Review by Ofisil

"First Fantasy"

Final Fantasy 3 is a RPG developed by SquareSoft and despite the name it is actually the sixth game in the series, since only 1, 4 and 6 made it out of Japan. FF6 is simply one of the best JRPG games of all gaming history and the only rival of its time was Chrono Trigger which while better in some areas it was way too short and linear, thus not so popular as FF6. Another thing that shows how good this game is, is the fact that many people still debate whether this or FF7 is better. Finally another thing that shows how good a game this is, is simply the fact that I love it even though I am not the typical FF series fanboy, in fact I consider the previous FF games decent at best. In my opinion this one, the sixth game was the first, truly magnificent FF game of the series.

Story: 8/10
Story: Presentation: 8.5/10

Finally a good plot in the FF series! I never understood why people loved the plot of the previous games. Okay, I know… they where older games so the plot was simple, but when I see straight 10s in reviews I wonder about the sanity of some people. Usually FF games are like this: Bad guy seeks power, bad guy finds power and you must kill him, the end! The same deal goes on here too but what makes it so great is the fact that the presentation is better. Especially when it comes to characters, we have some very interesting people here that you will surely love, characters that paved the way for the even better ones of FF7. Unfortunately the characters that are the most interesting ones are the first 4-5 you'll meet and the rest (about ten if I remember correctly), while very interesting aren't so great… but hey, that's just nitpicking to say the truth! Another small flaw in terms of storyline is the fact that after the first half of the game the overall presentation isn't so good and the game becomes less plot driven, but at least less linear.

After FIVE final fantasy games that pretty much had the same plot, (find the magic crystals, reach the bad guy, kill him), things start to get more interesting. We learn from the intro of the game that there was a war 1000 years ago, the War Of The Magi, where civilization was almost wiped out due to the people's misuse of the strange power known as magic. Now, humanity has restored order step-by-step, re-inventing modern technology and leaving magic in the pages of history. But… a new empire is starting to wage war on the free world with the use of Magic and with the help of a teenage witch that they have enslaved… I won't tell you more, just know that it is the greatest and most epical and quite dark FF story so far, with one of the best villains of all time.

Gameplay: 8.5/10
Replay Value: 7.8/10

People that have played even a single JRPG won't find it hard to adapt to the world of FF6. While a typical semi-turn based RPG though it isn't just another Final Fantasy game. FF6 of course is not flawless but the few small flaws are quite feeble when looking into the big picture. It is fun to play, with great emphasis in the actual fun department, high replay value with tons of stuff to find and many, many more. Easily one of the best games ever.

We can divide FF6 in 2 halves. The first part of the game is where you meet its main characters and journey throughout the world following some events, unfolding the plot and meeting up with the bad guys. The first part is mainly story driven and that's a very good thing but it also means that it is heavily linear, not letting you wander around searching the world map and even when you get an airship there aren't many things to do. After certain events you reach the second half of the game, which is less plot driven which at first may disappoint you but you can now go anywhere you want, searching for extra stuff, seeing some cutscenes about your characters and generally do many things that are very fun to do.

Character diversity:
Now, into the actual gameplay. Once again you have some characters and while wondering around random encounters occur forcing you to fight. The battles are turn based meaning that you select an action from a lost when it is your turn and then observe the battle. While I like many RPGs because of their plots, I often get bored of this battles, however this never happened for me with FF6. The battles are great needing more strategy, although a bit easy for the most part. What makes the battles even better are the characters which unlike previous FF games are quite unique and drastically change gameplay. We don't just have some fighters and mages, instead each character is pretty much a class on his\her own due to their special skills. For example Cyan can enter a “concentration” mode where the longer you wait the better the technique you will use will be while in order to attack with Sabin's skills you have to press certain buttons in the right order. Celes one of the numerous magicians of the game has a magic absorption skill that nullifies magic and gains magic points, another one can morph into a more powerful magician, we have Ninjas with throwing skills, characters that can learn monster skills and many, many more… a total of 14 wonderful characters!!!

Gadjets:
Another great thing is your equipment. Forget about the simple weapons and armor of the previous FF games. Here weapons usually have some extra function, like elemental attack, nullification of magic, great increase of certain stats and even some more “special” stuff like an auto-theft dagger for example. So instead of just wearing the most powerful stuff available you actually have power over your character by choosing whether he will be faster, stronger, etc. Apart from weaponry each character can wear 2 relics which are special items that give you a certain skill like immunity to certain spells, ability to use 2 weapons, hit 4 times, steal more effectively and many, more enabling you to play even more strategically. Finally we have Espers. These are the beasts that you summon in order to inflict great amounts of damage or power up your party. The most important thing though is the fact that by giving an Esper to a character he starts learning magic spells and even more important is the fact that most Espers when you level up give you a certain bonus like +10% health points, +50 MP and so on, meaning once again that you control your character's development.

So that's about it. FF6 is a great game, far superior to all the previous FF games and RPGs in general apart from Chrono Trigger. The battles are fun, the characters are great and there are tons of stuff you can do before actually reaching the end.

Graphics: 8.8/10
Design: 9.5/10

FF6 simply looks great! Way better than the previous FF games and one of the best looking games on the SNES. The main characters are larger and more distinguishable and unlike the previous FF games they look more unique and not just some characters that are just a tad different from the NPCs. Apart from looking great they are more “alive” something that can be seen in the wonderful cutscenes of the game due to their gestures and all. The same goes for enemies, with the simple ones looking quite good and having more detail and large bosses that are absolutely astonishing. Especially the final bosses are fantastic! All levels have great design with wonderful backgrounds and nice details and special effects like mist, water, etc. The world map looks a bit bad on foot since it gets very pixilated but that happens because it was meant to be seen from a higher altitude, so when you find your airship you'll love the view. Finally the battle special effects are far better than the ones on the previous FF games, with flames flying around, transparency effects and more fan-to-watch animation.

Sound: 9/10
Music: 9.8/10

One thing that gets better and better with every new FF game is the SFX and Music quality. By far the best sound effects from all previous FF games and even more important the best music so far, music that doesn't sound so… video-gamish if you know what I mean. Very close to the wonderful compositions of FF7, the music of FF6 is simply wonderful, full of epical themes that all create a very good atmosphere whether you battle with a boss, traveling or just watching a funny cutscene, not to mention that the game is worth playing just for the final battle & finale music themes!

[+]:
-Nice diversity in usable characters, each one very unique
-Many things to do. Tons of wonderful items and magic spells
-The use of Espers in character leveling up
-Great plot
-Great graphics & music\SFX

[-]:
-First half of the game too linear, second half is weaker in terms of plot
-A bit easy

Also Play:
Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Final Fantasy 7 (Playstation)

Overall: 8.7/10

I generally don't like making comparisons because I believe it all has to do with personal taste, but here I feel that I have to. This is just MY opinion… okay fanboys and fangirls? Please don't kill me or something! So we have FF6, Chrono Trigger and FF7… many would like me to include Chrono Cross and Xenogears but I'm sorry, this won't happen here. So all these games I've mentioned are good but which one is the best for you? Well in terms of battle mechanics and overall gameplay Chrono Trigger is very good and its plot is excellent. But it is also quite weak in terms of character development, not to mention that it is a small and linear game, when FF7 is larger and has absolutely fantastic characters along with the great plot. But then again FF7's gameplay is quite weak, with boring and easy battles. In a way FF6 is somewhere in the middle, its plot is not as good as Chrono Trigger but the presentation and characters are very good like in FF7, its gameplay is far better than FF7 but at times can become boring, especially in the beginning due to its linear nature. So which one is for you? I recommend… playing them all!!!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/05/10

Game Release: Final Fantasy III (US, 10/20/94)


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