Review by Gbness

Reviewed: 11/22/03

Oh, dear. This will get very ugly.

If you asked a person in the mid-1980's what ''Final Fantasy'' was, they would probably think it was a book, a myth, or something like that. They'd have no real clue. If you asked someone in 1990 what it was, they'd likely respond with, ''Final Fantasy is a great series on the NES that has tons of potential to be a true legend.'' If you asked them in the later 1990's what it was, they would probably say, ''Final Fantasy is perhaps the greatest series ever made. With terrific games like FF6 and FF7, the series is a true masterpiece.'' Isn't it amazing what those years can do?

Before, Final Fantasy II was not released for the USA. That was a good thing. Along with Final Fantasy I, it was re-released for the PlayStation in Final Fantasy Origins, which really wasn't that great of an idea. It's best to keep it away from those who have never played it. I recently played the game, and I regret it. It is not a fun game at all, and it was supposed to correct the flaws that the original had. I don't understand, because Final Fantasy 1 wasn't really that great, but it certainly wasn't this bad. Read below to see why I choose to give this game a 2/10.

Final Fantasy II has a pretty bad storyline. The main character (Fironiel) is just a regular guy. The game starts out with him and his three friends (Guy, Maria, and Leonhart), running from a group of dark knights. The party is then ambushed and defeated, and then Leonhart disappears. A resistance group (Phin) is being completely terrorized by an Emperor. It's a very dark and evil type of storyline. Sure, it's a good storyline on its own, but I believe I have heard this storyline before. In books, movies, and games... so it really could have used some originality.

The characters in Final Fantasy II also could have used some improvement and development. Fironiel is pretty much a silent guy because he never talks. I suppose that if the game focused more strongly on the characters, Fironiel wouldn't be a Cloud or a Squall, but he's still pretty silent and tedious. Other characters besides him and Maria have little to no development whatsoever. Heck, Guy hardly even talks! How much development is that? Overall, the characters are definitely a big improvement from Final Fantasy (which had NO development), but these characters still need a huge amount of development to try and please me, I'm afraid I have to say.

Graphics in Final Fantasy II are in my opinion worse than those of Final Fantasy's. Why? To start out with, the sprites in this game are far too small. Really, they're so small that you barely want to look at them. Also, I know this flaw came to Final Fantasy as well, but characters and enemies are separated by boxes and lines. This gets REALLY annoying at times, although I suppose that it is tolerable. Battle graphics themselves are a little better than the normal graphics though, since the sprites are bigger and there is more detail. They could still use a little improvement in that category, however.

Final Fantasy II's character designs aren't very good either. The main character's sprite looks almost exactly like the Fighter from Final Fantasy I. Other characters are also a bit unimaginative as well. Enemies are a little better than the characters, but most of them are a bit too plain. The backgrounds and area designs in the game are average at best. Considering Final Fantasy II's time, they looked pretty good, but most of them are pretty much taken from Final Fantasy. Overall, the graphics in Final Fantasy II are okay, but could use some improvements.

Most of the music in Final Fantasy II is good, but quite a lot of it gets repetitive quickly. To start out with, the same tune plays in every single town! It's a pretty soft theme that starts out sounding pretty good, but later it just gets extremely annoying. Some of the better music in the game rests within the battle theme and the boss theme. The battle theme is great, and the boss theme is truly awesome. Some of the music also takes a rather cool, dark theme to it as well.

The worst part about the music is that a lot of it is quite tedious, but there's still some good themes in most areas... I could care less about the sound itself, but most of which is in the game sounded pretty good considering the NES's sound. It's mostly beeps and slashes and stuff like that. Overall, the sound was mostly good, and the music was sometimes awful, but usually average. But now, we are stepping into really dark ground for Final Fantasy II... the gameplay.

To begin what makes this game so horrible, the battle system of the game must be discussed. This is truly one of the most horrible battle systems I have ever experienced! To build up HP, you must get hit in battle. Is this not entirely stupid? If you go below half of the HP, then it is almost guaranteed that after you finish the battle, you'll have a small boost after the fight. MP is the same; just use it up! To make your attacks hit more often, you just have to miss more often. Other parts of the battle system just go on...

Final Fantasy II also has a magic improvement system, where if you use the spell enough it'll be enhanced, like Fire to Fire2. This retarded battle system easily makes it impossible to lose some battles, because it so easy to have 9999 HP for all characters with such strong attacks that you can kill bosses in a couple hits. Final Fantasy II doesn't have the EXP system either. In any RPG that I have played, this is the single worst battle system I've experienced. If you don't like it, you should stay away from this game.

Gaining gold in this game is so slow that it'll remind you of the original Final Fantasy. In the beginning when you might need, say, 400 Gil, you get about 10-20 per battle. And this quickly leads to enemies beating you up because Potions run out quickly and you can't heal! A lot of the game itself also gets slightly tedious to an extent really quickly, and that's why I give the game the score that I gave it. Final Fantasy II isn't very fun usually, and the battle system sucks ass. That sums that up.

Final Fantasy II is also an extremely difficult game around the beginning. When you overpower and lead four 9999 HP characters with inhuman strength, the game gets insanely easy. But around the beginning, each character has about 100 HP. You reach a battle, and some enemies do 500 damage on you. This makes it near impossible to get around! Add to that how you have only a limited amount of healing items because you need to equip then on characters, and you get some near impossible stuff.

It isn't like there's going to be any replay value here either. Sure, you are definitely going to want to complete the game and tough out some of the boredom that it offers. But you definitely won't want to touch it again, mainly due to the beginning's extreme difficulty and the fact that it takes years to get gold. Add to that how long it can take to get yourself built up adequately, and you probably won't be coming back to Final Fantasy II. It really is a sad thing.

Overall, I am sorry to admit that I did not enjoy Final Fantasy II. It has one of the worst battle systems ever to grace humanity, the game was tedious, the storyline was pretty unoriginal and the game didn't even have good characters, but the good graphics and music prevent the game from receiving a 1/10. Final Fantasy II costs a huge sum of money, so I really don't recommend you pick this one up unless you're buying Final Fantasy Origins on the PlayStation for the original Final Fantasy.

Rating:   1.0 - Terrible

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