As you all know, one of my favorite games of all time is Final Fantasy 9. I have even admitted that Final Fantasy 9 was better than 7 as the best game in the franchise. However, it’s not that I don’t like any other Final Fantasy, it’s just that 9 was very close to my heart when I was growing up. Back then, I didn’t even know where to find the other games in the series. This was when I was just a guy trying out different games. I wanted to become an artist, but now that I am into games, I have been trying to find the Final Fantasy games that I want to play for myself. One of them, which I have been looking for, was Final Fantasy 6, which was one of the last great SNES games. I have recently picked it up, but not in cart form. I picked up the game with Final Fantasy 5 that were both part of the Final Fantasy Anthology for the Playstation. I have been playing this game for a while, and it is now my second favorite Final Fantasy game.
The main story of Final Fantasy 6 revolves around a young girl named Terra, who is a powerful soldier from the Empire, on a raid in a mining town trying to find a newly unearthed being known as an Esper. However, the raid doesn’t go well, with the Esper killing the two soldiers she was with, and Terra ending up unconscious. She is later found by a group of Moogles, and a thief named Locke defends her from the soldiers of the Empire. They end up escaping the soldiers and going to the mechanical castle of Figaro in the desert. Terra finds out that Locke is part of a resistance group that is trying to take down the Empire and their evil ways. Terra decides to join the team that is led by the young King of Figaro, Edgar. They are joined by Edgar’s brother Sabin, a hotheaded monk, Cyan, a powerful swordsman, Shadow, a ninja to hire, Celes, an ex-mage general of the evil empire, Gau, a feral child who can learn monster attacks, Setzer, a gambler and airship owner, Strago, an old blue knight, Relm, the granddaughter of Strago who can control an enemy in battle, Mog, a furry bear bat thing who is a geomancer, Umaro, a berserker yeti, and Gogo, a mysterious mime. I think the one thing you will notice right off the bat is that there are A LOT of characters to play as, and it is just amazing, since it gives you a lot of variety and makes you choose who you want to use and such. The main theme of the whole story is interesting since magic vs. machine is a unique theme here, which I will explain later in my review. Though doesn’t anyone find a berserker yeti kind of scary? I mean a yeti is already scary, but a yeti in a berserker class? I would be scared. Anyway, let’s get back to the review… I got off- track there.
The gameplay featured in Final Fantasy 6 is still the same from Final Fantasy 4-9, active-time battle. You basically control a group of 4 fighters and you take on giant monsters, machines, and other stuff. Everyone has their own job system like Final Fantasy 4 and 9. However, there isn’t a limit to what they could do. What I am saying is that it isn’t as restrictive as other games in the franchise. Another main theme of the game is the summons, which are called Espers. They take a big role in the story, which I won’t spoil for people who haven’t played the game. You can equip the multiple Espers through the game and by multiple, I mean one at a time. They each have multiple abilities, mostly spells. Some are learned quicker than others, but it all depends on the character and the abilities. Now, characters like Shadow can learn fire and Umaro can learn thunder. Even though the jobs in Final Fantasy 6 are now not so limited, it does take away from how unique they are, kind of like the level system in Final Fantasy 12. This game still has really good character development, but again, this is Final Fantasy, so of course it has great character development. Everyone however, does have his or her own special powers specific to each character’s job or class or whatever you like to call it. For example, Edgar can use tools, Sabin can perform Street Fighter moves by literally pressing button combos that look like Street Fighter moves, Celes can absorb magic, Locke can steal, Cyan counts from 1 to 10 on whatever attack he can use, and you get the idea. It gives the game play more variety than the older Final Fantasies ever did. No offense or anything of course! Overall you have about 14 characters that have multiple abilities to experiment with or use in battle. For example, even though I can equip Edgar with a sword and such, I always resort to him using his chainsaw since it is one of his most powerful attacks and I don’t need to use MP or anything. I say the only downside is that you can’t use 5 characters in each party like in Final Fantasy 4. I mean Final Fantasy 5 had a reason to only use 4 characters since the game basically gives you literally 4 characters! What is up with Square Enix thing to only include 3 to 4 people?
The graphics, you could say, haven’t aged well since this was when games were moving out of the 16-bit era to the 32-bit era due to consoles like Playstation, Saturn, and Nintendo 64 getting ready to release to the market. Due to me growing up near the end of the 16-bit era though, I get a charming nostalgic feel for the graphics and I think they still look great. Back then, no other game could push the limit on how the graphics on the SNES could look besides Rare and Square Enix back then. Of course, what people like me and everyone else could never forget is the amazing soundtrack. Seriously, there is A LOT of memorable tracks, from the song for Terra to the threatening tune of Kefka. Nobuo Uematsu definitely knows what the heck he is doing when he composes the soundtrack to a game. Now, this game does have some interesting tidbits of info, like in America this game was called Final Fantasy 3 since it was the third game to be released here in America until Final Fantasy 7 came out and the whole “what the heck were you guys doing with the title of the games this whole time?!”. A lot of people also consider this game Square’s swan song on the SNES. right next to other Square classics like Super Mario RPG and of course Chrono Trigger, which I am desperately looking for on the Final Fantasy Chronicles on the Playstation to play and review. Now that I have gotten that all out of the way, let’s get to one of the best features of the game, KEFKA! This villain is amazing and is one of the most iconic villains in all of gaming. What makes him interesting besides his appearance is his personality. He isn’t some emo longhaired guy like Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7. He isn’t some super powerful sorcerer like in Final Fantasy 8. He is just a man, a mentally disturbed man who just wants things done how he wants. Like I said, he isn’t a god, he is just a man and a very very good villain. I wish more villains were like Kefka, but then, if that happened, it be bland and boring. A lot of you might be thinking why I hate Final Fantasy 7. Well, I have a few reasons why I hate it. It’s OVERRATED! I can’t see why people like Final Fantasy 7. I mean, yeah, back in the day it was amazing since it was the first Final Fantasy game in 3D, but today it looks like garbage. The 3D bodies look extremely blocky and the characters are just not likeable enough. They all act like whiny school kids who just got dumped by their girlfriends and failed all their final exams in one day. It all boils down to Sephiroth being a longhaired angel of death becoming a freaking, whiny mama’s boy whose job is to just whine, complain, and of course, be a primadonna. I just can’t see why people like the game. Now, don’t get me wrong, the 3d rendered cut scenes are cool and the music is great except for the theme of Sephiroth. I just can’t stand it and I know that more people prefer Final Fantasy 6 to 7.
Now, it’s time to get down to what doesn’t make this game fully perfect, but it is as close to perfect as possible. I do not like the whole machine theme. While it is more steam punk than future, I just don’t like where this is moving. Have they ever seen a single Hayao Miyazaki film? They don’t go into future stuff like the later games in the series. I will talk more about the theme of future stuff in a later Final Fantasy game review, maybe when I review Final Fantasy 10. I do not like how Sabin’s super moves are pulled, since the Playstation version plays just like the SNES version, you have to use the D-pad. That is one thing that is never going to age well with PS games. It’s really awkward to pull off some of his moves that need to point to a 45-degree angle or whatnot. While I like the graphics and all, some of the close-ups on the pixels do not look that great. I mean, yeah, it’s no Odin Sphere, but that was before that stuff.
Overall, this is truly a great game and is another game to go onto my list of favorite games of all time. You can find this game in multiple varieties. You could hunt down the SNES cartridge, find it with Final Fantasy 5 on the Final Fantasy Anthology disc for the Playstation, and you can find it in handheld form with the Gameboy Advance version. However, I say get the Playstation version since it starts and ends with PS1 full motion CG cut scenes, which still look good in my opinion. I just wish they could go back to these styles of games since it seems like the only good later Final Fantasy games have been 6,9, and 10. Why can’t they just do that? I don’t mind the Kingdom Hearts-style fighting system like in the new Final Fantasy, but I just can’t seem to get enough strength to go and play it. Just ignore Final Fantasy 13 IF you want to and go find Final Fantasy Anthology.
This game gets a 9.7 out of 10