April 2nd, 1994 seems like yesterday for me, so allow me to just breath deeply as I realise it was two decades ago...

"Final Fantasy VI" turns 20!

On this day 20 years ago, the sixth entry in Squaresoft "Final Fantasy" series hit stores in Japan for the Super Famicom. "Fainaru Fantajī Shikkusu" slowly began making waves in western magazines until it's eventual release in America and despite much hope, it never made it to PAL SNES cartridge format. But thank to the excellent monthly coverage in Super Play magazine, I knew it was special and nothing like I would have ever experienced before since I was only used to action RPGs at the time. So even if sadly I could never play it in it's original format, the game continued to be re-released onto Playstation, Game Boy Advance and digital formats like Virtual Console so you will today certainly have far less trouble than me to find a version of the game to try out. And yes, even after two decades, if you never played this game, you really should. It remains my favourite game in the series (and yes, I do love Final Fantasy VII in case you are wondering) up to this day and sadly I will not tell you why because there are so many things that I could inadvertently spoil your experience with your first play trough. Do know it has some amazing graphics, pushing what the SNES could handle to it's near limits, a very engaging narrative filled with many charismatic characters rounded off with a simply stunning, still one of the very best 16-bit chiptune soundtrack by living legend Nobuo Uematsu.

So big cheers on you, "Final Fantasy VI". Not only did you open my mind to JRPGs, you are also an absolute masterpiece that perfectly shows off just how much you could push a Super Nintendo twenty years ago, still shaming most of current gen offerings in the series. Back at the time, we just couldn't know that we had it so good already... Play Hard, Play LOUD!

*URAWAZA*: Remember: "Gotta wait for Shadow!"