Review by The_Returner123
"Out of nostalgia and fanservice a true classic is reborn"
Final Fantasy VI Advance
If you ask me what I think of when I talk about FFVI, the answer is simple: perfection. Back in those days FFVI was the perfect game, and for many it still is the peak of RPGs. This well deserved love gave the game opportunities to be "updated". The GBA is the third console that gets this game, and after the lousy port that was the PSX version a lot of fans expected to see a tribute to the old glory. Do this game keeps up with the expectative? Yes. How good? Let me tell ya.
Writting a story section for a port of a RPG made a decade ago is kinda tricky. The story is simply great. You take the role of a group of common people, united by one common goal: destroy the evil. This "evil" takes a variety of forms in the game. We all know it's the Empire and Gestahl in the early game, but the story is much more complex and deeper than that.
But I won't really stop to say a lot about the story. The plot is legendary people. This port takes it a step higher. Not only the original feel of the classics, but it also fatures a lot of little touches. A new translation was a given, the very good work done with FFIII back in SNES was given justice. The new text gives us all what was lost and there was a mayor name overhaul. Almost all the game was changed to the names would fit the modern FF standards. While this can make playing a little hard at first for old FF lovers (I spendt 5 minutes looking for the Czarina Gown in my inventory, just to remember it's the Regal Gown now. And I wrotte a FAQ about that...), it'll surelly be pleasant for newcomers or simple FF lovers that would like to see their old favorite talking the same lenguage as the others.
The old gameplay is still here, the game was not tweaked at all. But it wellcomes us with a great surprise: Bug Fixes! Now the game can be played as the original was supposed to be, adding some challenge and a new experience while using new strategies. The mayor bug fixes were Vanish/Doom, Evade/MBlock and the Sketch Bug (wich has been fixed before but people keep asking...).
The game is not exactly hard, it's quite easy really. Some attacks are really overpowered and you can decimate your enemies in a variety of ways, coming from slow suffering to total destruction in a few turns. Your party is highly customizable while each character keeps its own feel thanks to the skills and mayor armor differences.
Mastering every aspect of the gameplay is hard work. Something not really needed to finish the game. Gameplay proves to be easy while complex, and fun while overpowered.
Graphics look way cleaner than the SNES version. But they don't go too far. They are good eye candy and look nice overall, leaving the old SNES feel. They are quite a little too bright, more comparing to the significantly darker original game. The detail can be apreciated much better now that the sprited don't look pixelated.
There is a lot of complaining about lag, mostly because of the fear it caused FFIVA in all our fanboy hearts. There is no such lag, well, yeah, but it's not really bad. Some complex animations make the frame rate go slightly down, something that is not appreciated anymore after and hour or two of gaming.
Summing up, the graphics look like the late SNES game it is. With some touches that make them look better.
The sound is the greatest problem of the GBA ports. The low sound capability of the systems makes the espectacular soundtrack of the classic look a little too pale. The sound per se was not wattered down ala Tales of Phantasia, in fact a lot of tracks got a little touch. With some new things here and there. Headphones will save the day again.
What happeded to the Opera you asked? I'm sure you asked. It got an interesting improvement, while the lyrics had a total redone (something I won't discuss here), the most impactating thing is Celes' voice. Now it really sounds like a female voice and note some pile of tunes here and there. That and the enhanced music make for a great 5 minutes experience.
The sound was a little too much to handle for the GBA. The system can't make justice to the tracks. A good pair of headphones will fix the little speaker thing. But it's a real shame to see such a magnificent and enhanced sound beeing so not-so-good just because of hardware problems.
What you really came here for: the bonuses. Final Fantasy VI Advance comes with quite some bonus content, most of them fanservice related. Here they are:
. A new dungeon
. New enemies and the old 8 Dragons enhanced for some revenge
. 4 new Espers (Gigantuar, Gilgamesh, Leviathan and Diabolos)
. Kaiser Dragon (old CzarDragon, the enemy that kept sleep away from whom searched for him)
. Omega Weapon (Not the old Machine of Doom)
. Betiary and sound test
As you can see most of the things are in the new dungeon, that proves to be a real challenge for all the hardcore players. The new 8 Dragons are really fun to battle and Kaiser is quite hard with more than 150000 HP. This is mostly fanservice, and that's what we came looking for. Some other stuff would have been great too, but the game keeps the line of the other GBA FFs ports, while giving the last one some more things than the others.
The bonus content adds a lot of chanlenge and play hours. Something all the old fans will surelly love.
Nostalgia and fanservice are the names of this game. A true classic in a new form, just like the other one but looking better. All what made this a classic in intact and new things were added to maximise the Finest Fantasy experience. This is surelly a must have for any RPG gamer out there.
Get it or die!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/20/07
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