hand Helds Dominate 2008's Final Fantasy Line-Up

Hand Helds Dominate 2008's Final Fantasy Line-Up

Written by Darryl — 27 Dec 2008

As Square Enix has grown to become more dependant on its successful franchises, more and more Final Fantasy games have come to the fore-front and 2008 was no exception. This year we saw some big releases on the handhelds, as well as some successful remakes.

The year kicked off with a major release, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. It hit American shores on the 25th of March and then found its way over to Europe on the 20th of June. Although it was released in 2007 in Japan, it didn't lag at all with sales and Crisis Core quickly became one of the biggest selling PSP titles of all time in all regions. It also helped restore some of Final Fantasy VII's reputation, as the other spin-offs were less than well received, but Crisis Core was received well and ended up being a solid product.

Japan also saw Dissidia: Final Fantasy released on the 18th of December. Being a game designed to celebrate 20 years of Final Fantasy, Dissidia had high expectations, especially since it was a fighting game, and not a typical RPG. However, journalists praised it continuously and throughout the year, various characters were announced to build the hype. It launched and sold over 500,000 units in its first week. It is scheduled to be released "mid 2009" in North America, and there is no date at all for Europe yet.

The Nintendo DS also had a strong showing, with a remake of Final Fantasy IV leading the way. As with Final Fantasy III on the DS, Final Fantasy IV was completely remade with 3D sprites. This made it a must-have purchase for fans of the game and it sold very well when it was released on the 21st of June in North America.

Other games released on the DS were Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, both of which were original titles. Ring of Fates landed in March, while Final Fantasy Tactics A2 was released in June and they both had relatively good sales. Europe also saw the release of Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.

Although this was an extremely strong year for the handhelds, some titles were also released on the Nintendo Wii. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King was released on Nintendo's WiiWare and Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon was also released in North America in July; followed by a release in November in Europe.

If you own either a Nintendo DS or a Sony PSP, 2008 was certainly a good year. If you don't own either of them, you can be forgiven for thinking that no Final Fantasy titles even came out. Rest assured though, next year the main consoles will start to flex their muscles.

Darryl was playing Final Fantasy before he was even born - quite a feat! Often very opinionated on the Final Fantasy franchise, you will often find him musing about small details. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.