Review by zenkalia
"It's not final fantasy, but it is surprisingly good."
So I just beat this game and it has inspired me to write my first GameFAQs review, if that means anything to you.
You are trying to get to paradise. Period. That's the story. Along the way up the tower to paradise there will be lots of obstacles and environments for you to take in. The story is interesting but not amazing, but I mention environments because this game has the most engrossing environments of any RPG in its class (original Game Boy, NES). As you go through the tower you will find a lot of implied violence, conflict or previous violence that you just don't find in other games. There are a number of points in the game where I was shocked by what I happened to find in the next room, simply because no other game incorporates these kinds of things (you'll see). Overall, the game left me impressed at how atmospheric a game boy game could be.
Turn based battle system. Tons of huge mazes and dungeons. An amazing growth system that (although not perfect) was loads of fun to play with. The characters in your party can be human, mutant or monster. Monsters are by and large useless, which I didn't believe until I actually played through the game. They get stronger by eating the meat of other monsters (and can get very strong very fast, but lose steam in the endgame). Mutants level up at the end of battle like in other RPGs. Humans only get stronger through items that you buy at the store that you use on them (which you can think of as training). The battles are fun and the difficulty was in my opinion pretty spot on, but there were some flaws.
There is a puzzle in the game where you need to bring an item worth a certain amount of money to an old man. He only tells you the riddle once, so if you're not paying attention, you can't get that information again (and then have to look up what the possible items are online and buy them all). The UI could have been better, since it needs to be noted that even though you only see 8 slots in your inventory screen, there are actually 10. The 9th and 10th are trash can and spheres (story items) and if you don't know that these slots exist, you can get pretty frustrated pretty fast. I restarted the game from halfway through because I forgot that the 9th and 10th slots existed. Random encounters seemed stronger than they should have been and I found myself running from a lot of battles just to conserve resources. I'm not sure how to feel about this since it may have been intended, but it can be pretty weird for modern RPG gamers.
Also, I'd like to note that I never found myself confused about what I had to do next, which is pretty rare for an RPG as old as this one.
This was the first Game Boy RPG so don't expect much. It's visually lame, but the tiles are put together in compelling ways. As I said before, I found this game much more atmospheric than I expected (and in modern games you expect atmosphere and different feelings for different area, but to see this in a game this old, I was impressed).
This game was great. If you're an old school RPG gamer, you owe it to yourself to play this title. The story brings up a lot of weird moral issues and did a lot more thematically than any Final Fantasy before 4. I got my copy for something like $6 on Amazon (including shipping) and don't regret it one bit.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/05/09
Game Release: The Final Fantasy Legend (US, 09/30/90)
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