Reaching a new audience
Chances are, if you’re thinking about buying this retro package of Final Fantasy, you’ve already played at least one of the two games included. So, why buy this? Because the packaging is the draw, and it’s a must-own if you like the Final Fantasy series.
Let’s start with the obvious: Final Fantasy Anthology does not have a lot of Final Fantasy games included. Two classics with interesting and storied backgrounds are here: Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI. Until this release, Final Fantasy V had never been translated and released in the U.S because it was deemed too hard for the market. Final Fantasy VI was released in the U.S. as Final Fantasy III. It was a critical darling in both markets and is widely regarded as one of the best retro-era Final Fantasy games and role-playing games ever. So, Square Enix putting these two games together in a package would kill two birds with one stone: Good sales — nearly a million copies sold — and introduction of a “lost” game to the barely tapped market. Square Enix succeeded on both fronts.
Released in the U.S. and PAL regions, FF Anthology features FFV and FFVI in full with new CG introduction movies for both games. Although we have reviewed FFV previously (see 2Q2010 issue), we have never reviewed FFVI. Just know, however, that both games are fantastic, with FFV as our choice to play in the package. Both games have a deep story with memorable characters that you come to know and love by the end of your adventure, and beautiful graphics and stunning soundtracks. It’s a testament to the strong storytelling found in the retro FF era, and the package is better for including these two games particularly.
Rounding out the package is the other highlight: The included bonus soundtrack CD. The soundtrack features 22 of the best tracks from both games, with our favorites coming from the FFV portion. FFVI does have some bangers, also, so the soundtrack is great addition all around.
What you should care about — and why you should buy this package — is the fact that you’re getting the best of the 2D Final Fantasy games. Add in that soundtrack CD, which is like a gateway to FF music, and you have a good deal with in-depth gameplay to boot. This is Square Enix at its best before it embraced the 3D era for its flagship role-playing series.