Final Fantasy Anthology Review

For PlayStation

By Contributing Writer Jimmy Payne

Rating: Good
    What I expected from Final Fantasy Anthology was two great RPGs that 
would take me back to the days of 2D and make me wish that I never un-
plugged my SNES.  Unfortunately, I only got half of what I hoped for.
   Final Fantasy 6 features what many consider to be the best video game 
story line of all time.  Story lines just don't get much better than this.  
It has a perfect blend of comedy, drama, and more epic scenes than you can 
shake a stick at.  The characters are a big part of what makes you so 
attached to the game.  Each character in FF6 has their own unique past 
that's shrouded in mystery at first, but slowly uncovered as the game 
progresses.  The game never reveals too much at once, but sooner or later 
you'll feel like you've known each and every character for your entire life.  
FF6 certainly establishes the personalities of each individual character a 
lot better than FF7.  
   Another thing that I can't help but love about FF6 is that every five 
minutes, there is something new to be done or seen.  More and more RPGs 
these days rely on the same basic gameplay formula: Meet people in a town, 
go fight a bunch of battles, beat a boss, and repeat.  FF6 strays from this 
formula and always keeps the player on his or her toes.  There was not one 
time during the entire game that I wished I was somewhere else in the game 
or doing something different.  Like most of the rest of the game, FF6's 
simple yet extremely deep battle system has also stood the test of time.  
I've already played through this game three times, and I'm still not tired 
of it. 
   The only thing FF6 lacks is impressive graphics, but they really don't 
drag the game down at all.   Not even out-dated graphics can stop this game 
from taking complete control of your emotions.  The new computer-generated 
sequences modernize the game a bit, and believe it or not they're almost as 
good as FF8's cut scenes.  The downside to this is that switching back and 
forth between sprite-based gameplay and polygonal cut scenes reminds you 
that you're playing an old game.
   It's hard to believe that a game like Final Fantasy 5 could be spawned 
from the same company that gave us FF6 and FF7.  The biggest reason FF5 is 
so disappointing is because of its horrible characters and predictable 
story line. The characters are paper-thin, both in terms of their graphical 
appearance and their personalities.  They show almost no emotion throughout 
most of the game, and they also seem to have no past lives.  It's almost as 
if they were just plopped right in the middle of the story and then they go 
from there.  The story line is also unimaginative and is infected with the 
dreaded "been there, done that" feel.  
   The only positive aspect of FF5 is its battle system, and if you ask me, 
that's not something you want to screw up (cough, FF8, cough).  FF5's 
battle system is surprisingly deep and addictive.  Much like in FF Tactics, 
different characters have different abilities or talents that they use on 
the battlefield. You must manage these abilities and use certain characters 
that would benefit you the most on certain missions.  FF5's battle system 
takes longer to get used to than FF6's, but any fan of FF Tactics will love 
it.  Enjoyable battle system notwithstanding, FF5 is a bad game that isn't 
worthy of the Final Fantasy name.  
  If Square had included FF4 in this collection, it could have been a must-
have game.  If you've never played FF6, Final Fantasy Anthology is well 
worth the money.  However, most FF fans have already experienced FF6, and 
buying Final Fantasy Anthology for the sole purpose of playing FF5 will 
lead to nothing but disappointment.

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