Review by Braben

"Magnum opus."

Most people is divided when it comes to think about the best Final Fantasy (or the best game in existence by many), some says it is Final Fantasy VII while the others say Final Fantasy VI, but aside from which one you like more, no one can help but to admit that Final Fantasy VI is, and it is always going to be, one of finest video game experiences ever .

As you may know, this sixth intallment was called III in America because as Square only released the first Final Fantasy for the Nes leaving Final Fantasy II and III in Japan, when they released the fourth part for the Snes they called it II, and as they didn’t released Final Fantasy V outside Japan too, this was the third Final Fantasy ever in America, so they just called it III. This s very common, the same happened later with the Tales of saga.

Story 10/10:
Final Fantasy VI does not have a story, it has as many stories as characters. Each character has their own history, and their story is perfectly well developed and all of them are somehow connected with the central plot. The main character is probably Terra, a mysterious young girl that is being used by an evil empire, in the outstanding opening sequence we see her being forced to accomplish some kind of mission with evil intentions, and that is when everything begins.

Final Fantasy VI has one the biggest collection of characters ever seen in a video game, yet I have to say that some of them are very ugly completely out of place. An anime style could have made them splendid, I don’t know why Square never tends to use anime style characters, that really pisses me off, I normally hate non anime characters in rps. But well, I can complaint about their image, but I can’t complaint about their wonderful backgrounds story, they are very well developed, and that is the important thing.

Graphics 10/10:
The graphics are not that different when compared with the previous games, only that this time the colorization is much better, the more darker tones are much more accurate, no more bright colours, the world of Final Fantasy VI is much more gloomy, far from the happy fantasy world of the previous games.
However, sometimes there are some backgrounds in the game so beautiful that are like a dream come true, they look so beautiful that is it a pleasure just to stay there doing nothing watching the surroundings, I am specially talking about that lake in the middle of the woods.

Probably the biggest inconvenient is that the enemies are still ecstatic during the battles, they should have had some movement like for example in the Breath of Fire series (Snes versions), that way everything should have been much nicer, but well, that is just an idea because they look awesome.

Music 10/10:
Final Fantasy VI features one of the most remembered and remarkable soundtracks in history, Nobuo Uematsu was almost in the pinnacle of his career as a composer, reaching the top with Final Fantasy VII, because with the eight installment, while it had a wonderful soundtrack worthy of a big ten out of ten, it was far from the greatness of Final Fantasy VII, and since Final Fantasy VIII he hasn’t done anything worthy of a man with his talent.

Back to the game’s soundtrack, maybe this is not the best one for the Snes, there are so many games with top notch music in this system that it is really hard to choose the best (aside from Tales of Phantasia in my humble opinion, because it think that not even Chrono Trigger excels that Namco’s masterpiece in terms of music). With games like Super Mario RPG or the above mentioned Chrono Trigger, which one would you say it has a better soundtrack?, it is really difficult task.
But without doubt, this one is among the best, who would forget the Snowfield Theme?, or the Coin Song?, haven’t you bough the soundtrack or downloaded these musical tracks?, if you haven’t you are not a true Final Fantasy fan.

The only musical track that I dislike and that I also dislike in almost every Final Fantasy is the battle theme, I always find it to be a bit stupid and not suitable for battling, but maybe it is just me because people seems to love the battle theme. That’s my only complaint about the music though.

Gameplay 10/10:
The job system is gone, but aside from that everything else is basically the same as always.

About the battle system the best feature is that each character has now their own special skills, for example Edgar has the ability to se tools, Stratos is able to use Blue Magic, others can only equip certain special weapons, etc. Edgar’s brother, Sabin, has the ability to use special control combinations to perform special movements, these combinations are one of the nicest features I have ever seen in a battle system, don’t know why Square overlooked this original and amazingly entertaining way of performing attacks in the following chapters of the series or in their following games.

The summonings are called Espers in this chapter, and there are a lot more beasts to summon than in the previous installments. This time they will not only come and hurt the enemy if you summon them, they will also give you magic once equipped, it is more or less like the Materia system from Final Fantasy VII, but simpler.

I have a complaint about these Espers though, because they are not very powerful, they are not powerful enough to keep summoning them all time like in the previous intallments, just equip them to obtain their magic skills and that’s all. I love to summon beasts, too bad.

Another reason that for me confirms Final Fantasy VI’s greatness is the fact that I found Final Fantasy VI to be a very short game, but when I checked the time it said about 35 hours, that is the same time I use to spend in every Final Fantasy for the Snes, and even after having found everything is still wanted to keep playing. That t shows how addictive and well done the game is.

Replay Value:
More or less the typical replay value we always find in any Final Fantasy, we have secret weapons, secret Espers, and the task to find all the characters, that will sure keep you occupied a nice amount of time before finishing the game.

It is well known that Final Fantasy IV was significantly (very significantly) censored out of Japan, fortunately it seems that the inquisitive hand of Nintendo stood still enough for this sixth part, there is some banned content like some swearing, the name of some items skills and magic, etc, but in general the conversion is pretty decent.

Final thoughts:
Final Fantasy VI is a game that you just can’t miss, no matter what, this game can be easily considered the eight wonder of the world. There are things in this world that just have to be seen, to be experienced at least once, and Final Fantasy VI is one of those things.

”My lack of vocabulary and grammatical errors (if there’s any) are because I’m not from an English speaking country, sorry about that.”

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/05/04

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