Wednesday, November 17, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 62

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Final-ly Final Fantasy Anthology a heartstopping video game package

Final Fantasy Anthology

For PlayStation
ESRB Rating: Teen

Grade: A-

By Brandon H. Franks
Daily Cougar Staff

So what's so special about an anthology when you get old stuff? Well, if you're a Final Fantasy fan, it's very special.

SquareSoft's latest package -- the Final Fantasy Anthology -- gives fans not only one of the favorite Final Fantasys, Final Fantasy III (which was Final Fantasy VI in Japan), but also gives everyone in the United States Final Fantasy V, the game that seemed to have been the turning point for the series.

Both games in the anthology come with the CGI intros and endings that are so connected with SquareSoft nowadays. If the CGIs are all you're in it for, you're going to be let down, because that's it.

Before you say that this is a waste of money, you really need to remember that these are not new games -- these are classics. This is really true for the younger crowd who think that graphics are all that counts now.

This goes back to when game play really mattered and when the old-schoolers really took the time to go through and get everything out of a game.

The music may sound cheesy as well, but for those who remember the old games, it will bring back memories really close to your heart.

When playing, try to remember the graphics for older systems and you'll see that they were very state-of-the-art for their time period. Both games are very different in both design and gameplay.

Final Fantasy V incorporates what's known as the class system, which lets your characters assume different classes such as hero, black mage, knight, white mage and blue mage.

This class system is the thing that started the systems that we see in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII. With each class comes different abilities that help you in your journey.

In Final Fantasy V, you and four others have to figure out what's going on after a meteor falls to the ground and everything begins to change.

Final Fantasy VI (III in the anthology) is the game in the series that really started the craze for Final Fantasy. With its dark look and vast areas of land, Final Fantasy VI will keep you busy for a long time.

The music in both games of the Final Fantasy Anthology is old, but still very original and cutting-edge compared to the old days.

For those who can't get enough of the music, there's even a bonus CD of selected tracks that comes with the anthology.

Just because the games are old doesn't mean they're simple. You still need to build up your characters and you must gather, hunt and collect all sorts of items.

Remember -- gameplay was the key to all the Final Fantasy games, and it still is.

The Final Fantasy Anthology is a great package that gives you everything you love about Final Fantasy. It still would have been nice to have had Final Fantasy IV, but Square did right in releasing Final Fantasy V.

The Final Fantasy Anthology gives those of us from the old school cool memories of how games were back in the day. For those more into the new style of games, it shows the simplicity and complexity of older RPG games.

This is great, particularly for those who never got to play Final Fantasy VI. It will at least tide you over until Final Fantasy IX.

Pros: Great CGIs and it's a joy to finally get one of the games in the series that we've never played.

Cons: Final Fantasy IV would have been cool to see.

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