Review by Black Glasses

Reviewed: 10/20/03

This game is an epic; one that forcefully immerses you into a wonderful adventure that you will never forget in your lifetime.

Before I even start my review, let me first cover the ''Buy, Rent, or Not Even Try'' section. The game is way too fun to not try. It's way to long for a rental, and plus, you'll want to keep this game just to remember the joy it brought you. By process of elimination, if this review at all intrigues you into thinking this game is good, you should definitely BUY!

This game is the best game I have ever played; ever. Other games that have been my ''favorites'' in the past are no longer. This game sweeps away competition. It is genius, everything about it. Completing the game requires a patient and loyal gamer. It trials you in patience and frustration. It gave me feelings both of immense joy and immense furiousness. However, in the end, the feeling of completing such a fun game was a great one.

1. The Story & Characters
The characters in this game are so unique and amazing in every way. I love how creative they got with inside and outside of battle skills. The characters in your party include Eldin, a boy who seeks to become a hunter but later finds himself entangled in a great adventure, Torma, Eldin's childhood friend who has a bit of a temper, Rami, another of Eldin's childhood friends who is crafty and clever, Bau, a boy who fused with a monster and lives a depressed life after not being able to unfuse, Rubius, an elegant priestess who is strong-willed and is the main reason you are on your quest, and EVEN DEKAR(!!!) an old legendary hero from the past Lufia games. But the clever thing is this. Eldin, Torma, Rami, and Bau can be used inside of battle and outside of battle for using their powers and abilities to solve puzzles. Dekar can only be used inside of battle, and Rubius can only be used outside of battle for puzzles. So not everyone is a fighter, and not everyone can be used for solving puzzles either. It's a nice mix.

The story is awesome. What starts out as you just trying to become a hunter (which is a fun adventure in itself) winds up to be an adventure with the most surprises, sub-plots, plot twists, and newfound friends that you will never forget. The game gets pretty friendless and creepy towards the end. The last three major towns in the game consist of a ghost inhabited town, a town that you're warring against, and an ancient abandoned town with scary ruins and remains. So as you can see, the game starts off strong, cheery, and fun, only to prepare you for the heat of the adventure. It's quite brilliant.

2. Gameplay & Battle
I know many reviews here say bad things about this game. But if you'll look, there are quite a few reviews that say good things about this game. I understand why people would want to speak so strongly against the game: IT'S TOUGH! This isn't like the Golden Suns or other major RPGs out there. This isn't like them because of a very simple reason: You can only save in towns. You can quick save, which means suspend your game data if you have to leave the game for a certain reason. But there is no permanent guaranteed save. I know some of you might be thinking, 'That's not so bad, I don't mind losing half my money every time that I die.' That's not the case. This is not like regular RPGs. In those games if you perish, you wind up back at an inn in a town with half of your money lost. In Lufia, you wind up at the start screen, having to replay your game from the last save spot. And remember, there are NO save spots other than towns.

Am I trying to make this game look bad? No, I'm trying to do exactly the opposite. The reason for me explaining the horrid frustrations is that you WILL get frustrated when you play this game, but that's what a good game should do. I don't play games for a cake walk, and I hope you don't either. But now onto the real gameplay. It's great, I love it. I was not sure what to expect in this game. Should I have expected a Lufia 3 and random dungeons? I was hoping not (even though Lufia 3 was really fun, regardless of the dungeons). My hopes came true, because this RPG was 100% handmade! That means real hidden treasures, real people in dungeons, real mazes, and REAL PUZZLES! Let me tell you something about the puzzles in this game. They are not like normal puzzles in that most puzzles have more than one way to solve them. However, there are a few puzzles out there that are tough, cause you to think ahead, are exciting, and even some that require actual dexterity. A good example of great puzzles would be the mine level, which is my favorite level in the game because of the fun puzzles like controlling mine carts, getting bombs to break through rocks, and switch-hooking yourself from one platform to the next. Another good example would be the windlands (desert) where you have to use arrows to traverse across invisible pathways! Perhaps one of my favorites would be a tower in which you have to collect 3 different colored flames by solving sand puzzles, and then take the flames to the top of the tower by solving a talking statue puzzle, and finally when you get to the top, solve a fun riddle about which order the flames go in! The whole game is a load of riddle/puzzle/hidden treasure/dungeon fun, you'll love it! No matter what anyone else says!

The battle is, contrary to what some people say, exciting and strategic. Some people say the battle is too slow. Compared to other RPGs, yes, the battle does take a bit long because of the detail put into every command for everything, but in my opinion, that just helps build up the suspense of what will happen next! You can use a basic attack, defend, use an item, use the traditional Lufia magic, or fusion with a monster that you have trained and cared for, to make you even stronger! Of course you can always run away, but what's the fun in that =p

There are a lot of great magic and skills throughout the game. If you get jobs as someone's apprentice, you will learn skills based on what your job is (if you are a thief you will learn thief skills, if you are a pastor you will learn healing skills, etc.). You can capture monsters, evolve them, level them up, and have them fight alongside you in battle! You'll love the endless possibilities of what can be done in this great game!

3. Sound, Music, & Graphics
The music in this game is amazing. I sometimes just re-enter an area just to listen to the music in that area! There is creepy music that gets you scared for your life, exciting music that inspires you to push forward in your adventure, and cheery music that sometimes can be deceiving. ^_~ The music never gets old and it immerses you more into the great adventure.

The sound is nothing special, I'll admit, but this is an RPG and the last thing I'm worried about is sound. The sound is however, above average for an RPG, and certainly exceeds expectations. There are simple sounds like when you step onto a trap, light a flame, burn a web, and a lot of in-battle sounds. It is nothing bad.

The graphics are GREAT! I just love the levels. Just entering a level and seeing the graphic design gets me excited the first few seconds i see it, until the moment I complete it. If I see an unlit torch on a cliff above me, I just get excited and realize the vastness of the level. The graphics will just get you excited, whether you're climbing a volcano, a snowy mountain, or even in the underwater level, the graphics are a great thing to inspire you to do the best you can on a level!

4. Replayability & Extras
I have explained to you the extras throughout the course of the review. You can get jobs, catch monsters, even enter the legendary ancient cave(!!!) filled with tons of great items, great surprises, awesome boss battles and new bosses, and an adventure you can even go with your friends on! That's right, you can now access the ancient cave with your friends using a Gameboy Advance Game Link Cable! Let me tell you, if you've ever played Zelda: The Four Swords, it's just like that, but RPG style. It's great fun.

Replayability, hmm. I just completed the game a few days ago. That game contains all my work, all the greatness, an awesome adventure with only one save file =(. I would like to replay the game, but it would be at the expense of a lost game. I swear, the game is so good, I might just buy an extra cartridge just for replay. Most RPGs are un-replayable in value. You'll want to replay this one, for the story, if for nothing else. For the adventure, for reliving the greatness that gave you one of the best video games of you life. Few video games will be remembered by me after a few years. I am no video game fanatic, I play one game every 3-4 months probably. But this game is great enough, I think, to leave a lasting impression of fun and excitement on me for the rest of my life.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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