Tuesday, August 14

Finally Got Around to Final Fantasy VI

 Kitty loves retro games!

Final Fantasy VI/III was one of those game that I never played as a child because our family didn't have a Super Nintendo. So I missed out on a lot of those old favorites that everyone raves about all of the time, and will never be as truly head over heels for anything on the platform because I'm not nostalgic for them like most are. Of course that's understandable though. That being said, a lot of my friends kept telling me that VI was something that I had to make time for because it was one of the best games on the system (it's Alvin's favorite too). Well now as an adult, I do have the system and cartridge so I wanted to dust it off and experience all of the awesome that everyone speaks of. Indeed, it's a great game and took me 62 hours to complete, and my characters ranged from a low level 38 to level 57.


So here are my thoughts about the game:

Pros

- This game is excellent and it still holds up. It took me a little while to get used to the controls and primitive art style (of course charming in it's own right), but after spending a few hours playing I was totally hooked by the compelling story and fantastic characters just like most Final Fantasies

- The concept art and art direction are very well done. I love Amano's work, so it was nice to finally play one of his titles. I tend to favor the more fantasy-esque FF's in comparison to their sci-fi counterparts.

- One can't go wrong with a traditional active turn-based battle system. As retro as this is, it's good classic gameplay that I never get bored of. I'm a sucker for leveling! Although getting attacked continuously when trying to explore is always a bit annoying. That's why I loved XII so much because it was easy to avoid enemies.

- My favorite characters were definitely the playboy King Edgar Roni Figaro, and the cunning thief Locke Cole. Both of which I gave the best gear. Edgar had the combo of the Atma Weapon, Excalibur, Genji Glove, and Offering making him uber-attach eight times in a row. Then Locke of course had the Sneak Ring and Thief Glove which made him a stealing fiend. Gogo and Sabin also accompanied them as my mains.

- I loved that this was a mature story in comparison to other titles in the series. It really seemed like the stakes were high and that the world was in some serious trouble. People died, although it was almost humorous at some parts because the pixel art is so cute that it made me giggle a bit because adorable pixel villagers were falling and flying everywhere. I know, that's terrible of me.

- The different battle scenarios were intriguing; like in the river and waterfall. Or when the party had to split up into groups to advance. That was clever, and fun to play.

- I enjoyed the cool set pieces such as the river, ghost train, fire, opera house, beach, etc. Each of which made the experience memorable and helped to keep the player entertained by switching things up. Most modern games don't even do that.

- The mid point threw me for a loop! I seriously thought that the game was over. So I went back to an older save to play more in the World of Balance before I continued on again.

- I liked how one could change the interface, and I customized mine to a teal green color. Heehee, I felt that it looked nice against all of the character art.

- It reminded me a bit of XII's story, which is good. Perhaps VI was an inspiration for it, but then again all FF's have similarities of course. Greed, corruption, power, magicite, and Espers all make for a great Final Fantasy. 

- The Vanish/Doom bug was awesome, and believe me I took full advantage of it when I didn't want to deal with an extra evil enemy. Such as the Intangir, that was the only way I could kill it before it ran away on me.

- Cyan's backstory about his family is really sad. Almost all of the characters have a tragic history and I couldn't even imagine going through something like that. Again, these dark themes are what really made me love this game. One feels so much for the characters.

- The Emperor's in-game sprite looks like a puppy with floppy ears! Doesn't he? I thought it was cute.

- I got all of Shadow's dreams (yes, I waited) and it was interesting to accidentally trigger story unintentionally. Little Easter eggs like that throughout the game made it super fun.

- The ending was great; I enjoyed finding my way through the tower and the crazy pixel art for some of the Big Bads were just incredible. I was very impressed by them. 


Cons

- Now I know that this is an old game so this doesn't even really count, but I was just dying for some of that beautiful Square CG. It would have be so nice to have some cutscenes like Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions in that amazing storybook type CG, except for maybe in Amano's style. Oh yes! I would love that.

- Again, this one's not a big deal either, but I found it humorous that names were shortened or spelled oddly because of space limitations. Like Phoenix Down being spelled Fenix Down. Heehee.

- The map is just awful in this game. There are no names and obstacles like mountains are not mapped out, so on foot it was difficult to navigate around. I know it's old school, but I'm so spoiled by decent in-game maps. Perhaps one is suppose to rely on the one that they give you in manual.  

- I wish that the airship was indicated in someway on the map, because I lost it countless times when I was adventuring around. A little dot, or something, marking it's location would have been great.

- The inventory in this game was a mess and I had a hard time sifting through all of my items to find stuff. Unfortunately I'm not a minimalist in-game and I always keep one of each item, so some type of search function would have made my life easier. 

- It was annoying to have to pick out all four characters again when changing a party. It would have been better if the current party stayed in the selection box, and then one can pick who they wanted to switch out, because it was very rare that I wanted to change more than one character at a time. 

- I was stuck forever on the ghost train, and it took me along time to figure out the puzzle. So that wore on me a bit, but looking back it wasn't too bad. It was a neat story element nonetheless.

- There was dog fighting in this game! Haha, I was surprised by that and I just found it to be kinda funny. Again, mature content mixed with cute art always makes me giggle. Look at the cute pixel puppies, they're fighting!

- Relm got under my skin, and I wasn't even into her fighting style either (no, painting wasn't fun; it was an odd concept). It was mostly because I didn't like how she spoke to her Grandpa. Yes, I know it was suppose to be funny, but she came off as really bratty and annoying. That didn't do anything for me.


I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Final Fantasy VI and now I feel like I'm in the loop, because it's a good game to have under my belt. I highly recommend it to anyone out there, or maybe for some it's even time to play again. My friends were surprised by how much they had forgotten over the years when we conversed about it. So perhaps it would be like a whole new experience, and definitely worth replaying.

Happy gaming,
~Claudia