Final Fantasy 6 Pixel Remaster is the latest retelling of the cult J-RPG originally released in 1994 under the name Square. Over the past thirty years it has seen many different versions, from the SNES to mobile, through the PlayStation and the GameBoy Advance, and each of them was able to offer its share of new features, corrections and choices.
It is also the ultimate opus of the “Pixel Remaster”, which will end this collection that Square Enix initiated last year. After so many different versions, and seeing the tendency of the publisher to multiply reissues, we can rightly ask ourselves whether this proposal is not purely commercial, under the guise of making the game available in current standards, or whether the graphics aspect (in terms of resolution) or just the platform you can play the game on. This sixth version of the game, ironically, is it really relevant?
(Final Fantasy 6 Pixel Remaster game review created on PC via a copy of the game provided by the publisher, and played with a PlayStation 5 controller)
Final Fantasy 6 – Modern
An unchanging modernity
First of all, a fact: half of our editors were not born when this opus came out. Without considering the differences between each of the versions on offer, the first of which were hard to come by in France, it is remarkable to provide players with works that could be considered classic for the media. The fact is that Final Fantasy 6 enjoys a certain reputation, but is far from the most sold and a fortiori played opus.
And yet, if he managed to mark a generation of players despite his rarity, it’s no coincidence. Final Fantasy 6 is intended from the start as a milestone episode, the cornerstone of the upcoming strategy change for Square, which at the time wanted to conquer Western countries.
Led by Yoshinori Kitase, to whom Hironobu Sakaguchi provides the realization of this opus, the teams share their ideas, but also divide the writing of the characters, and this abundance of proposals is felt. Now masters of a technological medium they know very well, the creators will try to innovate and enrich the J-RPG genre.
Thus, Final Fantasy 6 is the first installment in the saga that does not contain crystals in its story. It also breaks down from the classic immutable hero design team throughout the adventure, allowing you to choose who to keep among the twelve characters available. And if you don’t meet these characters, fine! You still have the option to do the adventure in its entirety, with the added bonus of scenes that will be different.
All the characters have lost loved ones, but Cyan’s story is particularly difficult.
The game depicts a dark universe where death is omnipresent, where magic has been forgotten in favor of science, and deals with serious, even serious themes, such as mourning, suicide or even the search for oneself. The various protagonists do not limit themselves to the usual clichés, but come up with their passives, often heavy, supported by original gameplay ideas, which still work even without glasses of 90s indulgence.
The title will really break the codes for the time, both in its themes and gameplay, playing us multiple times.
Final Fantasy 6 – Yoshitaka Amano
Final Fantasy 6 Pixel Remaster makes available a gallery of (divine) works by Yoshitaka Amano
A magnified masterpiece of staging and game design
Final Fantasy 6 shines especially in its particularly intelligent narration. For example, the game allows itself to record dialogue scenes in the middle of a battle, interrupting them to give a spring, sometimes comical, sometimes dramatic. Especially at the beginning of the game, Locke’s amazement at the vision of Terra using magic against an enemy (magic is said to have been gone for a thousand years), breaks our habits as players and surprises us in our routine.
More generally, the game allows us to move from one protagonist’s story to another, supporting the impression that no single character in the group is more important than another in the story. But it is also the division into two different parts, in which the way you approach the world (and your quest) is completely different, which is characterized by its coherence.
Conversely, the game may now seem classic in its combat system (albeit effective and enjoyable), with the usual ATB gauge and the skills we learn by associating a chimera with a character, the beginnings of Final Fantasy 7’s future matérias, but are staging is nevertheless a miracle.
The management of the camera and the proposed plans are clearly inspired by the cinematic fiber of Yoshinori Kitase, and this swarm of visual ideas, innovative for the time, remains incredibly refreshing even thirty years later.
This Pixel Remaster version is all the more fun because you can enjoy it in high resolution, on different screen sizes (tested here in QHD), and even with the version’s colors or battle backgrounds. period through community mods. Overall, this version remains graphically closer to the original version, with retouched backgrounds and textures, and this is all the more noticeable compared to the 2014 mobile version.
For the occasion, the entire soundtrack has also been remastered in its entirety, under the auspices of Nobuo Uematsu, and offers a simply perfect rendering. The reinterpretation of the themes is breathtaking, and this version alone would be preferred. The melodies are varied, on different registers, and Terra’s theme will accompany you long after the end of your playing.
It is also impossible for us not to mention the opera scene, which was already striking at the time, but which has been completely revamped in Final Fantasy 6 Pixel Remaster. It’s a unique moment that will remind you of Square Enix’s talent for conveying emotions.
You can finally access certain bonuses, in the title screen extras (some of which were already present in previous versions): the full soundtrack, a gallery of concept arts, as well as the game’s bestiary.
All the work that has gone into this latest version of Final Fantasy 6 (particularly in terms of translation) no doubt warrants your lingering over whether you’ve already played the game or not. In any case, there’s no denying that this is the most fun version to play, and it also offers some important facilities (quick save, automatic battles, controller support, etc.) that allow the player to make the most of the story that will be given to him. told.
Final Fantasy 6 Pixel Remaster is undoubtedly the best way to (re)discover this cult game in many ways. Far from the lazy remaster, real work has been done on the quality of the content offered in the game, distinguishing itself from previous works in particular through the music and the reinterpretation of certain cult scenes. While we would have appreciated having an option to switch between the original version and the remastered version, or even access the Playstation’s videos in the game’s bonuses, it’s hard to stop our enjoyment of the is sulking.
For our part, we hope that the same care will be taken with the upcoming Chrono Cross, and why not with a hypothetical Valkyrie Profile Pixel Remaster…