Review by Bkstunt_31
"An orchestrated masterpiece."
This game first came out on the Super Nintendo as Final Fantasy III in the U.S. Being mis-titled the first time, it was also released in Final Fantasy Anthology for the Playstation with its rightful name. Now, 8 years later, you can take the game with you anywhere as Final Fantasy VI Advance.
The story revolves around a couple of different aspects. Over 1000 years ago was the legendary "war of the magi", in which espers (summoned monsters) and humans fought a terrible war, and espers disappeared from the world, along with magic. Now, the "Empire" wishes to rediscover magic and espers and use them as weapons. This is where the story starts, with three of the empire's soldiers marching towards a town called Narshe, among them a young girl named Terra.
For the record, I never had a chance to play the previous versions of this game, so I won't be able to make comparison's about them. I found the story to be a little cliche at first, but that changed very quickly. Not everyone in the Empire is evil, for example, and the story really displays the effects of messing with the human mind. All of the characters are very interesting, with a few exceptions (Umaro, an optional character, for instance). Each has their own distinct personality, and the game delves into each one of their past lives. It was a very good story, told very well throughout the game. In fact, I wish the game would have been longer, as it seemed so short by the time I got to the end (even though my save file says otherwise..).
The gameplay is very identical to Final Fantasy IV. You are still using the active battle time system, being able to attack or cast magic when your turn comes around. It is also similar to Final Fantasy IV in that each individual character has their own "job" or specialty. As you progress through the game, certain jobs can learn new skills. While this may not be as in depth as the previous Final Fantasy game (Final Fantasy V), it does make you think about who you need in your party at any given time.
Magic is done differently, though, as each character (most of them, anyway), can learn any spell. Since the way you acquire magic in the game ties directly into the storyline, I don't want to ruin it for you here. Don't worry though, this RPG staple is still present, just presented a little differently.
As for equipment, each character specializes in a certain kind of weapon, and can only wear a certain type of armor. Anyone can equip "relics", though, which give that character an assortment of different abilities. For example, you can equip "Sprint Shoes" which enable you to sprint about cities and in dungeons. There are alot of different relics in Final Fantasy VI which will allow you to customize your characters to your playing style.
The graphics are presented very well on my little screen! The characters all looked very well done. There were some examples of the Gameboy Advance displaying its very best, especially during some of the bosses special spells. There are some instances where it seemed they needed a little more variety, though. For example, on the world map, certain landscapes just looked like they mesh together, without much variety. Nothing here should disappoint you, though.
Music & Sound effects: 10/10
Wow. I don't give out 10's very often, but the music in this game is outstanding. This category prompted the name of this review, it's that good. There are alot of different music tracks in the game, and some of them (especially the individual character's theme songs) are going to stick with me for a very long time. Very well done.
The sound effects are what you would expect in this game, nothing is out of place here. You'll defiantly remember the main villain's distinctive sound effect, as well as the opera house scene. They're all done very well.
Re-playability & Extra content: 8/10
Since this game is a port, Square-Enix made sure to put some extra content in it as they did in Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V. Here, they added an extra dungeon, 4 new espers, and a monster arena called The Soul Shrine. Not bad, anything extra is always appreciated. I don't believe there is anything with multi-player here, either, in case you were wondering. I can see why so many people consider this game a classic, it is a very good game. If you are a completionist, you'll have a very good reason to replay this game, as you can teach every character every magic spell and get 100% on the bestiary. There are also a few hidden characters to obtain as well as some espers that are hard to find.
An orchestrated masterpiece! I highly recommend you pick this up when you can. If you don't want to pay for it new, it should be available used very shortly. Have fun & keep playing! Later...
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/19/07
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