Review by hecktic00
"In Its Conception, It Prevailed... In Its Conclusion, It Was A Failure."
Yet still, I can't help but give the game a 7 out of 10. The game started out so strong and held it that way for at least 3/4th of the way through, but something in that last stretch just seemed dull. Was it the characters? Was it the story? Perhaps the gameplay got boring? Hmmm... Let us dissect, shall we?
Nothing with the main battle system has really changed since FFIV and FFV. It's still a standard JRPG random battle fair where you run around and the screen will rumble or fuzz out and you'll be in a battle. The ATB(Active Time Battle) is back. Basically, your turn of attack is based on a little bar next to your health. It'll fill up and when it does you can attack. Same system they've used for the past 3 games basically.
You, once again, get to control 4 characters during battles. I suppose one change would be that you can pick which characters you want to use. This is actually a good thing. You'll ultimately, if you select to get all the characters, get to choose 4 out of around 15 or 16 characters to be in your active party. Sometimes you'll get to use multiple parties as well.
Much like the last two games on the SNES, it comes with nice options to customize your gaming experience. Stuff that seems normal in most RPGs today, like changing your text speed/etc. It also gives you the choice of 2-player support.
Now on to the meat of the gameplay. Unlike FFV, you don't have a job/class system in FFVI. Instead, you'll gain Espers(summoning things) that will grant you various spells. Some of them will even get you extra stat boosters when you level up like +2 to strength, etc. Each character can equip one Esper at a time and they only gain those stat boosts if they are equipped with the Esper during a level-up.
So, the main question would be... Since this isn't entirely restricting, does it make the characters feel TOO customizable? Well, I'll tell you... Not really. I think it was pretty well done actually. Most of the time, you still got the feeling that each character was different enough. This was probably due to the fact that some of the more powerful spells took way too long to acquire and, therefore, you didn't want to learn it on EVERY character.
Besides, you can only level up so much. By that I mean that when you're boosting stats, you're going to want to pick certain ones and just stick with those. It sets it in the middle of a grinding RPG and a "wow, this is so easy I don't even have to level-up" RPG pretty well. I'd have to say this is probably one of the best "level-up" systems in any Final Fantasy game.
So did the gameplay feel boring towards the end of the game? Hmm... I can't answer that based on a first sight observation. It has been so long since I first played through this game, I can't remember. After going through the game at least 8 times, I'd say yeah it does. But I'm willing to bet it was pretty solid my first go through. Not extremely boring, and easy enough to understand.
This game also incorporates Relics into the gameplay. Basically, these are accessories. You equip them for extra stat boosts as well as things like "Spells only cost 1/2 mana to cast." etc. In my personal opinion, I think that a few of the relics were a little bit over-powering... I mean, if you equip two certain Relics, your character will be able to attack 8 times... Yeah, we can see how the Final Fantasy series is taking a turn for the worse (Ahem... FFVII).
The graphics in this game are 2D. They've advanced about as far as they could for SNES purposes, I suppose. The sprites are detailed and clear, the backgrounds(in battle and out) are all well drawn. But the biggest upgrade I noticed was the world map.
The world map is no longer directly overhead so much as it's slightly slanted diagonally. Imagine taking a mirror and slanting it so the top is going more away from you than the bottom is... Yeah, that's what the world map looks like. It actually looks better, IMO. I liked it a lot. Outside of the world map, the camera is normal over-head prospective. Nothing really outside the norm here.
The menu layout is all fine and dandy and I can finally say that they've officially made descriptions pleasurable! No more half explanations of what things do, etc. Whew, finally...
My only problem would be that I don't like the character artwork. Edgar once said that Terra was extremely beautiful. Not by her character artwork she isn't. She looks like the wicked witch of the west (or was it east?). Seriously, they should have cleaned that up a bit. Ew. Speaking of Edgar... Why does he look like he just took medication for some mental illness? And why does Setzer look like he just lost a fight with a lawn mower? Bad stuff, Squaresoft.
Music-wise, I'd probably say this game is on par with FF7(My current favorite FF score.) In all truth, I'd say that FF7's music borrowed most from FF6. A lot of those familiar dark Sci-Fi type songs are in FF6. The battle music is most resemblant to the older FF games though. It has that same intro riff.
You take the roll of Terra, a misguided woman. As the story opens, you're currently traveling to a town with two imperial soldiers as you search for something called an Esper. When you arrive, the guards try to stop you but you bust on through due to the awesomeness of your Magi-Tek armor. You eventually arrive at the Esper only to have it kill your teammates and render you unconscious.
Some guy rescues you and you wake up in his house. He explains that you've been under the control of the Empire and that you have to get to safety. As you leave, a man by the name of Locke comes into the house and realizes that you escaped into the mountains. He eventually saves you from another dastardly plot and you two set out on your adventure. It's basically you against an empire and eventually against a power-hungry, world-destroying man.
The story starts off incredibly strong and keeps that pace for about half the game. After that it keeps slowing down until it just completely stalls at about 3/4th of the way through the game. So, would I consider the story good? It's decent. That's about it.
You see, one paralyzing aspect is that the character development for half the characters is almost non-existent. That second half gets a little tiny taste of something about their past and then they are set aside to be forgotten. Setzer? Gogo? Mog? The beast man? Ok, I realize Mog and the beast man were odd, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve a little back story. Hell, just tell me where the Moogles came from! Do something.
And then the greatest let down of them all is Kefka. The anti-argument likes to state that Kefka is the best villain of all RPG time. And they also state that Sephiroth is over-rated. Why? When was the last time they played the two games back to back? Can you see how much screen time Sephiroth gets compared to Kefka? How about how much destruction each cause? What about the fact that Kefka isn't even in the game for at least 2/5th of the time?! History? Is ANY of Kefka's past explained in this game? Not that I found.
So, there you have it folks. Kefka, IMO, is not the best villain of all RPG time. He isn't the best villain of Final Fantasy games, and he just isn't really that great at all. He reminded me of a Court Jester, a crappy one at that considering he constantly kept laughing at his own jokes. When I found out there was a "Cult of Kefka" in the game, I questioned why... Sure, he semi-destroyed the world, but the way he did it was completely lackluster. Also, every time he went into a battle with my guys, he got beat in one hit and ran away(save the final battle). How does that dignify a supreme villain? It doesn't. I compare him to a whiny kid on a power trip that needed to be smacked.
You know, if enough people join the anti-argument it becomes the main argument. I'm kind of tired of everyone putting down FF7 and praising FF6 like it's the end-all, be-all of RPG gaming. It isn't. It's a bunch of lies. Of course, this is my opinion, as all reviews are, but I just get sick of anti-arguments for the sake of being "anti." Anti-commercialism, anti-popularity, anti-everything as long as you're anti.
Were the characters in FF6 generally better than FF7? Yes. Was it a better game? I'd say they were about even. But, I just don't get how everyone can constantly keep saying FF7 is extremely over-rated yet praise this game. FF6, IMO, is over-rated and so is Kefka.
And there you have it. Great story for 3/4th of the game, crappy story for the rest. Half of the characters were amazing, the other half were lackluster. Great music throughout the game. Great level-up system, even if it made things easy. No real big bugs to speak of, but that's what the real low scores are reserved for. This game just doesn't live up to hype and it doesn't make me feel giddy inside like, oh say, FFIV did. Still a good job though.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 06/15/06
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