|By Charlie Goodrich||Sunday, 18 Mar 2007|
With the porting of every NES and SNES Final Fantasy, it was only a matter of time before Square-Enix released Final Fantasy VI on Nintendo’s friendly handheld device. A wonderful gaming experience awaits anyone who might have missed this treasure in the mid-nineties, or anyone who wants to relive one of the richest games in history. I have many fond childhood memories of this game and playing it again on the GBA was a great time. The added dungeons and new dialog were nice additions too. They give FFVI veterans an added reason to play through this game.
The story is the main draw of FFVI. The story evolves in a unique way. The basic structure of the story may seem traditional at first glace: a small force is rebelling against an evil empire. Yep, pretty standard; however, Square has taken the time to create unique twists and has used a great way of developing the plot. Another unique part of FFVI is that there is no main character. Some characters are more prominent than others but the story revolves around no one person. Each character has a distinct back-story that can offer more game play if all are pursued.
The graphics, while dated, are still good. The environments are colorful, and the animations are vibrant and, at times, funny. The enemies are well detailed for being over ten years old and the summons provide cool animations as well.
Final Fantasy VI uses the active time bar (ATB). The only problem with the ATB is its speed. It is very slow, but remember that its time, it was an ingenious system. However, you can adjust it in the options menu. The magic system is also unique. You equip an esper (a magical creature) that contains set of abilities that can be learned after a certain number of enemy encounters. Overall the game play is good but it can be slow at times.
Final Fantasies are known for their music. FFVI is no exception. I think it has the best soundtrack I have ever heard. I have heard complaints regarding the sound quality on the GBA port but I have no issues with it. It has a great score with fantastic melodies.
FFVI features four new espers, new magic spells, new items, and two new bonus dungeons. The Dragon’s Den is extremely challenging and will force a lot more time to be put in. A ton of new items are found that haven’t been seen in the original. The Soul Shrine forces you to fight 100 waves of enemies which can be a daunting task. FFVI also includes a bestiary and sound gallery. The bonus content should really encourage veterans to replay this game once again.
Everything about this game is unforgettable. The villains, characters, music, storyline, and game play combine to make a wonderful RPG. People who missed out on this classic before go out and buy it. And if you played this game back on the SNES or the Playstation, do yourself a favor and pick it up again.