I have no nostalgic connection to this game, as I played and beat it only recently (specifically the Advance version). I missed out on the FF series as a kid, so I've been playing them in order, and compared to V, this one kind of disappoints me, but I digress. Graphically, the game looks great for an SNES title. The sprites have lots of detail and great animation, the environments are well-illustrated, and even the mode 7 looks halfway decent (though it does hamper the gameplay when you have to control chocobos or airships on it, as the control is awkward). Spectacle from the spells is similarly satisfying. As far as other presentation goes, the soundtrack is easily the best in the series. Story-wise, it's a mixed bag. It's certainly more involved than prior games, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed every element like I did with III or V. For example, I really felt they could have gone more in-depth with Kefka's backstory, because he comes off as a Generic Doomsday Villain to me, with a Monster Clown twist. Not to mention his total lack of presence in the latter half. Also, anything involving Locke made me headdesk as well, which is unfortunate given how prominent he is in the first half (as opposed to Gau, Relm, Strago, or Shadow, who don't get near as much focus). On the other hand, I felt that Terra's character arc and the interactions between Edgar and Sabin were really well done, and the "Darill's Tomb" sequence was just beautiful. Gameplay-wise, it's still a mixed bag. While the game is easy, it's still clear there's a lack of balance with the characters, as some (Cyan, Locke) have useless skills and don't do well with the generic commands either without specific setups they don't get until late in the game. As a compulsive Minmaxer, the esper system bothers me as well, since it meant that I'd have to do solo grinding with some characters to get good stats given the lack of availability of the character or the stat espers. However, with sequences where the characters split up in groups or rode Magitek Armors, the gameplay was varied enough to keep me invested and entertained. Overall, I think the game has lots of good points and was great for its time, but the problems I had kept it from true greatness. There's still fun to be had, so I'll say it's worth a look, if nothing else.
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