Final Fantasy VI is arguably one of the best JRPGs ever made. It stands tall next to the likes of Chrono Trigger and helped give credence to the idea that video games could tell complex and nuanced stories as well as any other artistic medium. The art style is great and well serviced by the (then) cutting-edge graphics of the Super Nintendo, the writing is serviceable, and the music is simply incredible. But I didn't know that a month ago.
If somebody had asked me a month ago if I liked the Final Fantasy series, I would have said yes. I would have commented on how much I like the deep and intriguing plots, the characters, etc. But then I realized that I had only ever played Final Fantasy III (the actual Final Fantasy III), Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XII, and the Final Fantasy Tactics titles. Out of a series that has had fifteen entries in the series (not including the three upcoming Final Fantasy games, remakes, or spin-offs), having played only three of them meant I didn't really know what I was talking about.
I decided to rectify the situation by purchasing Final Fantasy V-IX on Ebay. The idea being to play through all of them before the HD remake of Final Fantasy X is released later this year.
Boy, am I glad I did.
To make a long story short, I ended up skipping Final Fantasy V and jump right into playing Final Fantasy VI. And, quite frankly, I was blown away. I don't know what I had been expecting, but I wasn't really prepared for a 16-bit JRPG to shock me with how well it told a story. After my first session with VI, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I kept playing it, but my mind kept wandering back to the beginning and what made it so good. So, I decided to sit down and write about everything that made it so good. By the time I finished writing, I had twelve pages and over 8,000 words on the opening hour of Final Fantasy VI. Rather than releasing that novella on the internet, I decided to create a three part video series out of that document.
The first and second parts have been finished and can be seen below. I tried to inject some humor into the videos, so if you don't find them funny, I hope you will forgive me.
Part 3 will be released next week (edit: the script was destroyed in a technical mishap).
The videos all make use of music from the OverClocked Remix album Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin. OCRemix is a great organization of talented musicians and composers who gather together to give unique, personal takes on some of the greatest music gaming has to offer, and they give it all away for free. Go check out their site if you want some awesome, free, video game-inspired tunes.
What do you think of classic Final Fantasy versus the more modern iterations? What about JRPGs in general? We'd love to know!