Review by Bob the Almighty
Reviewed: 09/17/01 | Updated: 09/22/01
Final Fantasy II is a great game, but sacrifices game play for story
Final Fantasy 2 is one of the more abstract games in the Final Fantasy series. It is also the hardest I might add. Like Final Fantasy 3, this game was never released outside Japan. Thanks to the wonderful technology that is ROMs and emulators, and very gifted fans who translated the Japanese ROM, now any English speaking person can enjoy this lost classic.
This is the best thing about the game, the story! Wow, I mean wow! This is where the game truly shines. This is my favorite storyline of any Final Fantasy game and my second favorite of all time (Xenogears being number one). It is also the darkest and most sinister of ANY Final Fantasy to date. An evil empire has summoned Hell spawn in hopes of global domination. A town is massacred by these demons and four brave youth try to stand up to them, but ultimately lose. This is where the game begins, and after that, be prepared for the unexpected. The story is dark at heart: innocent lives lost, towns and cities completely destroyed by the evil empire, tales of betrayal and hate, the loss of loved ones...I can go on. In the end, the story is without flaw.
- Overall 90% -
This is where the game takes a little heat. Veterans of other Final Fantasy games will not be familiar with the gameplay unless they are also familiar with the Final Fantasy Legends/Romancing Saga/Saga Frontier games. No more wandering how many more fights you need to level up, because there are no levels. That's right, no longer will you start at the pitiful level one and have to work your way up from there. In this game, you have to level up your stats and HP/MP through battles. In a battle, the more physical attacks you use, the more your strength goes up. The same is true with your magic. Also equipment effects your characters too. Would you image a Black Wizard walking around with Crystal Armor? No you say? That's right. By equipping heavier pieces of equipment, your character will become stronger from the weight they are carrying. Of course, this makes the character more physical in nature and less magical in nature. So basically, if you want to be strong magically, then you must be weak physically and vice-versa. Your HP and MP go up in battle also. The more damage you have dealt to your character, the more HP he or she gets as well as a vitality bonus (because he or she is learning to be able to take more damage). The more MP you consume in battle also effects your character. If you use a lot of MP, then after the battle you are likely to get some more MP. Another thing about the gameplay is the spells and weapons. The more you use a type of spell (like Fire) or weapon (like a sword) the higher level that spell/weapon goes. Once again, those familiar with the FF Legends or Saga games should be used to this. A little awarkward yes, but it works.
- Overall 73% -
The graphics are similar to Final Fantasy 1 in a lot of ways (which shouldn't be a surprise being that Final Fantasy 1 was some of the best graphics for the Nintendo). The graphics are horribly out-dated, but that doesn't matter (graphics don't make a game). Besides, when the game was released, the graphics were brilliant (but that was 12 years ago, heh). It's not too bad to put up with though, but I'm going to rate the graphics as if it was still 1988 and people still played Nintendo. With those two things considered, the graphics are great.
- Overall 90% -
The music, for the most part, is just as dark as the story. That it good because it really helps the atmosphere the game is trying to create. Plus some of it is catchy. You'll notice a lot of Final Fantasy 1 sounds and music, which just like the graphics, is a good thing because Final Fantasy 1 has some of the best music for a Nintendo game. The music, while not as good as Final Fantasy 3's music, is really good and goes along perfectly with the game.
- Overall 95% -
Ouch...the major flaw in the game is the replay value. Yes, the game is incredibly fun and addictive, so why such a low replay value score? Easy, THE GAME IS HARD!!! No kidding, the challenge is unbearable. While the game rules and everything, the game is tough. So much time and effort needs to be put into the game in order to even have a chance of surviving. The battle system is so untraditional as well, you either love it or you hate it. After beating it once, I can't see myself playing through it again simply because it's too damn tedious.
- Overall 60% -
Overall, the game rules. The dark and compelling story, the large cast of characters, and the challenge make the game fun. While the challenge was skyrocketed since the first Final Fantasy (hmmm...the FIRST Final Fantasy, that just doesn't sound right...), it has imporved in terms of character devolpment and story development. However, the battle system, although good in theory, is poor in execution. The game is amazing, if you can tolerate the first few hours and really work up your characters. The game may prove to be too tedious for the average gamer though.
- Overall 72% -
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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