Review by whitedragon
"Loading times ruin an old classic"
Finally after eight years wait, everyone in Europe will be able to take part of FF6. But is it really that good; might it even be the greatest Final Fantasy of all times?
All Final Fantasy games have great stories, so why should this one be any different. Well the story goes somewhat like this. The world has been rebuilt since the last war of the Magi, during which nearly all magic was destroyed. High technology reigns, and practically everything is controlled by the ruthless emperor Gestahl. However they long for more power and believes that this power can be found in an esper. The story begins, when you are on your way to do an attack on the coal-mining town Narche. The object is to investigate, if the rumor regarding a discovery of an esper is accurate. A main character (Terra) of the game takes part in the attack, however she is not aware of this herself. Because the empire has given her a slave crown, which robs her of all her free will. During the attack the empire loses control over her, and eventually she joins Locke, a rebel that in the dark have secretly planned to destroy the empire. Locke and his friends believe that Terras magic abilities will be useful in the upcoming battles, and she gladly joins them. One surprising aspect of this game is that it doesn't have a main character, which differs it from newer FF-games. Overall, the story of the game is quite interesting, and it has a few surprising plot twists, nothing extraordinary but very nice nonetheless.
The game play in this game is a little worse than in the newer Final Fantasy games. Mostly because of the new flaws this version has gained. The loading times for getting into the menu, or entering a new area are even LONGER than in FF7. I find this unforgivable, if you just look at Wild Arms for example, that game has virtually no loading times and it uses about the same graphics as this game does. I also think that the random battles occur a little too often. And in some of the overlong dungeons you'll probably be too tired, to even focus on them. Which might lead to a defeat because you were careless. Now this isn't right Square a game shouldn't consist of that many battles. Plus, because it takes so much time to get into the menu, you might not want to cure your characters even though you know you should. This isn't so funny when you go head on with a new boss. But the game play isn't all bad; exploring, buying things and mixing with your characters stat is always a blast. Final Fantasy VI also has a very interesting and original system of learning magic. Each character can equip one esper, and every esper has a unique set of magic to be learned from it. To learn magic you also need AP, which you receive after every battle, the AP is then multiplied with learn rate of the magic. The learn rate depends on the magic and the esper. We can take the magic cure as an example, the esper Kirins cure magic has a learn rate of *5, in other words you need 20 AP to learn the magic (5*20=100). On the other hand Sraphims cure magic has a learn rate of 20, here you only need 5 AP to learn the magic (20*5=100). Some espers also have an extra bonus when you level up, while having them equipped, for example HP +10% or MagPwr +2. I like this system of learning magic, because it lets you decide for yourself which magic you want each character to learn.
Well the graphics were rated magnificent when this game was originally released, however they don't quite match up to today's standards. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't look nice, all the towns and caves are carefully created. And its forests and waterfalls look very lifelike, even though it's originally done for an older console. The characters never go out of style either and they're all very individual, even the townspeople seem to really belong in the game. Overall the game feels very coherent, and nothing seems misplaced.
Many think that this Final Fantasy has the best music. I don't really agree with this, but I still rate this music as top quality. It also makes the journey through dungeons and valleys seem shorter. Every piece of music has a rather classical feel over it, very appropriate for each and every dramatic scene of this game. And who can forget the opening theme when Terra is escorted to Narshe.
This is a tricky one, but there really aren't that many reasons for you to play through this game again, in case you've already found all secrets. So my recommendation is for you to find everything there is to find on the first play through. You might however want to play through the game once more just to understand the story better, but I'd rather put it on my shelf knowing that I've already completed it.
The final verdict 8/10
I like this game and I don't mind the graphics, it's just the loading times that really bug me, and I would have given it a higher score if it weren't for them. But if you can stand them this game is a must buy, being so cheap and all. Not to mention that you can finally decide for yourself, if FF6 is so good as everyone else says.
The three biggest reasons for you to buy this game
- The story
- The music
- The characters
The three biggest reasons for you not to buy this game
- The loading times
- The numerous battles
- The old-fashioned graphics
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/12/02, Updated 06/29/02
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