I've taken it upon myself to play through the Final Fantasy series main canon this year. Here it is June and I've just completed Final Fantasy VI. I never played it on my SNES - I
was in my early 20s when this game hit the states
partying more often than I was sitting at home playing games that required that much of a commitment. Other than VII, I think this is probably the most hyped up entry
in the series. It didn't live up to the hype for me - I greatly enjoyed it, but it's far from my favorite.
The reasons that this game falls short for me apply to many more rpgs than this one, but since FFVI is so fresh in my mind, it catches all of the abuse(sorry guys). I'm not going to say this game sucks, because I did enjoy it, I just didn't enjoy every aspect of it. I always read about how great this game is, but it's rare that I find folks willing to say they dislike anything about it. So, here are the things that I bitched about in my gaming circle while playing through this game.
This was by far the easiest RPG I have ever played. In most games of this genre, gameplay is made rather linear by letting you think you can go wherever you want, but then handing you your ass in one fell swoop when you enter an area you weren't really
prepared for. There were only 2 instances in this game, that made me kick back and consider grinding a bit or rethinking some strategy. I'm not even counting the lack of difficulty once acquiring dual cast ultima.
Kefka who? I didn't even break a sweat in the final battle - everyone knows that you normally have one character dedicated to nothing but healing for the entire duration of most final battles. I didn't come close having a stressful sweaty final battle - and this with characters in the early 40s. I fully anticipated the final boss to kick my ass. Not so here.
Character classes were completely lost, since every character in the game could become proficient in magic regardless of their supposed class and armed equpiment. Maybe that's the old school D&D junkie in me, but when every character in your party can cast devastating magic spells when fully armed AND using two-handed weapons, there's no real need for any other skills. Sure the developers gave each character a unique skill, but were they really necessary? I rarely used them.
Weight of the World
The inventory I finished the game with was ridiculous. I see very few games these days that even recognize such a thing as encumbrance. If my party is carrying to much shit, there should be a penalty somewhere. I didn't even have to sell off stuff to make room for more important/better stuff. Sure, it would have made sorting through my inventory easier,
but since I didn't have to do it, I didn't.
Probably my biggest gripe, was the lack of a main character to build and identify with. Was there a main character? I don't know - the game splits your party up too early and too often for my taste. I never found a character that I felt was mine. I kept a core party of Edgar, Celes, Terra, and Sabin when I was allowed but there were how many more characters there that Ididn't give 2 shits about. Not only could I have not cared any less for the extra characters, but it's like the developers were offended by that. They actually make you go find everybody at one point in the game! These characters were pointless, and now I have to go find them again? Hell, I was happy to be rid of them! Requiring me to form 3 parties for the assault on Kefka's tower seemed like a cheap way of making sure I tried differing play dynamics. If I hadn't had to track everyone down to complete the game, this would have been a much shorter game.
All in all I enjoyed it, but there were definitely things that could be improved. I may be over doing it by playing the entries this series all so close to one another, but I'm at least having a good time doing it.