Review by ShadowLocke97
I remember watching my brother play this magnificent game waaaaaay back in 1995, a year after the game's release. Even though I never saw him get far, I was in love with the game - the characters, the towns, the MUSIC, everything. So, I recently decided to play the game myself, and seeing as I have just beat it, it is ample time for a review.
Storyline - 10/10
It is a thousand years after the war of the Magi, which scorched the land and made magic cease to exist. Gunpowder, iron, and steam engines have been rediscovered, and technology reigns. But the Empire would like to enslave the world - by reviving and using magic, which could possibly destroy the world. As the game puts it, "Can it be that those in power are on the verge of repeating a senseless and deadly mistake?"
The game begins with three soldiers in Magitek armor outside of the game's first town, Narshe. They are attempting to storm the town to capture an Esper, a magical being. But two of the soldiers are blown away by its power - and the third seems to connect with it before losing her memory. She is Terra, the first (but not necessarily the main) character of this epic game.
Characters and Character Development: 10/10
The characters in Final Fantasy VI are incredibly well-developed, especially if you budget time towards all the side quests that are possible late in the game. You have Terra, the confused magic-user who was controlled by the Empire; Locke, the "treasure hunter" who is attempting to save his loved one's life; Edgar and Sabin, the brothers of Figaro, the resident kingdom; and many, MANY others. My favorites include Setzer, the gambling, high-stakes airship owner, and Gau, the wild boy who was raised by animals.
Just because he is so incredibly crazy, the villain of this game gets his own paragraph. Kefka is his name, and he is easily the most evil villain in the history of video games. Sure, we can have the FFVII fanboys say "but wait, omg sephiroth killed *spoilers, for all 3 of you*, he's so evil, i'm going to go write poetry", but Kefka is truly crazier and eviler. His speech is some of the best writing in video game history, including such memorable phrases as "Son of a submariner!", "But what fun is destruction if no "precious" lives are lost!", "Wait, he says. Do I look like a waiter?", and of course, "I hate hate hate hate hate hate... hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE YOU!"
FFVI uses a battle system called ATB, which stands for Active Time Battle (not Automatic Turn Battle, as one review claims). You have anywhere from one to four characters on the battle field at one time, and on the bottom of the screen, they have meters which shows how long it will take until you can take your turn with that character. There are the standard RPG commands - Attack, Magic (for a couple of characters until later), and Items. Each character has his own special command, though - for instance, Locke's special command is Steal, where he attempts to steal an item that one of the enemies is holding. While this is common in Square RPGs, FFVI takes it up a notch. As far as I know, before FFVI there was never a character whose special command was using slots.
New to the Final Fantasy series is the Espers, magical beings who give their powers to you. By equipping them, you can teach the rest of your party magic, which becomes VERY useful late in the game.
As expected from any Final Fantasy game, the controls are tight and responsive.
Oh, if only I could give the music more than a 10/10. Nobuo Uematsu delivers his finest soundtrack of any of the games in the series in this game. With memorable themes such as "Figaro", "Dancing Mad", "Kefka", and the very famous "Aria De Mezzo Carattere", he creates arguably the finest original soundtrack ever. Some of the music is incredibly haunting, as well - the opening theme, "Fanatics", "Metamorphosis", and "Last Dungeon" come to mind. The other sound effects are what are expected of an RPG - all the slashes, magic casting sounds, and defeated boss thundercracks that you could want.
This is an excellent RPG, and even though it has been out over 10 years, it holds its own against any of the modern RPGs of today. The PSX loading times can get a little annoying, but if you play the game on the PS2, the load times become better. But this is truly a classic game that has to be played if you want to call yourself an RPG fan.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 01/09/06
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