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Final Fantasy Anthology

video game review video game review video game review Video Game Review: Final Fantasy Anthology Publisher: SquarSoft
Category: Role-Playing
Platform: PS1
ESRB Rating: Teen    Release Date: September 1999

Overall Rating: 3 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
4 Stars out of 4

I love Square. And Square loves gamers. A collection of Final Fantasy 5 and 6, Final Fantasy Anthology is more fun than Final Fantasy 7 and 8 combined. While Anthology does not have the benefit of modern technology, the old-school style is strangely soothing. The simple graphics of the overworld are far more appealing than the 3-D overworld of Final Fantasy 7 and 8. Exploring a two-dimensional landscape gives you the feeling of using a map. Also, the directly overhead view is more appropriate for navigation.

That aside, the fighting is also more fun in these classics. The lack of fancy camera angles and 10-minute spell animations is important for two reasons. One, battles are shorter. Two, the tension is greater because of the higher overall speed. I propose that the GF spell animations seen in the 8th game should only be seen once, and then shorter versions should be shown thereafter. Of course, there could always be an option to always show the animation in full.

I am amazed at how well the stories hold up, considering that we can't see detailed facial expressions or full motion video. The animators are able to convey feelings through exaggerated, expressive movements whose cartoony quality works here but fails in Final Fantasy 7.

If Final Fantasy 8 is like a great film experience, Final Fantasy Anthology is like the best in Broadway. The music is more effective in this title, and Square wisely compiled a music CD which is included with the game. Of course, it would have been nice if they included ALL music. The tracks selected from Final Fantasy 6 are poor choices for the most part. I was shocked at this. Who made these gross decisions?

(Note: Square asked gamers to send in their choices before the game's release, but surely these were not all top choices. Our music picks would have been Terra, Cyan, Gau, Celes, and Forever Rachel. Terra is the only one included. What was Square smoking when it omitted Forever Rachel?)

New CG scenes have been added to this collection. Final Fantasy 5 now has an opening and ending sequence; Final Fantasy 6 has an opening, an ending, and an opera montage with a re-mixed version of the Oh, Maria theme. This stunning rendition of the classic tune is enough to bring a nostalgic tear to one's eye.

Considering a modest $40 price tag, I implore all gamers to purchase Final Fantasy Anthology, or else Square will hesitate to ever do something like this again. We can only pray for updated versions of Final Fantasy 4 and Chrono Trigger.

Review by CJ2K
2½ Stars out of 4

This re-print of two FF games was, in my opinion, not that great. Usually, when you make a remade game, you usually add something to it. Squaresoft, on the other hand, did not add anything new or exciting to these, only the FMVs at the beginning. I'll admit that I am glad Square brought 5 to PSX format.But in my opinion the FF3 for Super was better than the remade (poorly if I may) FF6 for the PSX. My advice to Square, if you remake another game, update it to the formats standards, don't leave it as it is. give it FF8 graphics and FMVs. Don't just add a FMV or two and let it be.

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