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The Best Final Fantasy Entry Gets The Polished Remaster It Deserves

Platform(s): PC (version reviewed), iOS, Android
Genre: Pixel remaster of beloved 90s JRPG

It’s no secret that Final Fantasy VI is the most beloved Final Fantasy entry out there. But to receive a respectful remaster while preserving its 16-bit SNES aesthetics? That’s new, considering Square Enix loves to whore out its old games in not-so-pleasant ways.

Still, the past is the past and the company is moving a few steps ahead with its Pixel Remaster series of old FF games, with part 6 clearly being the best of the lot.

A New COAT OF PIXEL PAINT

Don’t get me wrong: all the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters from parts 1 to 5 are great and worthy of your time and money, whether you own a PC or a mobile phone to run one of these. But after checking out all of these in the past year and early this year, with Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster being the latest to come out early this year, it’s clear as day that Yoshinori Kitase’s baby girl before FFVII gets the best treatment out of the lot.

For those who don’t know: Final Fantasy VI starts off with the ex-Emperor magic-powered soldier Terra being free and finding out her past, while being embroiled in a rebel’s cause and joining heroes like the thief Locke and the brothers Figaro (Edgar and Sabin), which then escalates to the world rediscovering the long lost art of magic and the consequences therein. Simply put, FFVI has the best story among all the mothership titles bar none, with its focus on many of its cast members and the second half of the game where you’re free to tackle the endgame however you want. FFVI also boasts one of the best villains in the gaming medium, who starts out as a literal court jester to the most menacing character who gets things done and raises the stakes to near-catastrophic heights. Story-wise, Final Fantasy VI is peerless and untouchable even up to now.

The remaster does a great job in not only preserving the gravitas of the story, but also amplifies key scenes in the game. Chief of this is the game’s soundtrack which is now using full orchestras, the 2D aesthetics that are completely redone with new colour shades and detailing from past Square Enix artists who used to work on the original, and key scenes like the Opera section being redone and given added vocal work. The game as well gets a sort of rebalancing and tweaking, so your old tricks in the SNES and Game Boy Advance versions will not work here. Conversely, the game gets some much-needed quality-of-life additions. You can now run faster in the overworld, and the autosave option is welcome especially since this version of the game is arguably tougher than before. Some heroes like Cyan’s abilities too get a much-needed retooling, making them just as useful as the rest of the party unlike last time. Additionally, Sabin’s Blitz combos are easier to pull off. There’s just a lot that’s improved that justifies its price tag and your hours.

The elephant in the room is of course the jarring font used for the text. Amidst the lovingly-crafted and remastered sprite work and backdrops, the new font really stands out. But when you think about it, if the only thing worth complaining about a faithful remaster of a classic JRPG is something as nitpickey as a font choice, that says a lot about the quality of this Square Enix remaster. The Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster is a masterclass on how a company should handle its JRPG legacy, especially if it’s a game as monumental as this.

On that note, Square Enix, can you please release these remasters on other consoles and platforms, as well as in a physical limited edition collection? It’s rather odd that the game is limited to just PC and mobile devices.

Final Score: 90/100

 

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  1. Uniqlo Celebrates Final Fantasy 35th Anniversary With 16 Unique T-Shirt Designs | KAKUCHOPUREI.COM

    April 12, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    […] can check out the designs below, featuring stills and CGI from the PS1 Final Fantasy entries, pixel artwork and icons from the NES/SNES years, and a whole lot more you can recognize. […]

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