Sunday, January 8, 2012

The 90s and guitars; Ad #4

Hello readers, this is the Onion Knight and I'm back with another commercial. As we step out of the era of the 8-bit years, new paths are ventured into the world of 16-bit: the Super Nintendo, and its Japanese counterpart, the Super Famicom. I've got an exciting commercial to analyze today as we look at the first Final Fantasy on the Super Nintendo, the 'radness of the 90s' and that early American video game commercials can be just as silly when compared to Japanese ads.

 So let's get down to the grit. As with every other commercial, does this advertisement represent the game well? Woah, first and foremost, before we do begin our analysis, I should remind you readers out there that while the game in the commercial is titled "Final Fantasy II", it is actually Final Fantasy IV. Let me explain that statement. After the success of the first Final Fantasy in North America, Square wanted to release more of their games. By the time Final Fantasy was released, however, the next two installments in the series were already released in Japan, and FF IV was already on the way. Since RPGs were very much a niche genre in North America, Square decided it would be wise to skip on porting FF II and III to their American friends, and instead ported FF IV next. Final Fantasy was the only one brought over, thus Final Fantasy IV was re-named Final Fantasy II in North America.

 So, back with the analysis. To answer the question, we'll have to look at several aspects of the commercial, and let's keep in mind the time period Final Fantasy II was released, (man, I'm old).

 A teenage boy is shown playing Final Fantasy II on his Super Nintendo, (why does it look he has a lunch table in his bedroom?), and his father is outside the bedroom window trying to beckon his son to go outside, (probably to rake leaves). Instead of doing what a son should be doing, he ignores his parent and continues to play the game for what seems to be several months without stopping, (apparently FFII was the World of Warcraft in the early 90s). To quote a YouTube commenter, "...[he] makes it look cool to piss his life away".

The SNES box for Final Fantasy II.
 Since we've hit our first American commercial, I'd like to comment on the setting of the ad. Ignoring the lunch table, the commercial has a strong influence of typical 90s attributes. Remember how dinosaurs were the thing for kids back then? No? (I'M SO OLD). Well, just stop the commercial to pinpoint all the things in the room, and suck in that nostalgia if you can. We've also got colors that were quite characteristic of the time, such as the intense pink, or 'radical', colors. Even the sky is a really intense plethora of brightness. Does this family live in some alternate dimension?

From what I've seen, I think the advertisement does an alright job of representing the game. It's a little short on the Final Fantasy eeriness that was displayed in some Japanese commercials. I mean, it's just some kid playing Final Fantasy in his bedroom. That's not an adventure! An adventure in the world of Final Fantasy is flying on airships and riding chocobos and saving the world from monsters hell-bent on the destruction of the planet.

 All in all, I do like this commercial but just for its ridiculousness. The kid 'pissing' his life away, his creeper Dad who, after some tragic accident, can only speak in guitar whines, and the fact it took the kid somewhere between 4-8 months to beat a 25 hour video game. If I were to rate this one, I think I'd give it a 5.5/10 - a barely passable commercial.

This is the Onion Knight signing off. Have a good day!

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