Final Fantasy VI
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, one of my favorite SNES games, and one of my favorite video games over all.
I own this game, have beaten it, and am very familiar with it.
- Overall: 9/10
- Best Version: SNES
- 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 video game 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.
- 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 buggy, etc. Nothing is game-breaking (in the revision cart, that is!), 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 cast 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 over fight, 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 its 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.
- Nothing. This game is art.
Someone wrote this hilarious synopsis of the game's story line:
Final Fantasy VI's story line isn't that great after all.
Let's all have a look at FF6's storyline for a second: There's an evil empire who presently has control over the only person in the world who can communicate with the creatures they want to enslave, even though they've already enslaved them. She's so important, in fact, that they send her right into enemy territory along with two low-ranking 'bodyguards' who care so much about her safety that they hide behind her because "There's no sense taking any risks". She's being controlled by a magic crown that makes anyone who wears it totally obedient to The Empire, but they never think to use it again on anyone else, even after two of their three generals turn traitor. A group of rebels rescue her, and then immediately send her running alone through a hostile city in broad daylight, then into some caves full of ghosts and hunchbacked guys who throw wrenches. The cave floor then collapses for no apparent reason, and she has a flashback in which she remembers that The Empire is planning on resurrecting the ancient power of magic, even though they already have a research facility that's pumping out magic-powered robots, and can infuse regular people with magic power - and, even without magic, they have enough power to dominate the entire world anyway.
She gets rescued by a thief and bunch of goblin / cat / bat things (who just happen to be there). They run off to meet the king, whose castle is closer to the town he doesn't control than the town he does. The Empire is so concerned with recapturing magic-girl that they burn down the castle she's hiding in. Our Heroes climb a mountain and get attacked by a monk for absolutely no reason, but are saved by the king's long-lost brother (who just happened to be there). Meeting with the resistance, we learn that the girl and her magic powers are the key to victory against The Empire, because she's the only person alive who can talk to espers... at the moment, anyway, because later on we meet a bunch of them and they're quite chatty regardless of one's parentage. Then, in order to stop them from being killed and turned into magicite, they give you their power by killing themselves and turning into magicite.
There's a legendary general with magic powers, but who can still be imprisoned in someone's basement by a soldier who can't stay awake. They don't trust her, then they do, then they don't, then they do, then she suddenly manifests the power to destroy an entire room full of soldiers, but never again. There are some ghosts on a haunted train, which also happens to be the only train in the entire world, and can only be stopped by killing the engine, even though it's already dead, even though trains aren't alive to start with. The rescued general just happens to be the exact double of a famous opera singer, so she's used as bait to lure The Wandering Gambler, who owns not only the world's only airship, but the world's only casino. An island takes off into the sky for no reason, and it has three statues on it, and the world will end if they're ever moved. The bad guy moves them because he's bad, and that's what bad guys do! Despite everyone being involved in a mid-air explosion over the sea, they all manage to survive.
Later, you physically destroy the statues, and nothing happens. Killing the bad guy, however, instantly fixes everything. You'll also be repeatedly harassed by a talking purple octopus with teeth, which shows up without any explanation, and then becomes a receptionist.
A very deep story!