Review: Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster

To say that Final Fantasy VI is the greatest RPG game ever released is a massive understatement. Fans and critics alike consider it the high-water mark for RPG games. It literally changed the entire genre when it was released for the Super Nintendo in 1994, and is widely considered to be among the best video games ever produced.

So it was only natural that as time went on, people would want to go back and play FFVI again. It was released on the SNES Classic, and is one of the most downloaded games on Steam, as well as one of the most searched ROM’s on Google. The game is also consistently cited as one of the most influential RPG games in terms of character development, storyline, the sheer number of characters in the game, the graphics, which at the time were considered groundbreaking. Even the soundtrack to the game, which was produced by Square’s very won Nobuo Uematsu, was considered an instant classic, if for nothing else because of the iconic Opera scene, in which one of the characters, Celes, has to fill in for her doppelganger, and sing in several scenes for the first time in her life, so our heroes can procure an airship.

This leads us to the Pixel Remaster of the game, in which Square Enix decided to do an official re-release of all the classic Final Fantasy games. They’d keep a lot of the retro elements of the game, such as the character and monster sprites, but would update the graphics for spells, menus, etc., while still keeping that classic feel at the same time. In addition, they would vastly update the sound, music and other parts of the game for more modern computing, so as to allow both elder gamers and younger generations to enjoy the game.

The new Opera Scene

Having played through a significant portion of the Pixel Remaster of the game, I can say I was very impressed with the update. The game remains true to its roots, and the story stayed identical, except for only extremely minor changes to a couple names. The one major change, however, was to the famous Opera scene. I have to say, I was completely blown away by how vastly improved it was. They took the effort of actually introducing different “camera angles”, recording vocals for every part in the scene, as well as background music, which sounded like it was done by actual opera performers and orchestra. That scene alone was well worth the price paid for the whole game. They even took the time to record the Opera scene in seven different languages, which shows you not just the amount of effort the designers put into this game, but the sheer popularity and impact Final Fantasy VI has had on RPG games as a whole all over the world.

Plus, the newly remixed moves, like Sabin’s Blitz’s, Cyan’s sword techniques, which you no longer have to sit there and wait for with the indicator bar (thank goodness), are a breath of fresh air, and you can use both your PC’s keyboard or even a controller that’s paired with your computer via Bluetooth if you wish to input the Blitz’s, and aren’t quite as difficult to input as they were on the Super Nintendo. At least not as tough as I remember when I was a lad of 14 trying them out for the first time. And spoiler alert: the developers finally fixed the (in)famous glitch when Sabin attempts to suplex the Ghost Train.

Overall, the Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster does honor to a giant in the realm of RPG games, a sentiment that many others agree with, as it has gotten overwhelmingly rave reviews from fans since its release in late February 2022. One thing I wished they could add, which I know is one hell of a longshot, is the ability to add Game Genie style buffs to the game, like the ability to have the Growth Egg & Economizer on everyone, unlimited items & gold, etc. It’s unlikely that will ever happen, but you never know!

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