Final Fantasy VI is the most beloved of the early Nintendo 2D generation of games. It’s cast of characters, music and varied gameplay are fondly remembered by the series’ fanbase. There have been many remasters and iterations of Final Fantasy VI, including on the Super Nintendo, Gameboy Advance, Android and IOS version, the original Steam version, and the PS one version (which had included the FMV). In my opinion, having played almost all versions, this Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster version is probably the best of all versions. Let me tell you why.
This Pixel Remaster is literally the same Final Fantasy VI as when it first launched with the same story and gameplay, but your journey in this version of the game will make you stop and ponder from time to time. Several key moments in the story now have extraordinarily detailed backgrounds so that you can see what is in the background, e.g. Narshe in the background when you confront the unknown esper or the appearance of lightning during a storm. There were several moments when I thought, I never noticed that in the past and now it makes sense.
Not only that, there have been numerous tweaks to the battle animations as well. The transition to battle animation, the magic spells, and several battle effects add more modern aesthetics and look pretty cool now. It’s a shame that the monsters don’t look as polished as everything else.
The best thing of all is the remastered soundtrack which has been supervised by Uematsu Nobuo. The whole soundtrack has been orchestrated and it sounds so good. Many of the most iconic scenes are made even better thanks to the excellent remastered rendition, such as Terra’s Theme (which plays when the characters are in the over world). I found myself standing in the overworld just listening to the theme.
Some cool additions include the opera scene where a HD2D effect appears. It would have been great to see it in several moments in the game, but it is certainly welcomed here. Not only that, the song is also sang by actual singers. I was shocked to hear it when it first occurred and needed a double take, but it actually happens.
I liked the other small quality of life changes such as Sabin’s Blitz being easy to pull off now (i.e. select from a menu, enter the buttons, and you can’t fail it) and Cyan’s Bushido not requiring me to wait (it is now select what you want and Cyan will eventually unleash it).
Although the sprites look marginally better and the text used has been a matter of derision, the whole package for this game is fantastic and any long time fan will appreciate it. (After awhile, I stopped paying attention to how the text looks.) Another downside is the lack of additional dungeons, espers and equipment that were introduced in the Gameboy Advance release.
Overall, I really enjoyed replaying this game. Out of all the Pixel Remasters, I think Final Fantasy VI had a lot more and attention from the developers. It showed.
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