Archive for the ‘ Final Fantasy VI ’ Category

FF6, FF7, and the Nature of Criticism

Final Fantasy VI may be my favorite games in the series. Final Fantasy 7 is my least-favorite. This started as backlash to its popularity, but I’ve refined my criticisms over time. There’s just one problem: my issues with FF7 generally apply to FF6 as well.

FF7 isn’t really high fantasy, but nor is FF6. Sephiroth is an overwrought villain, but less so than Kefka. Both games’ translations miss many series references. The characters in FF7 are effectively interchangeable due to materia, but FF6’s esper system has similar problems. I find Cloud distractingly angsty, but I feel the same way about Terra.

I had to rethink my position on both games once I realized this. Is my analysis of FF7 wrong? Is my love of FF6 simple nostalgia? Perhaps, but I think this is more straightforward: it’s easy to criticize things you don’t like.

I could pick apart any game in the series, including the ones I love. Indeed, I would use many of the same arguments as haters of the series. I still love the series anyway.

The truth is, I don’t know why I like FF6 or dislike FF7 as much as I do. I think people are generally very bad at identifying why they feel the way they do about something. For almost any singular criticism of a game, you can name a game that’s great despite doing the same thing. As a Final Fantasy fan in 2014, I remind myself of this often.

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Final Fantasy VI After All This Time

Since I’ve started tweeting site updates, I haven’t really updated this blog much.  I’m going to experiment with some actual blogging rather than just using this for site updates.  I recently decided to make a Final Fantasy VI guide.  FF6 was my favorite game when I was younger, but it was also the game that made me decide to stop playing the same game over and over and branch out a bit.  I have beaten it quite a few times.  I’ve cheated on that promise a bit – I did play through the GBA release, for instance – but it’s been a very long time since I played FF6.

One of the interesting effects of not having played the game in so long is that I no longer know where it would sit in my Final Fantasy game rankings.  I really love FF12, but that game is pretty flawed in the gameplay department, and I only really like half of FFXIII.  (Well, two quarters of it – the first half of the story, and the second half of the gameplay.)  FF9 might be a contender but it’s been even longer since I played that than FF6.

It will be interesting to see how I feel about the game now.  My biggest worry is that the last time I played FF6, I really broke the game’s systems.  My characters’ stats were ridiculous and nothing was even a challenge anymore.  While many FF games are exploitable, the problem with FF6 is that using the mechanics at all (especially the Esper bonus stats) is basically exploiting them.

I have a lot to say about FF6 and how it fits into the series, and I’ll be blogging my observations and experiences while playing through this time to make the guide.  It will be interesting for me to gather my thoughts on this game, and hopefully it will interest you as well.