I’ve been playing Final Fantasy VI Advance for a few weeks now. I hate to admit that, although I’ve come very close, it’s one celebrated title I’ve yet to complete. I tried when I purchased Final Fantasy Anthology back in 2002, and I tried again when it was ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2006. Both times, despite falling in love with the game, I drifted to something else.
Upon firmly deciding that I would take up the mission once more, I was left with quite a debate over how I would play the game. Here were my two options:
- Final Fantasy VI for PSN/PSP Go
- Playable on my TV using video-out
- Can use Dualshock 3 controller using Bluetooth
- Optimal on-the-go play, allowing game suspension and pausing
- My PSP Go already houses Final Fantasies 7-9, and recently, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. Building up the library feels good!
- Rough localization left over from before the Final Fantasy series had solidified in the West. (ex. Gil is called “GP” in early versions of Final Fantasy VI; Ultima Weapon = Atma Weapon, etc.)
- Extended load times due to port complications
- Final Fantasy VI Advance
- Best western localization to date, embracing the celebrated original script while better homogenizing the game with the rest of the series
- Bonus Espers (a.k.a. “summons” for the layman) and content
- Standard load times
- Brightened graphics
- Closing the Nintendo DS does not “suspend” the game and system meaning I’d need to turn the game off entirely to conserve battery life
- Not able to experience the game on a big screen
- Nintendo DS is less portable than the PSP Go
Weighing the above factors may make it seem like the PSN version is the obvious winner. Not only would my gameplay experience be more flexible, allowing for two screen sizes and controller interfaces, but the portability is easily superior. And yet, I chose the Game Boy Advance version, after no small amount of internal debate.
Why? The lingering inconsistencies, however minor, would be enough to pull back the curtain of my immersion. I don’t want to see the man behind the curtain, sifting through lines of text in a script. I’m not saying that the old localization of Final Fantasy VI was bad – they did the best they could at the time – I just want an experience consistent with the franchise as I know it today. So that was my thought process behind this tough decision. Would you have made the same choice?