Final Fantasy 6
Considered by many to be the greatest RPG ever created, FF6 more than lives up to this title. This was a game that came out when the non-hardcore gamer quit because the game was too hard, not because the storyline was too weak. Having one of the deepest storylines and some of the best developed characters present in games, FF6 is definately a game worth adding to your collection.
When a gamer first places the cartridge into their SNES, or selects FF6 from the Anthologies choice, the first thing he will notice is the music. In FF6, Uematsu composes some of the greatest music he had ever composed during his career. From the strangely haunting overworld theme (which doubles as Terra's theme), to Locke's heroic music, to Celes's sad song reflecting confusion and loss, FF6 has some amazing music. And before you tell me that the "Aria de Mezzo Carreterre" isn't exactly "Eyes on Me," keep in mind when the game was made. The opera scene ain't half bad...in fact it's actually extremely well done. My only complaint is the music is obviously MIDI's. Of course, being an SNES game, asking for more would be like asking for a game with a graphical level of "The Spirits Within" right now.
Many a gamer's complaint about old-school games are the graphics (or lack thereof). To the casual observer who sees 2-D graphics and pixelized sprites, FF6 is no exception. However, to one with a more observant eye, the graphics not only tower above games of its time but also hold their own with some of the more modern games out there. Now, before you flame me, look at the level of detail on some of the backgrounds and especially the monsters. Pay attention to the bosses you encounter during the game, in particular the ones you encounter in the final dungeon. Amano's art is faithfully reproduced, the true beauty of the original painting not lost in a jumble of polygons.
Ah, the storyline and character development. FF6's strongest points. No words can capture the plot of this game. Although many people say it's the same hashed and re-hashed FF story where someone has amnesia and find out they have the power to save the world, never has it been done in such beauty, and probably never will be again. The game is emotionally charged, as the gamer becomes Terra, feeling her every heartbreak, rejoicing in her every triumph. However, unlike other Final Fantasy games, it doesn't stop there. Several of the game's characters are well-developed, and by the time the ending (which is one of the best in RPG history) is played out, the gamer identifies with not one, but several of FF6's huge cast list. Granted, there are some characters that are not well developed, but if every character were, the game would last longer than most people would care to play it for.
Gameplay is another of FF6's strong points. Although the esper system is not as innovative as FF5's job system, it provides for more of a challenge than FF7's materia system or FF8's GF system. A character cannot become instantly powerful like in FF7 or FF8, and although each character has distinct traits, different qualities can be built up by equipping a certain esper.
Another gripe about modern RPG's is the linear game. Although the first part of FF6 is extremely linear, the second part is almost completely non-linear. The gamer can go straight to the final dungeon, or can participate in numerous sidequests, each revealing information about a character's past and developing the characters more. This means that FF6 can take anywhere from 50 hours to well over 100 hours to complete. FF6 also came out in the heyday of RPG's, meaning that it is not the watered down easy RPG made accessible to the mainstream audience. This is no easy game. Although it isn't as hard as some of the games before it, and is not so difficult that only hardcore gamers should even bother to approach it, it still makes 3-D RPG's look like a walk in the park.
As for replay value, like most RPG's from Squaresoft, this is a category that FF6 in which sadly falls short. However, chances are a gamer will not find every secret the first time through, even when using a strategy guide. *SPOILER* Although most of the sidequests in the World of Ruin may be completed, some of the secrets, such as Shadow's dream sequences, are extremely hard to find. That is, if you manage to keep him alive. It's also fun to experiment with the Ragnarok choice. Go for the esper, and you get the best spell in the game. But if you get the sword, you can get Illumina at the Collesium. Plus you can still acquire Ultima by using the Paladin sheild. *SPOILER* However, with the exception of the FF6 fanboy/fangirl, not many people will care to see all of the secrets, or live through the entire game again.
In conclusion, FF6 is a must-buy. Chances are, if you're a Final Fantasy fan, you've already played this game, and if you're an SNES owning Final Fantasy fan, you've beaten it numerous times. But for those who haven't experiences this masterpiece, play the game.
Replay Value: 8
Reviewer's Tilt: 10
Dark Mistress' Reviews
Final Fantasy 6 Reviews
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