Review by phoenix85044

Reviewed: 02/07/07

Reborn again, not perfect, but still amazing

Back in elementary, way way back in the mid 90s, my friend bought 100 SNES games, an SNES, and a Game Genie for 400 dollars. This, among other classics such as Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, Illusion of Gaia, and whatnot, was among the games. I borrowed it and, as my first Final Fantasy, I was blown away. This game looked amazing, had this irresistible soundtrack, ATB system (which I totally loved from CT), and just plain awesomeness in terms of plot. So, how does this port compare? Is it going to end the GBA with an amazing bang, or fizzle out like the PSX port?

NOTE: There will be spoilers.

Graphics: Excellent. Isn't quite as detailed as the SNES, but this a GBA. Besides the Golden Sun games, this is the next best looking thing on the console. 10/10

Music: Tough to call here. The soundtrack is amazing, one of the best in gaming history. But the GBA simply can't do the justice. So many songs sound washed out. So much quality had to be taken away. The music is very appropriate for the GBA, but not what FF6 fans would appreciate. The sound effects seem to be horrendously annoying and unusual, not fitting many of the sounds from the SNES version. Finally, even for a GBA, the quality is not the best it could be. No surprise, the Golden Sun series probably had the best quality for the GBA in terms of sound. Not too terrible in the end, but could have been so much better. 7/10

Controls: Perhaps it's me, but the controls seem quite unresponsive. I'd walk, quickly press a different direction, and my characters would often not change direction at all. Menu sifting also feels very very slow. Once more, not the best, but definitely not the worst *coughFF4Acough*. Bearable. 8/10

Story: Good old FF6. One of the best plots in gaming history. Beats the pants off of that very emo, very silly FF7. Character development is still some of the best, even after all these years. The general plot also has enough twist and turns to keep newer gamers who haven't played this game (if those people actually exist, lolorz) on their feet. And amazing, a villain actually succeeds for once and manages to destroy the world. Zeromus, Sephy, Kuja, Seymour, none can claim even anything remotely close, maybe ExDeath. A story so good I sometimes sit down and just read the script, like Super Mario RPG and Earthbound. 10/10

Gameplay: Good old ATB. Tried and true. The battle system is nothing too unexpected. However, I do have some major beefs. First off, ATB is now trite. I know that Square cannot change this, as this game is a port, however, keep in mind that we've all played something like this before. Not to bash FF6 or anything, but it simply cannot get a perfect score because of this. I am comparing it to gaming nowadays, not back when it was released. Secondly, character customization is the bare minimal. Sure, you can change a few stats; sure, you can give them magic, but that's it. This is nowhere near as awesome or unique as FF5's Job System. The Esper System is not amazing at all. Characters in the end will all just blast away with magic, even the bad spellcasters. Finally, characters are still horrendously unbalanced. Square definitely could have fixed this, just as they fixed some glitches, but chose not to, which is unfortunate. Cyan is still the joke character. Umaro is still useless. Gogo is still the ultimate mime with stats to make the average Goblin laugh. Strago is still the slow old man with great magic but no defenses to back up anything. So many characters in the cast just aren't useful. Truthfully, the gameplay is meh. The new dungeon adds some new items in an attempt to balance the characters, but still fails. Playable, but still flawed, just like it was when it was released; age just makes the flaws more apparent. 6/10

Lag: An issue I will address by itself. We all saw how terrible lag can ruin a game, such as FF4A. FF5A even had some lag, but nowhere near as bad. This game is not too terrible. However, battles do slow down significantly and most anything dealing with the world map is ages slower than it should be. The biggest problem with lag is not gameplay or anything of the like. The music also slows down with the lag, although it seems not as much. Music takes yet another blow, which is enough reason for me to consider it an issue. You can't really grade lag, so I won't. But be aware that it does exist and might turn away some players.

Difficulty: After removing many tricks (Vanish + Doom = so not fair), the game got a slight bit harder. Still an easy game, though, a very easy game. The new dungeons is where the true difficulty begins, which is actually very disappointing. They so needed a hard-type for this game. 7/10

Fun Factor: This is the most biased segment in the review, I'm sure. I love this game. I've beaten it a dozen times or so. Not quite as much as my good 50 times or so through CT, but still a lot of times. The gameplay, although a bit shallow by today's standards, is still very fun. It's quite exhilarating to pull off some more advanced techniques and inflict major damage, like transformed Terra with two Earrings, breaking an elemental rod on Atma Weapon (he'll always be Atma to me) on the Floating Continent and inflicting 6000+ damage. This game had lots of replay value, IMO, before all the additions. The additions will glue me to this game even more now. 10/10

Graphics: 10/10
Music: 7/10
Controls: 8/10
Story: 10/10
Gameplay: 6/10
Difficulty: 7/10
Fun Factor: 10/10

A straight average gives us 8.2/100 or so. A very deserving score, IMO. Back when this game was released, I would have given it a 9/10 (don't forget my beefs with gameplay), no questions. Still a worthy buy and better than most of the newer RPGs nowadays. Truly, an RPG classic. 8/10

PS: I'm sure many people, especially those on the board, will probably not like my score. I will say now that I am a very harsh grader. My other reviews (LttP Wii and TP GC) also reflect this. Do not be alarmed by my score!

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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