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Sixth installment of the popular Final Fantasy franchise

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The Finest Fantasy of Them All

  • Mar 7, 2009
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The Final Fantasy series is one of the most popular franchises in all of gaming.  While Final Fantasy VII is often considered the best, the Final Fantasy that made it possible, and has long been hailed as the greatest of the sixteen bit era was Final Fantasy VI.  There are still several long time Final Fantasy fans who consider it to be the best in the series to this very day, in spite of gaming moving far beyond that.  The game was first released as Final Fantasy III on the Super Nintendo due to issues with getting others in the series over here in 1994.  It was then released five years later on the original Playstation bearing its real title: Final Fantasy VI as part of a collection called Final Fantasy Anthology which included Final Fantasy V.  Finally, it made its way to the Gameboy Advance as Final Fantasy VI Advance.  It's all essentially the same game, with the Gameboy Advance game being the most different of the bunch.  Here, we'll talk about the differences down below.

The storyline in Final Fantasy VI is fairly simple. 1000 years ago the war of Magi happened, and after that war the power of magic simply ceased to exist. Now the Magitek Empire has found a way to revive the dreaded power known as magic, and they tend to use this power to enslave the world. A small resistance group has come forth to stop this empire, and magic may very well be the key to stopping the Empire. But is it really such a good idea to rely on the power of magic once more? Or is history just going to repeat itself?

Final Fantasy VI may not have the most complex story in the series, but the story comes alive through some of the most well developed characters in the history of the series. In fact, Final Fantasy VI excels in character development more so than any other game in the series, and easily has the best ensemble cast. Each character is distinct and has a personality of his or her own, and join up with your group to fight the empire for their own reasons. Even so, however, these characters manage to come off as completely different from one another. Final Fantasy VI also has the luxury of having the largest cast of playable characters in the series. There are twelve standard characters and two hidden characters.

The battle system is the basic ATB that was introduced in Final Fantasy IV. Your characters line up on the left side of the screen while your enemies populate the right side of the screen. As the battle progresses, everyone's ATB gauge fills up. When a character's gauge is full you can select commands for them to do. To keep Final Fantasy VI from being a bore fest in battle, however, each character has a distinct skill that only he or she can perform. Locke, for example, can steal while Edgar has a set of tools he can use. This not only gives some battles variety, but also let's you set up a strategy. There are moments in the game where your characters will be split up, and you'll have to decide who should go with who, and you'll be forced to switch between parties.

To add to the experience, Final Fantasy VI never forces you to run around with a full party. You can have up to four characters in one party, but you don't have to use four at a time. You could simply run around with just three characters in... or even just one if you're looking for a challenge. Even better, there is no central leader in Final Fantasy VI. This means that there is never anyone character you have to have in, and the game rarely forces you to use any specific characters. This gives the player a lot more freedom.

A Final Fantasy game would not be complete without some sort of complex system. Here, you're given a complex way to make your characters learn magic. As you progress through your adventure you'll find espers, which are the summons found throughout the game. You must equip an esper in order to use it. Each esper has a set of spells they can teach your characters at a certain rate. As you battle through the game, you'll gain experience points as well as magic points from your enemies. Magic points go toward learning a certain spell. It's no where near as complex as Final Fantasy V's job system, Final Fantasy VII's materia system or Final Fantasy X's sphere grid, but it's simple to pick up on. The only problem with it is that the later espers offer spells that you'll have to spend a lot of time battling around to learn.

In addition to spells, having a certain esper equipped can also give you stat bonuses at level up. For example, some espers will allow your character to gain 30 percent more HP at level up than he or she normally would. Others may increase speed, MP, etc. So just because you learned every spell from an esper doesn't mean they don't have other uses.

Visually, for the time it was originally released, Final Fantasy VI made great use of the techonolgy around it.  Originally being on the Super Nintendo in 1994 it was a powerhouse by giving you incredibly detailed sprites and towns, along with a few neat spell animations and dungeon designs.  Very few Super Nintendo RPGs put that much effort into their game.  It looks no different on the Playstation, but some may notice that it looks a lot smoother on the Gameboy Advance.  It should also be noted that the Gameboy Advance title has a different script translation.  It isn't too terribly different, but purist may prefer the original Super Nintendo overall.  The Gameboy Advance version of the game also includes a new dungeon and a few new summon spells at your disposal.  The Playstation version has FMV cinemas that you can view which look just as good as those you'll find in Final Fantasy VII.  The only drawback the Playstation version suffers is the load times when loading the menu or going into battle. 

Musically, there are few, if any, sixteen bit games that sound better.  It has perhaps one of the best music scores in the series.  It is a soundtrack worth picking up and listening to.  On an odd note, the Gameboy Advance version sounds notably weaker.  The Playstation version sounds the same. 

It's hard to say which version is the best.  The Gameboy Advance is the most recent, but some amy not like the idea of a soundtrack less than worthwile, and the translation may not be good for those wanting to remember such classic lines from some of the botched translation of the original.  The Playstation version, while being superior in some ways and giving you a good amount of bonus content, suffers from load times.  It may not seem like a big deal but with constantly having to go into the main menu and random battles left and right, it can easily grate on your nerves when you realize you could be waiting ten seconds for the menu to open.  The Super Nintendo even suffers from problems, that being that it comes at a fairly hefty price if you manage to find it. 

Whichever version you get, it's worth while.  The best of the Final Fantasy games will always be in debate, but there are always those which stand out as being some of the better games in the franchise.  Final Fantasy VI is one of them, and it's worth playing for any Final Fantasy fan.

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September 17, 2010
You know me, I am a sucker for this franchise. Nice review!
More Final Fantasy VI reviews
review by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
What happened in the three hours of the game?   After awaking from a sleep, you realize you remember nothing of your past or of who you are. A old man kindly helps you, but that time is cut short as the empire comes to the town looking t o arrest you. The old man points you in the direction of the town mines. As you make your way there you're corned by emperial guards. You happen to fall down a hole and fall unconscious. you awake to find that a thief who is part of the resistance, …
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
A TRUE masterpiece and is where the Final Fantasy series peaked. One of the best in story and gameplay. Any fan of RPG's owe it themselves to play this game. 14 main playable characters, espers, tactical war battles, and steam-punk elements with some of the best written characters around. If you're not happy with it you should just stop playing RPG's right now.
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
One of the best Final Fantasy games ever created, imo.
Quick Tip by . February 22, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
The first FF I ever played, and still my favorite FF. Probably from nostalgia, but I've played it in more recent years and it remains as good as the day I took its virginity. Everything is so... flawless (next to Chrono Trigger, of course, which is even more perfect). Personally, it's got my favorite villain, favorite setting, and favorite story of all FFs, not to mention the most likable cast ever. Oh, and I could pilot an airship. Bring it back Versus!
Quick Tip by . February 22, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
The first FF I ever played, and still my favorite FF. Probably from nostalgia, but I've played it in more recent years and it remains as good as the day I took its virginity. Everything is so... flawless (next to Chrono Trigger, of course, which is even more perfect). Personally, it's got my favorite villain, favorite setting, and favorite story of all FFs, not to mention the most likable cast ever.
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Great story with even better music. Interesting stat building system. The villain would laugh at Sephiroth (litterally) as he performed something that many villains only dream of. Many of the characters have great, heartfelt stories. There are points in the game where it seems to lose a little focus, but it is worth it in the end. The ending is very exciting with a great musical score attached. This is one of my favorite RPGs of all time.
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
More characters and drama in what is to me, the last good Final Fantasy game before Playstation got it's hooks into it.
review by . January 29, 2010
I've loved the Final Fantasy games on the GBA ever since I discovered them years ago. I never played the older versions, so the storylines were new to me, as well. This was another great addition that has quickly become one of my favorites although it had a shaky start.    Story-This game takes place years in the future, and I think that it is a different planet than earth. The ability to use magic has been lost after a huge war, and most people have started living very peacefully. …
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Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Final Fantasy VI is a console role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) in 1994 as a part of the Final Fantasy series. The game first appeared on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, then was ported by TOSE with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. It was first released in North America as "Final Fantasy III", although the original title has been restored in later releases.

The game's story focuses on a group of rebels as they seek to overthrow an imperial dictatorship. Final Fantasy VI was the first game in the series to be directed by someone other than producer and series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi; the role was filled instead by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Itō. Released to critical acclaim, the game is regarded as a landmark of the series and of the role-playing genre.

Final Fantasy VI has more battle customization options than its predecessors and has the largest playable cast in the Final Fantasy series to date, excluding spin-off titles. It remains widely praised for its storyline and characters.
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Games, Video Games, Gaming, Game, Final Fantasy, Ff6, Ffvi, Final Fantasy 6


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