Final Fantasy Anthology Review
by Lassarina Aoibhell
I was kind of slow to join the Playstation family. The game that made me decide to buy a Playstation was Final Fantasy Anthology. I was thrilled at the idea of a re-release of my favourite game of all time, Final Fantasy VI, with added FMV and other goodies. I was also looking forward to acquiring the full version of Final Fantasy IV, which was released with Anthology in Japan. At that point, getting my hands on Final Fantasy V, which had never been released in the US, was just icing on the cake.
Unfortunately, the cake ended up tasting like sawdust.
First, the pros. The FMVs that were generated for FF6 and FF5 are beautiful. FMV is something that Square does very, very well. Also, in FF6, the "bonus mode" you can open after beating the game once was interesting. I liked the graphics galleries, the bestiary, and the Lore encyclopedia.
Being able to finally play Final Fantasy V was also great. It was very different from any other FF I'd ever played, particularly with the job class system. (I had not yet gotten my mucky little paws on FF1-3 or Tactics.) I was a little bit bummed that Final Fantasy IV hadn't been included, but I figured that the soundtrack disc Square substituted would be a nice extra.
Square, when putting together this little re-release, made a lot of major mistakes. For example, they asked gamers what songs they'd like to see on the soundtrack disc. Upon receiving the results, they ignored them and picked whatever they wanted. The "Aria di Mezzo Caraterre," possibly the most popular song on the Final Fantasy VI soundtrack, was not included. In fact, the music chosen for the soundtrack CD seemed to be some of the worst tracks on the FF6 soundtrack. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, given the overall greatness of that soundtrack, but still. It would have been nice if Square had bothered to listen to their customers.
All in all, that's a fairly minor complaint. However, another massive mistake Square made was in the emulation of the Super Nintendo games onto the Playstation format. There's tremendous lag time between when you push a button, and when you see the results on screen. It can take up to ten seconds to get in or out of the menu screen. The ATB meters in battle are much slower than they were in the Super Nintendo versions of these games. The game processes commands much more slowly, and this slowdown is often reflected in graphics and sound.
Square did make an effort to clean up the translation in Final Fantasy VI, but often their efforts did more harm than good. Also, Final Fantasy V wasn't given nearly as many additions as its counterpart. Ultimately, it seems as though Square has once again been trading on the Final Fantasy name. I give full credit to their marketing department for making this collection seem like a great idea for your video game collection, but ultimately the product just doesn't live up to the high standard I've come to expect from Square. I'd give it an 80. I don't regret buying it, because it is nice to only have to take ONE game system to college and still be able to play my favourite games....but if you're low on patience, this is probably not the game collection for you.
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