Review by HeavenAndEarthCut

Reviewed: 03/19/01 | Updated: 03/19/01

The odd FF that is actually really good.

This is my first ever review for a game so don't go pointing out a load of problems to me coz I just don't care! And if you don't agree with my opinion, then just don't read it!

FF2j was a game released only in Japan in 1990 for the famicom (nes). I don't understand a word of japanese but I found myself a translated ROM. Woo-Hoo!
Well, here we go:

Story.
A very basic story which has been used repeatedly in many other games (suikoden 1&2) but is not as complex in this game. This is perhaps one of the first games to feature the 'an evil empire wants for destruction and a small band of rebels are the worlds only hope of stopping them' story, and I like it! It may not seem so great now, but for its time it was really good and even now I like it (well, better than FF8's story by a long shot). The story starts out with the empire making an attack on the town of Phin. You control four youths who are fleeing the town with the enemy just behind. You engage a battle with four dark knights only to be slaughtered. You then wake up in a nearby town realizing that your homes and families are all gone and you decide to join the rebels in their fight against the empire as you have nothing left. From there on you accomplish many tasks like collecting rare metals to make better equipment, finding the rare spell 'Ultima' and try to infiltrate the empire to find their weaknesses. Many characters join you along the way to help you in your quest and many die to help you defeat the empire. A very touching story in parts and easily one of my FF faves.

Levelling up/Magic system.
Now this is a first. No other FF features this kind of system. All the others feature the level up system where you gain a certain amount of experience points from defeating enemies to gain a level where all your parameters will increase. In this game, experience points have been eliminated and its up to you to level yourselves up in your own way. Unfortunately, this takes too much time and will bore you if you're playing through the game for a second time. Basically, to increase your individual parameters, you must do things in battles that are connected to them. To increase your Max HP and vitality, you must lose a significant amount of HP in battle without dying. To increase MP, you must use plenty of your MP in battle. For strength, you must attack a lot in battles and magic power, you must cast lots of spells. Strength and magic power will collide (if power increases, magic will decrease and vice versa) but your HP and MP will never decrease. When you buy a magic spell in a shop and give it to a character it will start out at level 1. When you use it in battle, it will gain some experience points and when it reaches 100 exp it will gain a level. This will make the spell more powerful and cost more MP. The max level for spells is 16. Its basically the same with weapons. There are several weapon types like sword, axe, mace etc. To level up a characters compatibility with a weapon type, they must use that weapon type in battle (eg a sword user must use only types of swords etc) and the type will gain more exp as it hits enemies. 100 exp are required to gain a level. When a chars weapon level increases, they will deal more damage and have a higher hit rate with that weapon type. Again, the highest level is 16. To make your characters powerful enough to make it through the game, you will require several hours overall of levelling up. This is easily one of the harder FF's and so you will need some pretty rock hard characters.

Music
Well, as this game was for the nes, the quality of the music isn't very good now, but there are some nice tunes nevertheless. They sound pretty good in midi format. Not the best FF for music, but the music fits in right though.

Gameplay
Pretty good I think. As I said before, the story usually keeps you interested and makes you hate the empire more. The characters you control actually speak in this game and have relation to each other unlike in FF1. The typical FF random battles are here and occasionally tend to drive you nuts when trying to navigate a very complex dungeon. Therefore patience is required. Graphics can tend to put some people off but soon it will be on the wonderswan colour, I'd like to see that.
Apart from the repetative levelling up system of everything, this should be a fun game for FF fans.

Story: 7
Characters: 7
Music: 6
Gameplay: 9
Total: 8

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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