Review by RAMS

"Finest Fantasy!!"

Final Fantasy VI, or better known as Final Fantasy III was released at 1994. Final Fantasy VI was to be the last Final Fantasy game for Super Nintendo, in fact it was the last for 16-bit console as well. It has been almost a decade since its release, yet Final Fantasy VI has not lost its charm, and it does not fail to captivate many, even today. FF VI was to be the last Final Fantasy VI game for SNES, and it went out with a bang. Final Fantasy VI was pinnacle in the history of Final Fantasy.

The game itself excels in many aspects. Characterization, Storyline, Graphics (relative to its time), sounds and music. In fact it would be hard to find many flaws in Final Fantasy VI and to put it down. Final Fantasy VI along with other great games such as Chrono Trigger would define the golden age of RPG. It would be no exaggeration to see why. Final Fantasy VI was a groundbreaking effort from Square. Not only it is a great game on its own, it also revolutionize the way the Final Fantasy VI series is being made. With Final Fantasy VI, the Final Fantasy series were starting to gain that futuristic feeling in them, as evident in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII as well.

Innovative would be the word to describe it. Like others Final Fantasy games, summon monsters are one of Final Fantasy's many tradition. In Final Fantasy VI, they are called Espers. Final Fantasy VI managed to revolutionize the summon system, and integrate it with the magic learning process. Characters learned magic through equipping espers. By doing so, there is a great freedom at designing your characters as you intend them to be.

Generally, Final Fantasy battle system retains the traditional RPG battle system. Random Encounter still exists, as well as equipping weapons and armors. There are skills that are specific to a certain characters though. Some of these are the

Swordtech, Blitz, and Tools. The existence of these unique abilities makes each characters unique and distinct. Overall, there might not be radical changes in terms of gameplay, unlike Final Fantasy VIII and its junction system.

Being a Final Fantasy game of course, you would expect various Final Fantasy traditions. Final Fantasy VI is not lacking in this area either. Some unique characteristics of Final Fantasy such as Chocobo, Moogles and airship are retained.

Storyline and Characters
Storyline is what makes this game a legend. Final Fantasy VI introduced to the players an intriguing storyline. The story might still dealt with saving the world from another villain, yet this time story of each characters and their own personal tragedies are uncovered in the game. Of course, you might need to do all the sidequest. Final Fantasy VI has gone beyond the usual RPG stories of a bunch of warriors chosen to save the world. Final Fantasy VI shows the players each character's background and their past through the various sidequest at the second half of the game. In fact, Final Fantasy VI does not have any main characters; most of the characters are give their own fifteen minutes of fame.

Final Fantasy VI offers an impressive array of playable characters. There's Terra, a half human/half esper. There is also Locke Cole the so-called ''treasure hunter,'' as well as the mysterious Gogo. There are 14 characters in total, which are rarely seen in many RPG. Despite having so many characters, the game succeeds in bringing out their own uniqueness.

The Excellent characterization is not limited only to the playable characters. Final Fantasy VI produces one of the most memorable villain in FF history - Kefka. Through FF VI, Square managed to establish an excellent villain. Ambitious and wicked to the point of insanity, yet at the same time Kefka could draws laugh from players. There are of course, other villains who are put in to add comics’ relief and other purposes. An example of this would be Ultros the Octopus, which is more hilarious than scary. There is also Sigfried, a mysterious villain which identity is never revealed at all.

There are also enough mystery, such as the mysterious identity of some characters (Gogo, Siegfried) in the game that are bound to draw much heated discussion even after playing the game. The game managed to impress with its storyline as well as characters, although in my opinion the ending is rather weak.

The graphics are top-notch. Final Fantasy VI graphics were one of the best during its time. It still lost out to game like Chrono Trigger or Seiken Densetsu III though, although its understandable since Final Fantasy was released a year earlier than Chrono Trigger. The world map sprites of the characters is still exaggerated though, with oversized heads, although this should have no bearings on the gameplay.

The game started off with the Magiteks soldiers approaching Narshe. Veteran Final Fantasy players would find it easy to spot its much superior graphics compared to its predecessor - Final Fantasy V.

Another impressive section of the game. Final Fantasy VI boasts some quality music. One of the more notable one would be the Opera theme which does not disappoint in accompanying one of the more memorable scenes in this game. FF VI music never fails to boost the atmosphere of the game.

Replay Value
To be frank, not much to speak of. Like many RPG, the story ends after you've beaten the game. There aren’t any enhanced features that you could get if you beat the game. You might want to replay the game after a while, but that's as far as you should expect when it comes to Replay Value.

Final Words
In my opinion, Final Fantasy VI is worthwhile getting. It is probably one of the best Final Fantasy in the Final Fantasy series. You could try it out for yourself and be amazed. Of course, no game is spared from flaws. Final Fantasy VI has its own flaws, though they are minor and could do nothing to prevent the justification of this game as Final Fantasy at its finest. If you have an option to buy this game, and you like RPG this game will not disappoint. There is no doubt that Final Fantasy VI has justified itself in being hailed as one of the greatest Final Fantasy in the series.

Final Score: 10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 09/29/03

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