Review by T Smith

"Got a bad rap it didn't deserve..."

So, I've read the reviews on FFL1 and frankly, I have to wonder if most of the reviewers weren't youngsters who cut their teeth only on tour de' forces like Chrono Cross and the PSX Final Fantasy series, because to hear them talk, they're peeved because an older game on a frankly weak system didn't live up those masterpieces.

But to me, that's like criticizing an art student because he couldn't create the Mona Lisa. This is a GAME BOY game, folks, it doesn't have 32 bit eye candy and space to beef it up! I remember purchasing this game near the dawn of the Game Boy's life, and still like to play the emulator for it even to this day! This game was a good example that you can take a weak system, and make a very very addictive game nonetheless.

So, how does it break down in my opinion?

Graphics (6/10)
Okay, nothing special, even for a GB game, and most everything does use templates for figures, enemies, ect. Some variation would have been nice, but you can at least distinguish everything. Also, the weapon effects were decent for it's time.

Sounds (5/10)
Functional stuff, bleeps, crashes, ect, but again, you could tell when a gun was fired, an arrow unleashed, a slash performed and other.

Music (7/10)
Not bad. Some bits, like the excessively happy early level tunes were annoying. The rest weren't bad, especially the major boss fights.

Story (8/10)
A group of ambitious young whipper snappers try to live out the myth of finding paradise in a forsaken old tower, only to find worlds that they had dreamed about are really a long way from perfect. Pretty original if you ask me. Again, this got majorly criticized for not being the Tolstoy/Tolkien level grand epic that many Square games have accomplished lately, but again, what kind of plot does POKE'MON? (which several reviewers gave sparkling reviews of!) have? The main plot was interesting enough to keep me going, and the sub plots were the same.

Gameplay (7/10)
Yes, I didn't care for the limited use system on weapons either, but honestly, that proved to be only a minor drawback. I mean, yes, your sword is limited to 99 uses, but NEVER ONCE did I run out of swords or other important weapons. Even weapons like Bazooka's/Balkans/Muskets with their limited ammunition lasted me enough for their purpose! My only gripe was limiting the Unarmed combat weapons (why should we even have to buy them?!).

The only thing that annoyed me was having to buy STR and AGIL increases for my humans, that, folks, was unforgivable, but again, in the end, it didn't hinder me that much in the play.

Combat is good and straight to the Dragon Warrior-esque point, so I can't gripe there either.

Save points (read: ANYWHERE!) were too generous, though, it would have made more sense to be able to save only in towns or specific locales.

Overall Fun (8/10)
Look, I just wanted a decent portable RPG at the time, and I got that...and more. IT's really sad to compare it to 32 bit grand presentations, but me, I look at it relatively, and in relation to just about any other Game Boy game, this tops my list of ones that I wouldn't mind playing again and again, despite it's quirks. Download it or get it used, enjoy the ride, and try not to take it too seriously...




Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/13/00, Updated 12/13/00


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