Currently Playing: Final Fantasy VI Advance

Final Fantasy 6 aka Final Fantasy III aka Everyone’s Favorite Final Fantasy (unless its FF7, FF9, FFX, or FF…).  Whatever you call it, FF6 has become one of gaming’s historical icons as a great JRPG brought to the West along with the likes of Chrono Trigger that helped usher in the excitement of other Japanese titles.

It’s been forever since I’ve touched FF6, so I figured now I would finally sit down and complete the remake for Gameboy Advance.  I’ve never beaten the Advance version so I’ve been excited to actually get through it in its entirety.

Banon Introduction Final Fantasy 6

So I busted out the old Gameboy Advance which I haven’t used in awhile (I think it was last used for Superstar Saga).  The built-in backlight was one of the better ideas in handheld gaming.

Anyway, I got started playing the timeless classic.  What hit me first was the music – even in its simplicity its still great.  The classic tune on the menu screen is just great.

I had an old save file but obviously went for a fresh play through.  The game starts with the Empire’s Magitek soldiers leading Terra into Narshe and obliterating any opposition.  I was a bit taken aback by the fact that you can die easier than expected in this beginning section if you are not careful about your healing.

Final Fantasy 6 Intro Scene

The 16-bit style is sharpened and preserved in the Advance version, and the whole SNES RPG era is one of all time favorite styles.  Like its cousin Chrono Trigger, the graphics give the game a classic feel that doesn’t feel dated like early 3D models, or blocky like NES titles.

While the presentation was as great as its always been, the gameplay reminded me of times past.  The random encounter rate feels like its been upped a bit in the Advance version, and some enemies can hit pretty hard.  With limited ability to have true save points, this can get frustrating if you are not careful.

So far, I have not had to grind to keep pace with the monsters.  Although going through the Magitek factory did have its difficulties with the Onion Knights that do big damage, along with Proto Armors.

Final Fantasy 6 Opening Credits

The experience thus far has really had me looking back at what games used to be and where we’ve come now with game play, presentation, and pace.  FF6 has a great charm, timeless presentation, and a great soundtrack.  The random battles and numbers game of the combat has evolved since the 90s.

Despite some of the qualms with the age, JRPGs have not necessarily reinvented themselves in today’s environment, although Bravely Default did take out some of the monotony in the battle system (although its not without fault either).  As I have gotten deeper into the game with more spells, attacks, and characters, the depth of the combat has increased, and gives some variability other than just spewing out attacks and healing up after every battle.

Final Fantasy 6 Airship

This post has been a bit of a ramble, but I really just wanted to get some thoughts of my playthrough out somewhere.  Its been awhile since I’ve played an “older” game, and it really made start to think about the direction gaming has gone.

With all of that said, the game has, in my opinion, made up for the dated combat with its pacing.  The story moves along and keeps each event interesting.  Like I mentioned, I haven’t had to consciously grind at any section as of yet.  I’m starting to rebuild my love of the characters.  There’s just a lot this game gets right.

What are your fond memories of FF6?  Have you replayed it recently?  How do you feel about the modern state of JRPGs? Comment below!

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15 thoughts on “Currently Playing: Final Fantasy VI Advance

  1. Reblogged this on The Buffalo Gamer and commented:
    A good discussion on one of the defining generations of the JRPG genre. Final Fantasy VI is truly a benchmark of detailed storytelling that separates the FF series from Dragon Quest. It’s FF’s best story told in very a very effective way.

    Nothing beats good storytelling and a well developed villain.

    Like

  2. I think JRPGs will continue to be a thing. We still have tabletop boardgames and JRPGs or RPGs in general have the same authentic charm to them.

    Objectively speaking, RPG games are easier to develop which gives way for better narratives and narratives can push a series to great heights. (Final Fantasy).

    So far I’m good, with recent releases like Undertale (altho not a JRPG) and the boom of 3DS titles such as Etrian and SMT games I think JRPG/RPG games will stay for a very long time.

    Good read too, Kefka best FF villain.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Review: Final Fantasy VI Advance | Particlebit

  4. I have yet to play FF6 cause I take forever to finish games much less start new ones :’D
    I do know Advance is the definitive version *_*
    I kinda wish SE would remaster it for newer consoles, maybe even a remake since 7 is getting one too, or remake like 3 and 4 got, or like 1, 2 and 4 got for PSP. Mostly because I’m wondering what they’d do and tweak~
    I started with 7 so it’s the one I’m the fondest of, and then next is 10. I like 9, and 8 I couldn’t finish when I was younger so I have to play. 1 is…okay, for the time, I haven’t played 2 to 6 >c<

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the reply! Yea I have a similar problem in starting finishing my games, especially longer RPGs. I’m actually at the end of ff6 now and it’s only gotten better the further I’ve gotten.

      They really should get a better version out there besides the PS1 version which has some issues. There is an iOS version but people seem put off by the graphics.

      I would say to definitely give VI a whirl. It’s actually a bit shorter than most FF games at around 30-35 hours.

      Like

      • That’s good that it’s gotten better as you play more, it always sucks when games have promise at the start and then they let you down further down >_<
        Yeah, RPG's are killer tbh. P3P is at 70 some hours, but I still need to do the side dungeons/quests, before I can progress to the ending :''''D
        I think the remaster for mobile games looks pretty cute, but that's just me, I guess xD
        I'll try… Once I finish P3P and P4G first :''''D

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve started to really enjoy VI now that I have gotten deeper into the game and have the full character squad with espers. IX is also on my list since I never completed it on Playstation-I remember getting distracted with all the card playing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The card games in 8 and 9 are good fun. As far as FF mini-games go I am also partial to Blitz Ball. Six does start off a bit slow, but yeah it improves when you get Espers that allow you to customize your magic.

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  5. I have not played this game. I was interested to see the graphics on the Game Boy Advance. I am used to playing the Game Boy, but have little experience using the later console. I notice that the backgrounds are quite detailed, while the moving characters are brightly coloured and more simply designed.
    How do the Final Fantasy games relate to each other? Do the games use the same characters? Or is it the location that is the same in all games? I can agree about the ideas about playing previously difficult games. I recently completed Ecco the Dolphin, which I found too hard to reach the fourth level when I was younger. I also found the simple music good, except this game had a much more calming soundtrack.

    Like

  6. *grumble* I lent my GBA version to a friend and never got it back. I lent my cartridge to a friend back in high school and never got THAT back. Moral of the story. Do NOT lend people your favorite video games. FFVII is never leaving my possession.

    I hope you enjoy every second of FFVI! It was the game that introduced me to the world of Final Fantasy and was the first video game whose OST I had to have. Oh, there’d been others that I enjoyed, but VI’s music was a masterpiece. *thinks about the Opera*

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Awesome choice! I haven’t played it recently, but I did play and enjoy the GBA version of the game. The music is so good, and I love the characters. It’s one of my top 3 favorite Final Fantasy games! Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

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