Review by Arkturus

"Polished Version Of The Playstation Remake"

Ah, another release of the brilliant Final Fantasy 6. As my contributor page will tell, I have previously reviewed the Playstation version, which had it's flaws, though it was still a pretty good game. This version, Final Fantasy VI Advance, is the latest remake of the game, which was originally known as Final Fantasy III in North America. Unlike the Playstation port, Final Fantasy VI Advance adds new content not seen in the original game, with the main addition being a new dungeon to provide an additional challenge at the end of the game. One of the last big releases for the Game Boy Advance, is this RPG worth playing? Or have Square-Enix gone over the top with their remakes recently? All will be revealed in a matter of time.

This hasn't changed, so I'll do a simple copy and paste. Final Fantasy VI keeps up the tradition of Final Fantasy games by having an epic storyline with more twists and turns than a high velocity rollercoaster. The game starts with a young girl, Terra, who can use magic, assisting two soldiers from an empire in an assault on a small town, it turns out that the people of this town have discovered an Esper, a magical being that disappeared from the world many aeons ago, and that the empire wishes to acquire it. Terra and the soldiers encounter the Esper, but Terra has a strange reaction to it, which causes the two soldiers to flee, Terra is then rescued by a member of the Returners, a resistance group who are against the empire, she has amnesia, not remembering anything about herself, from there Terra goes on a quest to discover who she is, making friends and enemies along the way, all of which contribute to the epic storyline.

They're still sprites, which in this day and age, are grossly outdated, back in the day they were revolutionary, but today they don't stand very well against other games. Nevertheless, there are positives to look at. The first thing I am going to mention is that the graphics are two-dimensional, which was standard for games at the time. Despite this, the attention to detail is still pretty good, with things like blackjack tables and sofas in the halls of the airship, for instance. Another thing I like are the menu graphics, the character pictures aren't half bad, and the ability to customize the colour of the menu is quite nice. Battles also look quite smooth, this is another thing that I can't complain about. I'm not a fan of the character animation though, that isn't great.

As with all Final Fantasy games, sound is one of the games best bits. Nobuo Uematsu is once again the composer of the game and once again his score is absolutely wonderful, with his music being completely relevant to the scene's mood and environment, from the sad music during the opera (that Aeris' theme from FF7 is very similar to), to the royal music of South Figaro castle. Overall, Final Fantasy VI Advance's soundtrack is one of my favourite FF Soundtracks, slotting in behind FF's 7 through 10 in terms of brilliance.

Ah, the shining star of all Final Fantasy games, the gameplay is superb. I'll start as I often do with the controls, a bit more user-friendly than those on the Playstation version, and there are no redudant buttons, as you're playing on a game boy, there is no analogue control, which is a disappointment, but I'm sure we'll get that if Square-Enix eventually remake this on the DS. Now, as with all Final Fantasy games, the main aspect of the game is battling, Final Fantasy VI Advance uses quite a simple battling system, characters can attack, use a command unique to them (ranging from stealing items to throwing items), use items and after a certain point in the game, summon mighty beasts called espers and use the abilities they provide. Battling strengthens the party, and gives them money to spend on further strengthening, eventually leaving them strong enough to progress through the game. In addition to battling, Final Fantasy VI Advance's unnamed world also provides a large amount of sidequests that you can undertake (more than in any of the other games, I believe), the large worlds can be explored in a variety of worlds, and one of the thrills of the game is discovery, there is a lot to be found if you keep you eyes open. The final positive I will mention is the translation, it was rather messy in the Playstation version, but has been cleaned up for this remake, though I liked some of the old translations better. They also got rid of that annoying seven-character limit which shortened the names of a lot of items and espers (Crusadr, anyone?), so things can now be known by their full names. In summary, the gameplay of Final Fantasy VI is absolutely superb, you will find very few games with as much variety, complexity and interesting content.

How long the game lasts depends on how you play it. Some players opt for speed runs where the aim is to complete the game is the fastest time possible, most players play the game at their own pace, which can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on how long you spend exploring, levelling and whatnot. As with all RPG's, Final Fantasy VI can be replayed over and over again, still providing an enjoyable experience each time.

Theres a whole new dungeon that can be explored at the end of the game, as well as a bestiary with monster information, but compared to the Playstation version, there isn't much, that had art galleries, an fmv viewer, an espiary and a Final Fantasy 10 demo.

Final Recommendation:
This game is really nothing more than a polished version of the Playstation remake, with a few things taken out and few things added in here and there, nevertheless, its a good game, certainly worth buying, its also still quite new, so you should be able to get your hands on a copy, which is a difficult thing to do if you want the Playstation version.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/12/07

Game Release: Final Fantasy VI Advance (EU, 07/06/07)

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