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Final Fantasy VI

By: Domino at: 2011-12-03 15:38:36

I should probably start this review off with a disclaimer.  More likely than not, this will end up being a rant about how what USED to be my favorite Final Fantasy game turned into nothing but a mere copy of the epicness that is Final Fantasy VI.  I warn you now, there are spoilers in this review, but I'll put in an alert when I get to a plot spoiler.

Final Fantasy VI is, in all sense of the word, an epic adventure.  Of course, there are classic Final Fantasy "Where the hell am I supposed to go?" moments, but that's all part of the fun, right?  But get this, let me lay out the plot for you just a bit.  There is an empire working on secret experiments.  "Specimens" are kept in tubes in a secret facility within the empire.  A soldier turns from the empire to join the resistence.  You have no magic until you equip it by using Espers.  A pseudo-crazy man, who participates in the research, goes completely bonkers and wants to destroy the world.  The only way to end the suffering is to gather enough Magicite, aka dead Espers, to use their power.  There are super dragons that you can defeat to gain ultimate gear and awesome items.  Sound familiar yet?  It should.

Some of the most popular Final Fantasy games have derived their plots and battle systems from this game alone.  This game was an epic breakthrough in the Final Fantasy series, but it was pushed aside because of the platform jump and upgraded graphics that Final Fantasy VII brought to the FF world.  But wait, didn't I JUST describe FFVII?  Not quite.  I have come to realize that Final Fantasy VII was, in essence, a beefed up, better looking FFVI.  The plots are so similar, I found myself wondering when one of the main female characters was going to die.  Steel warned me, yet again, that this game would ruin FFVII for me, and it pretty much has.  Don't get me wrong, FFVII is still a great game.  However, it has had WAY too much credit given to it.  I also found myself asking,"If they were going to be so similar, why didn't they just make an upgraded version of FFVI and re-release it?!"  Even the MUSIC is extraordinarily similar that I found myself being able to remember the themes for each of the characters after hearing it once. 

***SPOILER ALERT!  MOVE TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE FINAL BOSS!!!!!!!!!***

As for the icing on the cake, your final boss battle is, of course in stages, with none other than the crazy man, Kefka.  The final stage...Kefka, with wings.  Kefka IS the original one-winged angel, not Sephiroth.  Both of them attain their powers through experiments and the gathering of Magecite/Materia.  Both of them have progressive boss battles, and both end with the same monster-type.  However, Sephiroth has props, because he's a little more badass than Kefka.  However, they're both on the same devious level, and crazy as loons to boot.  And, their theme songs are impecably similar.  Imagine that.

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Not only to we have plot, character, and musical similarities that are remarkable, but there is also a GREAT similarity in the battle system and spells.  The first time I saw the battle screen, I said,"Oh, this isn't familiar at ALL."  If you've played FFVII, you've got the battle system down for FFVI and vice-versa.  The barrier spell in particular stood out to me, as they both use triangles to represent the spell in each game.  Final Fantasy VI, however, had a much more intricate character skills development.  There are a couple of characters in VI who are useful for pretty much their skills alone.  From Gau, who can imitate an enemy (even bosses if randomly encountered in the right place) after being in a fight with them, to Edgar with his many critical hitting skills, and even Cyan with his swordtechs. 

This game makes it worth your while to boost ALL of your characters, because you are literally almost forced to use all of them simultaneously to figure out puzzles and to stop enemy forces.  If you don't have your characters well taken care of, you might find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place.  And, there are secret characters and extra characters that are worth obtaining, if nothing more than an extra party member to speed up battles.

I enjoyed this game thoroughly, as painful as it was to come to the realization that FFVII was NOT the game I first thought it was.  FFVI has quickly become one of my top 3 FF games of all time.  It has twists, it has turns, it has a couple of love stories and side quests.  The world map is vast, with a MAP!!!!!!  And the creators were nice enough to put dots on said map to help you locate towns.  How nice of them!  However, I could have used more of a change of scenery.  During the game, I often felt as though I had been through some areas already, even though it was a completely new area.

In closing, I know I complained a lot about FFVII in this one, and there are other Final Fantasies that stole aspects of this one as well.  However, none followed as closely as FFVII to the plot, music, character design, and battle system.  Would I recommend playing FFVI?  Of course, because it was, yet again, a truly amazing game for its time period.  Would I recommend playing FFVII?  Indeed.  Though it is a psuedo-copycat, it still has its own style and awesomely good points.  Would I suggest playing them one after the other?  Only if you REALLY want to compare and contrast them, or have a headache, or you just don't care.  It's up to you, gamers.

Review Score:

Storyline: 10 / 10
Battle System: 10 / 10
Graphics: 8 / 10
Acting: 9 / 10
Characters: 10 / 10
Art: 8 / 10
Soundtrack: 10 / 10
World: 7 / 10
Replay: 10 / 10

Total: 10 / 10

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