Review by Yoma
"The pinnacle of menu-based RPGs"
Final Fantasy VII is the new epic RPG by Square, and is considered by many to be the best RPG of all time (although I don't agree with that). But what about Final Fantasy VI, the predecessor, and former "Best RPG of all time"? Does this game stand the test of time and come out as fantastic as current RPGs, or is it relegated to the dust of your closet, along with your Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis? I plan to answer that question with this review.
The graphics in this game compare very well to most next-generation RPGs, such as Wild Arms, Suikoden, and Alundra. The sprite based graphics are very colorful, and offer a large variety of textures on the buildings, enemies, characters, and backgrounds. And the Mode 7 scene at the beginning of the game, with Terra and the imperial troops marching towards Narshe, is better than most of the first-generation Playstation and Saturn games' graphics, in my opinion.
If games were judged on music, this game would be the best of all time! The music in this game completely rules. It pushes the sound chip of the SNES to the limit, and shows that cartridges can be just as good as CDs in terms of sound quality. The character themes are the best (especially Terra's), and the music has a spooky orchaestra-esque quality to it. Nobuo Uematsu once again proves why he is the best in the industry, with his music soundtracks.
Final Fantasy VI just screams innovation. There are 14 characters to choose from, and all of them must be used to view every little tidbit of story in the game. The esper system also is innovative, straying from the general "gain level, get new spell" routine seen in so many games. You have to fight battles with these equipped to learn the most powerful spells, plus you can gain attribute bonuses with certain ones.
The "save the world from the evil demigod" storyline has been used so much that its now considered cliche amongst gamers. FFVI uses this story, but makes it so much more interesting than other games that have used it (Read: Final Fantasy VII). The story deals with love, responsibility, ethics, and basically life in general. There are some tear-jerking moments that I won't reveal here.. you'll have to see them for yourself.
Ok, let's get to the flaws of this game. I'm thinking.. thinking.. thinking some more.. oh well, I can't find any. Well, I suppose there is ONE flaw I can mention: The game ends eventually. Your life will be empty after you finish this game. 25 short hours after you start it, it ends, leaving you restless and alone, looking for something to do that compares to the experience that is Final Fantasy VI. Good luck finding it.
The comparisions between Final Fantasy VI and VII will go on until Final Fantasy VIII comes out eventually. Know this readers, there shouldn't be a comparison, Final Fantasy VI beats Final Fantasy VII in every category that RPGs are rated in (except graphics). Music, story, translation, fun, lifespan, all of it, Final Fantasy VI wins in them all. This is one of the greatest games ever made, and it should be required playing by every RPG-playing gamer, just like Lord of the Flies is required reading for students in school.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 02/20/03
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