Character growth determines how player characters learn new abilities and boost their stats. Unlike battle systems, character growth systems are less consistent throughout the series, and players must internalize the systems to make the correct decisions. The only consistent character growth mechanic used in the series has been the level based system where characters raise their level through experience points earned in battle to improve stats and sometimes learn new abilities. Even this system has been excluded from some games, such as in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII, where only ability points are accumulated from battles that can be expended for both better stats and new skills.
For the first few installments a key plot point was the Crystals. Each world would feature four, each representing the four elements, and without them the world would deteriorate. The antagonists often begin by destroying or stealing these Crystals for power, and the party would fail to prevent them and be forced to foil their grander scheme later. This plot was abandoned in Final Fantasy VI, and while the games would still feature Crystals, they often did not have the same importance.
As Sheik, the character is completely different. Sheik is not only extremely fast, but also easy to control, making her a very popular character both in casual circles and in the tournament scene. Her close range attacks are possibly the fastest and most easily chainable of any character, with her martial arts training allowing fluid and swift ninja-like attacks. Sheik is at her best when using her speed and high-momentum attacks for an evasion-based "hit-and-run" offense. Her needle throwing attack is extremely flexible, and can be used to start combos or keep the enemy at bay. Her chain whip, while situational, is an excellent way to sabotage an opponent's strategy by interrupting their movements. Her Deku Nut-concealed vanish move is shorter than Farore's Wind but leaves Sheik much less open to attack, and is easier to use as an attack as well.
Mega Man Battle Network, a series primarily on the Game Boy Advance, began in 2001 as a way for the Mega Man games to branch out into the role-playing video game market and to celebrate MegaMan's 15th anniversary. This series features a Net Navi called MegaMan.EXE. Net Navis act as virtual assistants to Operators, such as the protagonist Lan, an elementary school student and future hero who uses his Net Navi to help battle computer viruses and other Internet-based threats. The game combines elements from collectible card games to create a unique fast-paced battle system. An anime series, MegaMan NT Warrior, was also produced, ending with 209 episodes and a 50-minute film adaptation. Mega Man Network Transmission, the only entry in the series released on a home console rather than a handheld, takes place chronologically between the first two Battle Network games, although it was released between the third and fourth. It is also different from other games in the Battle Network universe in that its game play reminds strongly of the Classic series.
Taking place in Cologne, Germany, on September 23, 2010, the video game music concert Symphonic Legends focused on music from Nintendo and, among others, featured games such as The Legend of Zelda. Following an intermission, the second half of the concert was entirely dedicated to an expansive symphonic poem dedicated to the series. The 35-minute epic tells the story of Link's evolution from child to hero.
Several individual Final Fantasy games have garnered extra attention; some for their positive reception and others for their negative reception. Final Fantasy VII topped GamePro's "26 Best RPGs of All Time" list, as well as GameFAQs "Best Game Ever" audience polls in 2004 and 2005. Despite the success of Final Fantasy VII, it is sometimes criticized as being overrated. In 2003, GameSpy listed it as the seventh most overrated game of all time, while IGN presented views from both sides. Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII shipped 392,000 units in its first week of release, but received review scores that were much lower than that of other Final Fantasy games. A delayed, negative review after the Japanese release of Dirge of Cerberus from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu hinted at a controversy between the magazine and Square Enix. Though Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was praised for its visuals, the plot was criticized and the film was considered a box office bomb. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the GameCube received overall positive review scores, but reviews stated that the use of Game Boy Advances as controllers was a big detractor. The predominantly negative reception of the original version of Final Fantasy XIV caused then-president Yoichi Wada to issue an official apology during a Tokyo press conference, stating that the brand had been "greatly damaged" by the game's reception.
While the Speed Gear initially seems like the more useful half of Mega Man’s new abilities, the Power Gear becomes more instrumental as you defeat more Robot Masters and acquire their special abilities. The Power Gear modifies each ability in fun and additive ways. For example, upon defeating the ice-skating robot Tundra Man, Mega Man will gain the ability to unleash a sub-zero blizzard that creates an icy column of destruction. Flip on the Power Gear, and that blizzard becomes a screen-clearing wintry blast.
Magic is handled pretty terribly. It essentially functions as an elemental grenade that also damages you and your teammates that get caught in the blast, and unfortunately, your teammates' AI will absolutely run into a raging inferno and start screaming (sorry, Prompto). It wouldn't be quite so bad, I think, if the effects didn't linger in a wide area for at least 10 seconds afterwards, during which, again, your teammates will run into it and flail for however long it lasts. (Yes I know you can Regroup with Ignis to somewhat avoid this, but the fact that there's a workaround does not make it a good feature.)
The Legends series concluded with only two main games and a spin-off starring mainstay antagonist Tron Bonne before being discontinued. Unlike Battle Network and Zero, the final game in the series does not resolve the storyline. A continuation to the Legends series has become an oft-requested game among many Capcom and Mega Man fans. A third game was once under development for the Nintendo 3DS, but on July 17, 2011, Capcom cancelled the project saying it did not meet certain requirements. This decision was met with criticism from fans and gaming news outlets.