Final Fantasy VI

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Final Fantasy VI, originally released in the USA as Final Fantasy III is a role-playing by Squaresoft. It is my favorite title in the Final Fantasy series, probably my favorite SNES game, and one of my favorite videogames over all.

Review

Good

  • The game is pretty much the quality apex of the traditional 2-D basic RPG.
  • The story has some really well-written and emotional arcs.
  • The graphics are beautiful and amazingly well-compact for an SNES game. Each major area has a unique look and feel.
  • This game features some of the best videogame music to date, and surpasses much of what came after it. Not too many games add an opera and a 4-movement concerto for boss music.
  • There is a large cast of characters to find in the game, even a couple optional ones, and most of the them have pretty fleshed-out story lines.
  • Combat is highly varied and allows for all sorts of different strategies.
  • When played at a normal pace, the game doesn't require very much grinding, but for those who find it too difficult (or are a completionist), you can always grind levels, spells, items, etc. to make the game easier.
  • There are so many items, spells, special abilities, etc. that you can make all sorts of unexpected combinations.
  • Each character has some special weapons, armor, and relics that only they can use, making them feel more unique.
  • The game does a good job of being linear when it needs to be and open for large sections of the game. It doesn't feel too much like you're just following the motions.

Bad

  • Though the story has several great moments, it's riddled with plot holes. And while the game was meant for a younger crowd, a lot of the jokes and plot-elements were more juvenile than they needed to be.
  • Even with the items in the game to reduce random encounters, there are far too many.
  • There are several programming bugs that affect game play. Dark doesn't decrease hit ability, Evade isn't checked properly, Sketch is pretty buggy, etc. Nothing is game-breaking, but they do create noticeable problems.
  • Most of the game's spells (like muddle, poison, float, etc.) are under-powered and have no applicable use. Others (like break, doom, x-zone, etc.) fail so often, that they're not worth using. And most of the global spells you get later in the game (quake, w.wind, merton, etc.) require a lot of setup to make them usable and aren't worth the effort. For most of the game you'll just cast variations of bolt and cure, then, near the end, you'll just case ultima all the time.
  • A lot of the character's special abilities (Dance, Slot, Sketch, Rage, etc.) are so unreliable that they're not worth using, making the characters feel generic.
  • While the large quantity of items, spells, etc. is great for finding new and better strategies, it also becomes a nightmare for finding what you're looking for in your inventory, especially since the sorting is so poor. Trying to equip non-optimal equipment or finding a ninja star for Shadow's throw ability becomes a hassle.
  • FF6 derives a lot of it's ideas (character classes, monster artwork, spells, items, weapons, etc.) from earlier FF games. Had I known this when I first played it, I'd probably be less impressed with it.

Ugly

  • Nothing. This game is art.

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