Review by BlAcK TuRtLe
"Great game, decent (but not great) port"
Final Fantasy 6 (3 to all us old-school westerner folk) has always been my favourite in the Final Fantasy series, and was in fact the game that got me into the genre. Imagine my joy when I first heard the Game Boy Advance would be receiving updated ports of the 3 SNES era Final Fantasies. After actually playing 6 Advance, I now realize that this port is a mixed bag containing both good additions and bad ones.
The core elements of the original's battle system are intact, with a few rather big bug fixes. The first of which, and probably one of the more notable/widely known bugs that are now fixed, is the infamous Vanish/Doom bug. This glitch allowed the player to fell most bosses and enemies by simply casting Vanish, then Doom (now Death) or X-Zone (now Banish). The second major bugfix relates to the evasion stat, which in the original and Play Station port, did nothing, is now fixed. Before, the evasion stat was ignored, and evasion was based on magic evasion. This fix also means that the "darkness" status effect now works, and the Goggles no longer do nothing. Aside from this there are several other minor changes that help clean up one of the biggest glitch-ridden games on the SNES.
Likewise, the core elements of the story remain the same, with a few minor changes due to the new translation. I've always been a big fan of the story told in this game and am happy to see that the main points are unchanged. Fans of a certain psychotic villain will be pleased to hear that many of his "Kefka-isms" still remain from the original Ted Woolsey translation.
Final Fantasy 6 easily had the best sound and music of the 3 SNES Final Fantasies, but the porting of the game to the Game Boy Advance leaves a lot to be desired. The GBA really doesn't have the hardware to recreate the original effects that pushed the limits of the Super Nintendo. I find that playing the game with headphones on makes the music and SFX slightly truer to the original, but the point is that the overall sound suffers from the hardware limitations of the GBA.
Thankfully, the game's graphics had a much smoother transition across platforms. In many ways, the graphics appear better in this version than the previous 2. Character portraits within dialogue boxes help to a text-heavy game a little bit more to life. New enemies and Espers also look good and have a seamless inclusion with the rest of the game's graphics.
Like the previous GBA ports of Final Fantasies, this game offers a plethora of post-game extras, including a new dungeon, 4 new Espers, a "boss-rush" mode and a variety of new items and weapons. As far as the translation goes, purists may be offended by some of the changes, but should feel relieved to hear that most of the main characters' names remain the same as the original English translation. The only character who's name changes is Vicks in the original, who's been given the more appropriate, and actual intended name Biggs (after Biggs Darklighter, who along with Wedge Antilles were Luke Skywalker's wingmen in the original Star Wars). Most spells were renamed to mesh better with the rest of the series. Same goes for minor enemies. And what seems to be a prime concern among people asking about this game, both Ultros and Kefka retain most of their goofy lines and are definitely the same characters we grew to love (or hate) with the original version.
Final Fantasy 6 Advance as a game is amazing, but as a port of a great game, it has both positive and negative qualities. Whether you're an old school gamer, or a newcomer to the world of Final Fantasy, I strongly suggest buying this port, mainly to experience a great game with a few new extras.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 02/09/07
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