Review by Karpah
"My favorite game. Why? Cos it's FUN!"
I'd heard so much about these Final Fantasy games, y'know, back like a year ago when I was a real newbie gamer. I picked this one as my induction into the series. And so far, it's my favorite.
Why? Because it's fun, plain and simple.
I'll piece together what I know about the game's history. It was originally released in 1994 for the SNES, as Final Fantasy III in Japan, then it was re-released to the rest of the world as Final Fantasy VI for the PSX. Us lucky Aussies and the other PAL people got it as a stand-alone game, the rest of you guys had to buy it as part of Final Fantasy Anthology =P
The only differences between the original release and the re-release were a few CG sequences at the beginning and the end. Big whoop, nothing to write home about.
Anyways, onto the game.
Storyline - 10/10
Without a doubt, my favorite storyline in any game I've played. You are Terra, a young girl who has the unique ability to use Magic. She lives in a world where people (the Empire) are trying to use Magic to enslave the world, so naturally, they want Terra to help them. And they'll go to any means to get her to help them. Terra, on the run from the Empire, happens meets up with a resistance group to the Empire, and it all goes from there.
The storyline is very long, very involved, and very complex. And it’s fantastic. I have not met one person yet who has not loved the storyline of this game.
There is one downside to the game, and that is in terms of characters. There are too many. I’ve never seen a game that had 14 playable characters. Sure, not all are necessary to even meet let alone use. But character development suffers because of trying to accommodate too many characters and stories. Of the characters, only maybe six are actually tied to the storyline, but, amazingly enough, it’s done in a way that you wouldn’t actually notice that fact unless you carefully examined the game.
Two thumbs up. Nice job, Square.
Graphics – 7/10
I know this is a PSX game. I know that, compared to other PSX games, the graphics in this game are plain shoddy, because the graphics are the same as the original 16-bit SNES. My reply to that is, so?
I like the graphics in this game. Sure, there’s no 3D. There’s a lot of little character sprites that don’t connect with their opponents when they attack (well in most cases anyways), and there’s a lot of enemies that don’t move when they attack. If you’re a graphics-driven player, this will bother you. If you’re into all the bells and whistles, the graphics in this game will downright irritate you.
But I don’t really care about that, good graphics are nice, but they’re not everything.
You know what I do really love about the graphics in this game, though? The little facial expressions, when the characters laugh and stuff. When they laugh, they make me laugh, because they’re just so cute!
That’s why the graphics earn a 7/10 for me. They’re fine for their purposes. Plus I wish I had little animated GIFs of the characters laughing, on my computer.
Sound – 10/10
I love the soundtrack of this game. It is one of the very few soundtracks I actually own. Considering that my opinion on game music is that “it’s not real music”, saying that I will quite happily sit and listen to the music from this game as I write, or play, or whatever is a big thing. Of note are a few exceptional tracks like Kefka’s theme and the Zozo theme.
In terms of sound effects, well, what do you expect? You attack someone with a sword, you get the little slashing sound effect. You freeze someone with Ice, you get a tiny effect that sounds like ice crystals shattering. Perfect.
Gameplay – 9/10
It’s a Final Fantasy game, what can you expect other than a good gameplay system? I’ve liked the gameplay of every FF game I’ve played so far, and FFVI is no exception to that.
You level up when you fight battles, same old. EXP needed to gain levels increases exponentially, as you would expect. (None of that 1000 EXP per level FF8 junk.) Customizing your character by learning magic and improving certain stats is done using Espers. You attach the Espers to your armour, and then as you fight, you earn Magic Points that contribute to the learning of spells a particular Esper has to offer. It’s a simple system, but it works.
There’s no sort of job system in the game either, every character can learn whatever spells they want. You can give all fourteen characters a full list of 54 spells, if you wish. I like to have a final party that blows everything away with Ultima, and the best part is, it’s easy to do so.
Each character has their own special skill (some better than others), and most have their own special set of weapons. Of course, there are general purpose weapons as well. But you have to love the fact that a physical brawler like Sabin can equip weapons like Metal Knuckles, Fire Knuckles and Tiger Fangs, while a gambler can use weapons like Cards, Trumps and Fixed Dice. I love it.
And as with any good Final Fantasy game, we have a blue mage, who learns attacks from enemies. Yay.
Now that I know more about games, I know that the game play is a tad simplistic, and I would have liked to customize my characters more than just teaching them spells and editing a few stats by a few points using the Espers’ level-up bonuses. But it’s not important, really, as the game does a fine job of letting you control which path you want your characters to take.
Play-time – 10/10
This game should take you no more than 35 hours, unless you like to spend excessive time levelling up. And in that 35 hours, you can complete all the side-quests, do basically everything, give your whole party a decent set of magic. It’s fairly short in terms of RPGs, because if you try you could beat the game in 20 hours comfortably, but it is still a long game. Not too long, not too short. Just right.
Of course, if you want to get all characters to level 99 with a full set of spells (an utterly tedious and boring task) expect to be there for about 70-80 hours.
Replayability – 10/10
This game is fun. No doubt about it. It’s simple to play, which is why I’m glad I chose it as my first FF game and my first RPG. My seven-year-old sister got the general hang of this game, that’s saying something. It may be a bit over-simplistic, and it’s not much of a challenge. But, like any game, you can set yourself different challenges to make the game harder, i.e. only using certain characters, or not using magic, etc.
I have currently played this game through seven times, myself. And I’m not bored of it yet. My love of the game as a whole keeps me coming back for more.
A multitude of strong points, and very few weak points. In my eyes, and in many other’s eyes too, the best game of the Final Fantasy series.
Rent or buy? BUY IT!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/25/03, Updated 07/25/03
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