Review by nash_clovis

"A game that will withstand the test of time"

“A game that will last throughout the ages.”

Final Fantasy games are pretty well-renowned for how awesome they are, and how timeless most of them have become. Final Fantasy VII, this games successor, is one example. However, Final Fantasy VI is yet another example of a great game that just won't go away. While some parts aren't great, the rest is a well-executed masterpiece that has quickly become one of my favorite games.

In order to clear up some misunderstandings: Yes, Final Fantasy VI is the same game as Final Fantasy III. It was named Final Fantasy III in the US release because it was the third Final Fantasy game to hit the States, with only the original game and what became known as Final Fantasy IV preceding it. This game is also the last of the SNES Final Fantasy games, and boy, did they save the best for last, and this game was also one of the most innovative in the entire series because it ushered in a seemingly steam-powered society, which allowed it to stand apart from the other Final Fantasies and their stereotypical Medieval Fantasy setting.

The story follows a mysterious young girl named Terra as she escapes from the Empire, led by a man who wishes to use Espers to conquer the world due to their power, and the main villain, Kefka Palazzo, who just wants to have power. There are multiple twists along the way, all leading to a climactic conclusion to save the world. The entire cast is likeable: Kefka is one of the most insane villains in the entire Final Fantasy series, the dialogue (though it seems stilted at some points) is fantastic, and the characters themselves are almost impossible to hate. There's a cast of 16 playable characters, which is definitely an improvement from the standard 8-10 cast of characters in other Final Fantasies. However, it's a double-edged sword: there's little to no character development in the first half of the game, and for the second half, nearly ALL development is completely optional. It's hard to fault VI for this in my opinion, because the game is still great. The game gets even more points in the innovation department because the latter half of the game is extremely non-linear: from the end of the scripted events that you HAVE to go through, you can either go to the final boss immediately or go through the 8 hours or so of sidequests for items, weapons, and part members.

Gameplay is your standard turn-based RPG affair. You hit the A button, your characters do something, and then the enemy does something, repeat until dead. However, each character brings something new to the table. Edgar has the ability to use tools that are gathered throughout your journey, Sabin can use some incredible fighting techniques, and Locke can steal things from your enemies. The Esper system is fairly unique as well: when you equip an Esper to a character, you'll gain magic points at the end of every battle. The spells that you'll be able to learn from the equipped Esper have multipliers (e.g. Bolt 2 from Ramuh has a x2 multiplier). The total number of MP that you get towards that spell is the amount of MP you got times the multiplier. You can also summon the Espers you have equipped once per battle. They aren't as powerful as the summons from previous games, but they're useful enough. Some Espers will even boost one of your stats when you level up. The system is simple, lucrative, and it could add to replay value by trying to get everyone to learn every spell. My only qualm is that, in Final Fantasy III, it's too easy to get an overpowered party by spending enough time on them.

Final Fantasy III's music is amazing. The tone is epic, the songs are memorable, and the scale is legendary. Every song fits with the situation, and every song is just plain good. The graphics, at least for the SNES, are without compare. The sprites are detailed (characters will appear the same way they do on the world map as they do in battle), the effects are perfect, and the locales are brilliant. Final Fantasy VI has a unique blend of modern technology and the quaint medieval castle town, which is often enough to draw the player into the wonderfully, albeit spritely, environments. If you look at them within the context of the SNES years, these graphics are without compare.

All in all, the game is a work of art: the story is enthralling, the heroes and the villains are likeable, the musical score and the graphics are memorable and, at their time, the cream of the crop of the Super Nintendo, and the gameplay is seemless (with the occasional, but not very easy to come across, glitch). However, like many other works of art, it has flaws, but they're few and far between. If you still have a SNES, this is a must-play for everyone. Good luck finding it.

Story: 9.5/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Music: 10/10
Graphics: 10/10
Average Score: 9.65/10.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/19/09

Game Release: Final Fantasy III (US, 10/20/94)

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