Review by GBA gamer
"The Sun has lost it's shine"
Regardless of how simple and good the first one was, the 2nd one practically ruined all chances for a sequel since Camelot has totally screwed the series. Now, before you fire up that fresh e-mail account to flame me, why not read the review FIRST? Shall we start?
Gameplay (5/10): Most important part of a game 2nd to storyline. The gameplay is the same boring system...again. Yes, again, nothing new. Perhaps to players new to RPGs, it can be a whole new-superb-fabulous-awesome experience; even the ''average'' RPG players will find lack of innovation in the game play. You have a world map, the one thing that many new RPGs don't have. There is a great deal of exploration in this game, which is good because it gives you more Easter eggs and enables much more variety of gameplay. However, despite the exploration, the battle system is extremely poorly executed. Basically, you have your row of the 4 characters, and....they take turns hitting. They jump, hit, and jump back. Interesting, sadly, no. This kind of battle system is not going to attract gamers, and is a disgrace to the RPG genre. Why? Because the system is so simple, that basically it's just a rip-off of the Dragon Warrior battle system. Lack of innovation that Camelot offers is what I would blame. And yes, in battles you can summon ''stuff,'' a pretty cool feature but the summoning trend has started with FF, and so far only FF has perfected the summon system. The ''Djin'' summon system is completely flawed and gives the game so little challenge. Just set your Djins off and when you go into battle just summon the ultimate summon and you automatically win. Sounds good huh? Try doing that for all of the battles in the game, you'll soon find out how boring it really is. When out of battles, you can use ''Synergies'' to control the surroundings such as moving boulders, blowing leaves away to reveal stuff and etc. However, this is just ANOTHER a-la rip-off of Lufia/BoF's system, your characters have different abilities to help continue your journey. To sum it all up, the Gameplay steals a battle system and poorly executes it, it steals a summon system and leave it with many leaks, and it steals the Lufia/BoF system and calls it ''Psynergies'' instead. Gameplay is basically a rip-off of other RPGs, now too innovative and unique...
Story (5/10): The 2nd most important thing in an RPG. For people who haven't played the first fame, the score is going to be much lower, since the 2nd games poorly explains what happened in the first game and doesn't explain why your party is in such a condition. Basically, you¡¦re ''lost'' and you have to find your other party members and as you go you kindly help people and continue your journey. Nothing too special...The plot is straightforward, badly executed twists. What I'm concerned is the story of a character. Your characters are totally lifeless, they have so little background and story behind them that they practically just blindly join you and yay, you have a new party member. This type of story is pure lackluster. It doesn't give a greatly fined background story of each character like great RPG masterpieces like Tales of Destiny or FF. The characters are vague, and very shadowy. The only thing that makes each character different is their stats and their abilities, nothing more.
Graphics (9/10): Sure enough, this is probably the reason why so many people love this game. The game some truly fantastic graphics for a handheld. Sure enough, maybe the sprites and the background isn't so detailed, but tell me another GBA game that can handle such great graphics. However, I am concerned about the details the worldmap, most of it is very blurred and it's not gone too far into detail. I have nothing more to say, for a handheld, the graphics are near perfect, but not as perfect as the Mega Man Battle Network series.
Sound (7/10): The sound is average, it doesn't go too much into detail, but some of them aren't electronic noises, which I hate. Some of them are instrumental, which I say is very entertaining in some areas.
(Extras): Other than that, there is SOMETHING to play for. If you have a file of the first one, I would say you will have a few neat things waiting for you in the game ^_^
Replay Value (4/10): The game is about 40 hours long, the length of an average RPG but a gameplay and story below the average RPG. If you want to spend another 40 hours just acing battles and do hours of exploration for the SAME BORING goal, then maybe you can call yourself a good Hardcore RPG player and go try some more Rags such as Grandia instead of wasting your time again.
Buy or Rent: Rent, and if it is possible, trying playing the ROMs first, then buy. And NO, I am NOT telling anyone where to get ROMs, they are illegal and for use only if you want to. Rent the game, and if you like what it is so far, maybe you can buy it.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 04/11/03, Updated 04/11/03
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