Review by Mickamania
It was 1995; my best friend had come over to spend the night, and he brought a Super Nintendo game with him. The game; Final Fantasy III.
Now, I'll be honest. Up until that time, I didn't really care for Final Fantasy; all I knew about it at the time was that it was a bit of a franchise, there were numerous games for it (several on the Game Boy, one on the Nintendo, and two on the SNES, what we knew as FFII and FFMQ). And I had only played two of them; the original and I believe it was Final Fantasy...Legend? Adventure? Whatever the one on the Gameboy that had sequels.
I never made it far in any of them, regardless.
Needless to say, this isn't a history lesson on the pre-internet screwed up American history of Final Fantasy.
So then, my best friend brought FFIII over. And I was engrossed by it. I found the game to be somewhat easy, regular encounters weren't difficult, the bosses had the potential to be, I enjoyed it.
As time passed, not a single year passed where I didn't give the game another go. Each time I played it differently.
FAST FORWARD TO 2008
I'm on youtube. I'm doing some searches for video game videos, and what do I see? FFVIA.
The game had come back.
The story has been somewhat tweaked from the original, mainly due to a new translation. It is more fluid, there really aren't gaps in continuity.
They were amazing for 1994/1995, when you compare it to everything else. I could very easily be a douche bag and say 1/10, citing "blablabla, 2008", which is somewhat logical for a game that's 14 years old.
This...is where the game actually degrades. The score was, simply but, the best that the Super Nintendo had ever seen, and it stands the test of time. The music took advantage of everything the system had to offer. This version, on the other hand, well, the GBA version doesn't quite seem to get it right. That is probably the only detractor to it. If you don't mind this fact, it becomes a moot point.
Virtually everything that could be somewhat exploited via bugs in the original SNES version is fixed. Evasion is relevant, no more Vanish/Doom/Whatever, it really is a faithful representation of how the game was meant to be. On top of all that, there are the two new dungeons: The Dragon's Den and the Soul Shrine (although I really wouldn't call the Soul Shrine a dungeon in the classical console RPG sense of the word). Dragon's Den is a three-party dungeon, like Kefka's Tower, and it has it's fair share of nasty bosses. Eight of them, to be exact. You get a rematch with the Eight Dragons. And it's not the old wimpy Eight Dragons, either, oh no. These are more "zOMG WTF?!" Dragons. They will HURT you; a veteran player of the game is going to be running to the internet very very fast after getting destroyed by these lovely little beasties. The Dragon's Den isn't just some kind of ultimate challenge for you, though; you will receive weapons that are, in theory, superior to what you find normally in the game; each character has a unique weapon (excluding Gau, who gets a helmet).
Some of the older players that have not yet played this version of the game may remember a popular rumor floating around in the old days of FFIII on the SNES of the "Czar Dragon" which required you to kill many, many, many Gold Dragons in the Dinosaur Forest, at which point you will fight the "Czar Dragon", who will give you some item to revive Leo.
Well, it turns out there WAS a Czar Dragon in the game! He was just a dummy boss, and you never encountered him.
Well....this time he's in the game. And he is PISSED.
Meet Kaiser Dragon, the properly translated, fully programed version of the legendary rumor. He is the toughest boss in the game, holding a wide variety of tricks to make your life miserable. You killed his little brothers, and he wants revenge.
MOVING ON TO THE SOUL SHRINE
Here, you get to encounter nearly every enemy in the game, sans Kefka and the three Tiers. This includes the upgraded versions of the Dragons and Kaiser himself. It also means you get to fight Doom Gaze (retranslated to Death Gaze) again, the Statues (now called the Warring Triad), all in one nice sitting. This can provide you with a variety of equipment that you may have gotten rid of before, as well as the ability to steal quite a few things. Thus, you can now stock up on Offerings, Force Armor, etc.
The final addition that affects gameplay is the inclusion of 4 new espers, each of which have their own special ways of getting them.
So, that being said, get the game if you are a Final Fantasy III/VI freak. I loved it. It was actually challenging.
The game truly is timeless. I hope more generations in the future will be able to experience this masterpiece.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/02/08
Game Release: Final Fantasy VI Advance (US, 02/05/07)
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