Ah, one of the big guns. Final Fantasy VI was released on the SNES in 1994, and was released in the US as Final Fantasy III to prevent confusion for American gamers as they were missing a few entrees. This is not only one of the most critically games in the series, but in the entire genre.
As with several Nintendo era Final Fantasies, this was re-released on the Playstation. This was packaged with Final Fantasy V as Final Fantasy Anthology, and the games were basically direct ports, though with added CGI cutscenes for the opening and ending. FF6 got a bit more treatment, as there’s slightly less censorship, and bonus galleries, many of which have to be unlocked by beating the game. This review is based on the PS1 version.
You play as Terra Branford, who is an imperial soldier who is sent to investigate the mines of the village of Narshe. They come across a frozen esper who kills the two other soldiers and makes Terra unconscious. She wakes up and finds out that her headband has been removed, and she is no longer under the control of the Empire. Imperial soldiers appear and her protector Locke Cole, a “treasure hunter”, takes her away and the two run off to the nearby kingdom of Figaro. They talk to the king Edgar Roni Figaro, and reveal that they are part of a rebel group called the Returners who are against the Empire. Thus your adventure begins.
As a contrast to FF5 with its massive job classes, FF6 has no class system. Many of the characters are based off of existing classes, and their abilities reflect them. To compensate, there are espers to equip. When you equip an esper, you gain magic points from battle, and if you gain enough magic points, you learn the magic the esper knows. The best part, is that the magic you learn is permanent, so when you unequip an esper, you keep the magic and you can equip another esper to increase your magic pool. So if you have the patience, you can have every character have every spell in the game.
Final Fantasy VI is one of the best looking SNES rpg’s. The sprites are incredibly detailed, and the world looks fantastic. They utilize Mode 7 for the entire overworld instead of just having it for airships. Personally not a fan of Mode 7, but it does make the world seem a bit more expansive and three dimensional. This is the first game where the sprites look the same in and out of battle, also with the larger and more detailed sprites, it makes the little movements and reactions one step closer to being more realistic like later games..
The overall shade of the game is pretty dark, and it does fit with the nature of the second half of the game. Also as a contrast to the medievial nature of the previous games, this game has a steampunk theme.
Final Fantasy VI has one of the best soundtracks on the system, with many memorable tunes and including the infamous 3 part Dancing Mad, the final boss tune.
Final Fantasy VI is a classic that lives on and raised the bar for future RPG’s, and took a niche genre even farther into the mainstream light. The PS1 version is probably the easiest version to get ahold of (aside from the mobile version which kind of looks like ass and costs more). The PS1 version does suffer minor loading times, but it’s very minor, and more people make up a fuss over something that’s not very noticeable. So definitely snag a copy of this game and enjoy it.
Visuals (Or Graphics): 9/10.