Review by Psycho Penguin

"For my 200th review, I finally review Final Fantasy Anthology!!"

Wow, my 200th review. A year ago when I first posted a Final Fantasy 2 review, I was planning on being a once-in-a while deal. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to finish with all of my accomplishments: placing fifth in the review contest, being third in overall reviews contributed, and now a 200th review. Along the way I have met many cool people, such as Bruplex, Sunshine, J-Dog, Yee Seng Fu, Brask2000, Shinnokzx, and Dingo Jellybean. They have grown to be good friends and I appreciate all of their work as well. And when choosing a 200th review, I realized I hadnt reviewed Final Fantasy Anthology, so I decided to review one of the coolest compilations ever. Now, sorry about the babbling, its just that Im happy about my 200th review. Congrats go out to YSF as well for his 100th review. And finally, I have submitted this review on my 16th birthday. Happy birthday to me!! Anyways, enough babbling. On with the review!!

Final Fantasy Anthology has been a very eagerly anticipated game by me ever since it was released in Japan as Final Fantasy Collection. Featuring three of the coolest games ever, the fourth through sixth games in the series, I was reading the latest news on the net almost every day to find out the latest news on this anticipated game. Soon though I got dissapoiting news: Final Fantasy 4 was not going to be included in the package. Though I could understand the reasons why (ranging from the numerous crashes to the long loading times), it was still a disappointing news to me. But to appease me and numerous other Square fanatics, SquareSoft released a cool soundtrack featuring the ''best'' tracks from Final Fantasy 5 and 6. Though I disagree with some of their choices on the soundtrack CD, it is still a good deal. So basically this compliation will come with Final Fantasy 5, Final Fantasy 6, and a soundtrack featuring hit tunes from the two games. Featuring the two greatest RPGs of all time, plus a soundtrack that can be sold separtely , and you have yourself a cant miss game.

Graphics (8/10): The graphics remain the same as the Super Famicom versions, which is a bit of a disappointment. I would've liked to see a mode where you can play with improved graphics, but the graphics in the Super NES versions were pretty good so I'm not complaining. The enemy designs are pretty good, and the charcaters look pretty darn good. Unfortunately, the PSX cant really handle this kind of game it seems, as there are long loading times (unbearable load times in FF6) It does get frustrating after a few hours. Also, the Playstation cannot handle Mode 7 effects, so the Mode 7 used in SNES looks really weird in this game. Despite the problems, the graphics are pretty good but in a 16-bit sort of way. Do not expect Final Fantasy 8 type graphics.

Music/Sound (9/10): Final Fantasy 6 features one of the three best soundtracks ever, and Final Fantasy 5 has good music as well. Sometimes the music doesn't sound so great but overall its just like the Super Famicom versions, and there isn't anything wrong with that!!

Gameplay/Control (10/10): First off, Final Fantasy 5. You all know the coolest thing in Final Fantasy 5 is the job system. It is simply one of the coolest things in a RPG, ever. The amount of abilities you can learn is numerous, and the variety of jobs and charcater classes means you won't get bored of fighting (in fact you'll want to fight to gain AP!) Besides the job system, Final Fantasy 5 is like Final Fantasy 4, ranging from the battle system of FF4 (but with the addition of the ATB bar) and the overall feeling. The game is still incredible though, and the job system makes this gameplay the second best in a RPG ever (Xenogears, anyone?)
Second off, Final Fantasy 6. In my opinion (even though Final Fantasy 6 is still my third fave game of all time) the gameplay in Final Fantasy 6 took a step back from Final Fantasy 5. Gone is the job system featured in Final Fantasy 5, and it is replaced by the esper system. The esper system is a system where you gain espers and learn their magic over time by accumalating MP. When reaching 100% MP (each esper's magic has a different learning rate) you gain the magic. So lets say for example you earn the Tritoch esper and wwant to learn fire 2. Its learning rate is x3 so you'll have to gain a total of 34 MP to gain the power of Fire 2. Terra and Celes can learn magic on their own however. And that's the best thing about Final Fantasy 6: the characters. Each character has a different abilty so you'll need to starategically figure out what people you want in a party at a certain time. Now, the new features. The game has a new gallery sectiuon, where you can view stats of monsters, your current stats in a game, and more. Its really cool. The worst part of the game are the long loading times, as I will probably never beat this version because the battles take too long. There is lots of slowdown during battle, as well. Finally, the control in Final Fantasy 6 is a bit disappointing. You walk very slow without the Sprint Shoes, so for the first hour or two you will walk putt putt until you get to South Figaro. Why SquareSoft just couldn't add a run button is still a mystery to me.

Replay Value (6/10): The replay value in Final Fantasy 5, due to the job system, is much higher than the replay value in Final Fantasy 6. This is partly due to the long loading times and slowdown during battle in Final Fantasy 6.

Difficulty Factor (9/10): Final Fantasy 5 can get quite challenging at times, and RPGers everywhere will face a challenge in Final Fantasy 6.

Overall (9.5/10): Okay, is this game worth buying? Yes. Despite the problems with the Final Fantasy 6, its still worth a purchase to play an American Final Fantasy 5 and the cool soundtrack you get with it.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/23/00, Updated 07/16/01

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