Review by Ofisil

Reviewed: 12/14/10

Level Up by hitting your teammates. Yay!!!

Final Fantasy 2 is a RPG game developed by SquareSoft. Usually I don’t agree with the majority, especially when it comes to games where the name alone can send fanboys and girls into a rabid rage, however I must agree with the majority in this game… this Final Fantasy IS the black sheep of the family… the problem is that with a bit more careful development this could actually be one of the best of the franchise.

Story: 5/10
Presentation: 2/10

You know when you read a fanboy’s review when you see straight tens in all sections. Especially I see 10/10s in the first Final Fantasy titles, which barely have a plot I go bonkers! Okay maybe I am a bit hard on the game, after all it’s old, ain’t it??? WRONG!!! I can forgive a game for NOT having a plot but I cannot forgive a game that actually HAS a plot. Legend Of Zelda or Super Mario keep it simple… kill the bad guy \ save the princess… that’s it! It’s lame but you don’t give a $###. Now what do we have here? You start the game and you get slaughtered by some dark knights or something then you get healed by a princess that is actually the leader of a rebel army that wants to bring down the evil empire that is destroying the world. From then on its… go there to find irrelevant-to-the-plot-item-A and then find irrelevant-to-the-plot-item-B and finally find irrelevant-to-the-plot-item-C. There is NO ACTUAL PLOT DEVELOPMENT WHATSOEVER! NONE!!! NADA!!! The plot is lame, there are no surprises at all and no character development, in fact one of you teammates gets lost in the very beginning and when you do find him, (right before the last dungeon), its like you’ve found just another party member.

Gameplay: 4/10
Replay Value: 2/10

Final Fantasy by all accounts is a simple retro-style NES RPG. You talk with people for clues about where to go next, travel in the overworld map, crawl in various dungeons and fight a lot. It’s the little things though that make or break the game and in this game they break it to million pieces. I won’t go into detail about the various tiny new stuff added, I don’t care that the battles start way too often, I don’t care about the lack of a decent plot, I don’t mind the very long dungeons that don’t have save points, the absence of side quests and treasure hunting and finally I can forgive the game for being awfully linear… what I can’t forgive though are the level up mechanics!!! Instead of gaining experience points and leveling up FF2 uses a system where the longer you use something the better you become at it. Innovative? On text, yes on practice, EPIC FAIL!!! Why? Let me give you some examples.

In order to raise your HP you must lose almost half of it on a battle and after that it gets raised only a few points. The problem with that is that you can fight 100 battles, not lose enough HP in any of them and then lose because the boss of the cave you are gives you a hard hit. Now you can either fight another 100 battles hoping to get stronger or “cheat” and hit your party members on your own. The first strategy is stupid the second takes a lot of time. The same goes with weapons. You must use them a lot and since enemies start off being stronger than you, you will hit n’ miss a lot of times before actually becoming better at using your weapons. If you want to level up your Fire spell to level 2 you must use it more than 50 times and even then it doesn’t really get any better and in order to raise your MP you must use A LOT of it! Square implemented this type of leveling up to keep things more balanced and to get rid of the boring farming for EXP but the result is even worse from the typical level up system. If you follow the “non-cheating” road you will be constantly weaker than most enemies and if you “cheat” by beating the C### out of your characters you will become INSANELY strong thus making the next few hours extremely boring.

Graphics & Design: 7.2/10
Sound & Music: 5.8/10

The graphics are quite good, although not really different from the first game. The various sprites, both in and out of the battles are slightly more detailed than before and the various areas that you’ll traverse through are also a bit better looking. The magic spells look a lot better than just the simple flashes of the first game. Also the stronger the magic spell the bigger the effect which is a nice touch. In the end though, FF2 is just another fantasy themed game, with its fair share or goblins, zombies and dragons and forests, dungeons and simple looking towns. All in all FF2 looks good without being something special. The music and the sound effects are of the same quality with the first game with music themes slightly better.

[+]:
-???

[-]:
-Lame try at having a plot
-An insanely aggravating level up system
-Linear, with 0 replay value due to lack of side-quests
-Very long dungeons with no save points

Also Play:
Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Final Fantasy 6 (SNES)
Final Fantasy 7 (Playstation, PC)

Overall: 4.3/10

If there is something I hate in RPGs is when a game becomes nothing but a level up marathon and FF2 is exactly that. Games like this one make me wonder how on earth did the FF series manage to become what it is nowdays…

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Product Release: Final Fantasy II (JP, 12/17/88)

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