"Square, you continue to impress me."

I'll admit right off that at first I wasn't really into Final Fantasy 3, despite owning the original Final Fantasy for the NES. A friend of mine from middle school had the game however, and he talked of little else. Finally another friend of mine convinced me to try the game. Needless to say I was hooked. Then, a few years later his family had a garage sale at which he sold all of his SNES games. I went hoping to find FF3 waiting, but I was disappointed to find it had already been sold...or so I thought. Great was my surprise when I found out a day or so later that he'd actually set the game aside for me beforehand and just forgotten to give it to me when I showed up at his place. Anyway, that was the beginning of my true FF3/6 experience. Years later I ended up selling the game, although for the life of me I can't now think why, but having played Final Fantasy I + II: Dawn of Souls, I was intrigued when I learned that Square was planning to rerelease the SNES Final Fantasies, 5 and 6 included, for Game Boy Advance. So in May of this year, or perhaps early June, I managed to lay my grubby paws on a copy at my local Game Stop. After playing the game for hours with my now x fiance, I've come to the conclusion that once again they've produced a near-perfect remake.

The story of the game is largely unchanged. You take control of a band of heroes engaged in a desperate struggle against the Gestahlian empire, who wants to---well you guessed it I'm sure, rule the world. But they soon discover that they're struggling against an evil far greater than even Gestahl himself truly knows, and they fight not just to save their world from domination, but from obliteration.

One of the things that made this game so popular on the SNES was its entrancing soundtrack. Every character had his or her own musical theme, and each seemed in its own way to tell that character's story. This remake features those old favorites in near perfect glory. Some of the tunes are slightly quirky but it's not painfully obvious. The sound effects naturally aren't quite the same, but I actually think that some of them sound cooler now than they used to, particularly some of the spell effects.

Overall, I think they've done a fine job on this game. The already extensive list of side quests has four new additions, namely the four new espers you can obtain, all of whom must first be defeated in battle, and all of whom are extremely tough. Needless to say, this time around the game has the potential to keep you coming back even more than the original.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/12/07

Game Release: Final Fantasy VI Advance (US, 02/05/07)

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