Review by Asam Zulqurnain
Reviewed: 09/27/02 | Updated: 09/29/02
Excellent game. Worth the wait, just a shame that the conversion wasn't exactly up to scratch.
NOTE: Before you all get excited about the cheap price, free FFX demo for the PS2, the bonus section and the lovely little dancing characters when saving the game (etc) that I mention in this review, you all must realise I'm a fellow Brit talking about the PAL conversion of Final Fantasy VI.
For the game itself, it's simply wonderful! An absolute bargain if bought! The only little snag is the actual conversion, loading times are quite a bit slower. That shouldn't bother you too much, because the most important thing is the game itself and how good it's gameplay is. Don't worry yourself with little matters, the game itself more than makes up for the loading times. It also has quite a few extra goodies to compensate for that.
Gameplay: Right, the gameplay is marvelous. Just remember that this game originally was made for the SNES, so you'll end up walking in a square or rectangle when trying to walk in circles. The gameplay is not to be blamed for this, the gameplay was top notch when Final Fantasy VI originally came out, quite possible the most ''advanced'' RPG out for the SNES.
Just like many other Final Fantasy games, you'll be doing a lot of walking around, searching for treasures, plenty of sidequests and above all, leveling up! It is quite easy to control your character, and everything is straight forward in the game, the secrets in the game don't require you to get into awkward positions with the controller and to get you to mash buttons life right and centre. It's just a matter of thorough exploring and finding the secrets. So, as I said, the game's very simple to play and also to get into.
The game's menu is easy to navigate, and satisfactorily designed. That's basically all there is to say about the menu. However, a minor problem can arrive, and that's the character limit of items, equipment and some magic, which means that names are shortened (e.g. the magic Rflect instead of Reflect), and that's not a good thing. Not at all!!
The next thing about the gameplay that I'll mention is the world map and airships on the world map. The world map is the same as ever, your character walks at quite a fast pace to get from places to places. When it comes to airships, I was quite amazed at their speed. The airships are unbeatable when it comes to speed, and are absolutely brilliant when you first get the chance to control one. Okay, there's another little problem when on the world map. Chococbos, when riding a chocobo, the view is utterly disgraceful, you can't even tell where you're going.
I now conclude my bit on the Gameplay, I must say that it's tremendous. Just a few minor things that you may dislike, but they are minor things, y'know.
Story: After all, this is a Final Fantasy game. All Final Fantasy stories are usually pretty good, and unique in their own way. This is no exception, the story is good and as you progress in the game you'll learn a lot more about some of the unanswered questions. It is, as they say, quite interesting to follow.
In Final fantasy VI, there are a plethora of characters. So as you can imagine, from this superabundance of characters (i.e. there's a whole LOT of them!) you can imagine that the characters won't be greatly developed. However, each character comes with his or her own unique background and has his or her own job system to give you a variety to choose from when it comes to battles.
Battle System and different abilities: The battle system isn't bad, you have the usual command to attack with your weapon (and there's a WIDE range of weapons, equipment and accessories...I'm telling you!). Next, you'll find that each and every character has his/her own special technique you can use in battle. This means you'll have to choose well when it comes to certain situations.
You can summon Espers, but what I found is that they really aren't useful in battle. What they are useful for, is for learning all the different Magic. They are really important for you to gain bonuses at levels and to equip them in order to learn the all important Magic in the game.
Next I shall discuss about the desperation moves (limit breaks), they only occur when you're really desperate, and are very rare. However, they are there and do no harm. Just because they are rare doesn't mean that's disappointing, because you don't really need to rely on them at all.
On a side note, I have seen there to be a very great problem with the battle system when it comes to Sabin's Blitz and entering the commands. I don't know why people have trouble with this, but I find it very easy to use Sabin's Blitz. This may be a setback for some, but I find that strange. Anyway, that's one factor that may bring the battle system's standard down for some.
Graphics and Sound: Now, for the Playstation's standard the graphics may seem disgusting! However, they are quite brilliant when we go back to the SNES the graphics were right up there at the top. To me, the graphics count as nothing in this game. The graphics don't add to or take away the gameplay what so ever in this game, trust me on this!
As for the sound, it was satisfactory. I didn't expect much from this department, because I knew the gameplay is the main thing.
Music: Nobuo Uematsu is in my opinion, the finest composer ever when it comes to games. Thus making the Final Fantasy games having the best music in all games, for me at least. The music is very very good, and I was totally hooked to the boss battle music. I deliberately made my boss fights longer because of the music, awesome job! (Not just with the boss battle music, but overall. The boss battle music was my personal favourite, and there were some pretty close 2nds and 3rds).
Replay Value: Well, all good RPGs are worth for at least a second play. The game is wonderful, and that's purely the reason why it's worth the play. Play it over and over, it won't get boring after a long long while.
Extra Goodies: This game has quite a few extra things from the SNES cartridge. In the UK, you'll find a free FFX demo. You'll find that in the game there are extra FMVs, and the infamous Bonus mode which contains art, music, FMVs and the most important of all the monster and boss information. Complete the entire game once and save the file (when the little Squall, from FFVIII comes up) to unlock every bonus item in the game.
Other stuff includes the little characters running along the screen and sort of dancing and forbidding you to take out the memory card when saving the game. They're a nice addition, not the most useful thing but good to see.
Buy or rent? Buy it, it's very cheap (£15 brand new). Also, you probably won't find many places that rent it out. Really, it's worth it, it has bunch of extra stuff (as mentioned above), can't be a waste of money.
Overall: This an absolutely stunning game, just a little let down by the bad conversion. However, everything else makes it up for you. If you like RPGs and you haven't got this game, then you MUST buy it. I command you!!
Battle system: 9/10
Graphics and sound: 5/10
Replay value: 9/10
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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