Review by FlareNUKE

Reviewed: 06/27/06 | Updated: 06/30/06

Please blow the Warship!!

Final Fantasy II, the sequel to the NES game Final Fantasy was released in 1988 in Japan and was originally going to released in 1991 in the United States (but the translation was canned in favor of the newer Final Fantasy IV). Here's my review:
Final Fantasy II is the story of the protagonist Firion (Firioniel) and his siblings Maria, and Leon (Leonheart) living in Fin, afterwards the Empire comes and takes over and their parents are killed and they meet up with a few DarkNites and are taken down quickly. Firion wakes up in Altea and meets up with Maria and Guy again, although Leon is missing. They go to the princess and ask her to allow them to fight in their army. She refuses, and decides out of pity to allow them to run errands.

The gameplay is new and fresh (thank Gebelli), back then and now. I still admire it: Basically you train each skill by practicing it over and over, although making certain skills stronger results in others being weaker, Despite what people say it is possible to get strength and magic power at the same time by using them both often. There are problems though, some magic abilities don't get good and worth using for quite a while and you'll have to keep using it over and over until it is. It's hard in the beginning and it quickly gets easier.

You have a variety of extra characters, although they're almost always inferior to your main three party members and are usually always slain quickly and often get status problems.

Which brings me to another problem, if your character ever gets low on HP or slain, they're likely to die the next round and it happens over and over because you don't have the opportunity to heal their HP, so you going to wasting a lot of MP on Life, and unless you have Elixirs or the Psyc spell (Ethers only work well in battle) it can be disastrous as MP is vital unless you only attack.

The story is poor, regardless of how well the translation is. Most NPCs that matter are easily forgettable with exception to Hilda. Your heroes have very few lines and do try to have personalities but don't work out well. Guy for example, avoids pronouns and makes simple sentences . . . Though he only has about three lines if I recall, twice in Altea and once in a cave with beavers. Firion's personality isn't really anything; a couple times he seems kind of carefree, but for the most part he stays silent. In fact, the story seems to be more concerned with the part-time characters.

The graphics look a lot like Final Fantasy's, the battle sprites are just touch-ups from the original game with new palette colours. many walking sprites are recognisable as Final Fantasy characters with new palettes. There are a lot of new dungeon layouts and they look detailed, but ugly, and there is an easter egg which shows the entire world map in a globe form, that's hot.

The music is better than the original by far, some of the music gets old fast such as the battle theme, world map theme, and dungeon theme. Others are very detailed and sound nice if you hear them for the first time, and only the first time.

This game is more difficult than most RPGs, you'll struggle for G in the beginning and you'll have to battle a lot to gain enough strength to head to that next dungeon, and even then most of them are long and frustrating regardless. There are many trick doors which lead nowhere, your MP will dwindle often requiring Ethers, treasure chests that have valuable items but requires a battle with an enemy beyond your league, and a boss battle at the end. If you die at any point you will lose all of the experience and treasure you gained in there and will have to trek all the way back in there.

The game is fun, but keep in mind it is difficult and the enemies will trouble you often. Once you win, like the first one, you are treated to a THE END screen and will turn off the game (yes, I recommend using Warp or a high-level Zap! if you want to keep that treasure)

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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