Final Fantasy VI - Review

Yardstick of the RPG Genre

By: Red Raven

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 7
   Interface 6
   Music/Sound 10
   Originality 8
   Plot 8
   Localization 6
   Replay Value 6
   Visuals 7
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

40-60 hours


Title Screen

   Squaresoft has always been known for their quality products, due largely I guess to the precendence of Final Fantasy 6. This game was not only the start of the gradual split between old-school and new-school, it it also firmly planted in the hall of classics, where it probably shall remain for quite some time. The question is: what is it about this game that make it so good? Past all the usual bias and nostalgia, I hope I can remind you why.

   Final Fantasy 6 brought a lot of new things into the budding RPG genre of the time. With peers whose plots centered around saving the princess and killing dragons, FF6 definitly upped the ante with a plot that revolved around power, greed, death, and insanity. It also tackled real-life issues such as teen pregnacy and suicide, stuff no other game to date has tried to imitate. Dark and moody, the setting and plot merged as one entertaining and coherant story that gripped the player from the beginning right until the final confrontation.

Ramuh, showing that he gots the goods
Ramuh, showing that he gots the goods  

   Also helping to grip the player's attension was the outstanding musical score. Featuring some of the most emotional and memorial songs of the entire series, the music no doubt set the mood for the most of the game. The score is classic and is highly recommended to any RPGamer speculating about buying the OST. Even though the game was released several years ago, the music still beats out most RPGs that are being released now. From sweeping to emotional, from hostile to cozy, the music "buck" indeed stops here.

   The music would mean much less without the original and diverse cast of characters that helped define it. Sporting a large number of characters, 16 total, FF6 does suffer a bit from certain characters not recieving the same amount of attension as the others, but it isn't enough to hurt the game in a major way. And for the major characters at least, in time, you'll come to understand what motivates them to fight for their cause and why they made the descions they did during the game. All this is still pretty impressive considering how long ago FF6 was first released.

Getting ready to turn the world upside-down
Getting ready to turn the world upside-down  

   Of course you'll be battling for the other half of the game, so it definitely helps having a fun and interesting battle system. ATB gauges are still here along with specific character-only abilities. A nice twist that we haven't seen since this game was the fact that characters were not completely locked into using only a certain type of weapon. But the real unique twist in combat for this FF was the use of Espers. These magical beasts of war can be summoned during battle to do damage, but their main function was after the battle is over. Through the use of AP gained after battle, characters will learn magic spells that an equipped Esper can teach.

   Espers weren't always used for good however, and you learn more about what happened when evil got a hold of them as the outstanding story progresses. In another first for the series, the main protagonist is a woman, Terra, and the story chronicals her adventures along with the rest of the cast in the fight to save the world. Always advancing after quite possibly the best villain ever, each character will confront evil and have to overcome doubts to succeed. The long an engrossing plot is one of the main reason why this FF is considered the best ever.

They never saw it coming.
They never saw it coming.  

   Characters, plot, music, graphics, innovation, and quality. The best traits in any RPG, and FF6 certainly has each and every one nailed solidly. When compared visually, the game shows it's age quite quickly. But when one examines the plot and characters, this beauty still comes out ahead. I'm sure in 10 years people will back and still consider this a solid FF entry and a geniune classic RPG that everyone should play at least once. So basically, yes, it really is that good.

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