Friday, October 28, 2011

The Great Gaymathon Review #42: Final Fantasy VI (Super Famicom)


Game: Final Fantasy VI
Genre: RPG
Developer: Squaresoft
Publisher: Squaresoft
System: Super Famicom
Release date: 1994

Whenever I'm asked to name my all-time favorite RPG (admittedly, it doesn't happen often), I nearly without exception answer, "Final Fantasy V." Whenever I'm asked to name what I consider to be the best RPG ever made, though, I usually point to that game's sequel. (Sometimes I point to the seminal EarthBound instead.) There are a number of reasons for that, of course. One is that Final Fantasy VI features some of the best graphics seen in a Super Famicom game (something that can't be said about its still-quite-attractive predecessor). Another is that it features one of that system's best soundtracks, courtesy of the incomparable Nobuo Uematsu. Neither of those things would matter much to me, though, if the game's story and gameplay sucked. Thankfully, that's far from the case. In regards to the former, for instance, VI's gritty, steampunk-ish story is among the best of any Final Fantasy game. (Its kick-ass opera sequence is worth the price of admission alone, in my humble opinion.) Its gameplay--which centers on an "Active Time Battle" system that's an evolution of the one first introduced in Final Fantasy IV--is pretty great, too, although less revelatory than its story. Anyway, although I consider Final Fantasy VI to be the best RPG ever made (or at least the best one I've ever played), it isn't perfect. For starters, I find it to be less fun than its forebear--thanks in large part to the fact that the former lacks the crazy character customization that served as the foundation of the latter. Also, VI's second act drags a bit due to its open-endedness. Considering those two quibbles are the only ones I could come up with in regards to Final Fantasy VI, though, it should be clear that this is about as close to a quintessential RPG as you're likely to get.


See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts

14 comments:

Motherplayer said...

I regret to say that I still have never played this game. In fact I still have never played any of those games that seem to be on the top of the rpg pedestal like this, FF IV and VI and earthbound. Now I feel almost ashamed to call myself a fan of rpg gaming if I haven't tried these experiences.....

Darwin said...

I'm in the same boat as you Motherplayer.

Never played more than half an hour of FFVI, though I listen to the OST quite often. I really want to set some time aside to play it.

Haven't tried Earthbound either.

But I have played FFIV several times, once twice in a row. Love that game.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, maaaaaaaaan! You really need to find a way to play all of the games you mentioned, Motherplayer: Earthbound, FF IV, FF V and FF VI. All of them are amazing RPGs and should be played by anyone who enjoys the genre even a smidge.

Bryan Ochalla said...

OK, Darwin, you need to join Motherplayer in playing all of the games I just mentioned: Earthbound, FF V and FF VI.

At least you've played FF IV, though :)

FF IV is a favorite of mine, too, although I have to admit it pales in comparison to FF V and FF VI, both of which are much deeper experiences.

And as for Earthbound: Well, it is in a class all its own. Really wonderful writing in that game, especially.

Motherplayer said...

Thanks for rubbing it in.... :s

Bryan Ochalla said...

Well, it needed to be rubbed in! Really, these are the best of the best, IMO. Just get around to playing them when you can, OK? :)

Trxd said...

Still haven't played this properly, I need to finish FFV atm. I'm at the point in the game where it is basically like "Okay thanks for finishing the entire game now I'll drop you off in this final dungeon and maybe if you grind for another 40 hours you'll be able to beat the last boss :)" What the hell FF5? -.- I've literally never had to grind so much.

I am looking forward to VI though, the graphics look fantastic for SNES and Kefka in dissidia was so pimp.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Are you playing the SF/SNES version of FFV, Trxd, or the GBA version?

If you're playing the SF/SNES version, I don't remember that last dungeon or the last boss being overly difficult, but, then again, I grind like a fiend, so maybe that's why :)

Anyway, I ask because I know the GBA has an extra dungeon (or more) that's supposed to be difficult. I've never played that version, though. (I'd like to get the GBA versions of IV, V and VI at some point, mainly for those extra dungeons, etc., but I'll probably never do so.)

As for FF VI: Yes, look forward to it. It's an absolutely wonderful game.

Trxd said...

DON'T RUB YOUR FFV SKILLS IN MY FACE BRYAN. THE LAST DUNGEON IS HARD, IT IS! :(

Or maybe I just completely derped somewhere along this job building system and now I don't even know what my characters are doing... oh well. And yeah, its the SNES version.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ha! I definitely didn't mean to rub my supposed skills in your face, Trxd :) Like I said, I tend to grind like a fiend when I play RPGs, esp. Final Fantasy games.

Anyway, it's definitely possible you derped somewhere. Of course, you can fix that by grinding. Sounds like you kind of just want to finish the game already, though, eh?

Famicom Freak said...

I remember playing this game to death especially getting all the monster abilities! Wow those were some hardcore days back then....

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, you and I are remembering some similar days, Famicom Freak. I played soooooo many games back then. This copy that you see in this post, by the way, has been in my collection since the game was released in Japan. I probably spent $70 or $80 on it back then, which is kind of crazy when you consider how much it goes for on eBay today...

Viewtiful_Justin said...

It's definitely 3rd on my list behind Earthbound and Chrono Trigger.

Play it. You know what I'm talking about.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ha! Yes, I definitely know what you're talking about. I promise I'll do so soon. I honestly don't know why I've avoided it for so long. I absolutely adore Square's 16-bit efforts, and this one looks magnificent. Anyway, maybe after I play it I'll re-order my list of "best RPGs ever" :P