Review by LtMessiah504

"Square loyal but very harsh non biased review**"

Introduction:
To start off with I will say that I am a fairly big Final Fantasy fan. And as a loyal fan, I have played this game continuously on the original catridge for Super Nintendo. I fell in love with this game a long time ago but don't think I will be partial and uncredible on this review. I will review this game for every dollar you will spend.

Story:
I will not say that this is the core of an RPG. An RPG is special in a sense that all parts of it are the core. The story is like most other RPG's in a sense that it's a race to save the world, but that is expected. There are many plot twists and shocking moments along the way. Here we have a perfect combination of a love triangle, distrust, romance, forgiveness, and friendship. It has everything that you could want in a story but does not have the full polish of a ground breaking RPG. All in all, after playing hundreds of RPG's I will give this story a 8/10.

Graphics:
No one can compare these to any post SNES RPG. But in an era where 2d is quickly becoming like the non HD-TV's, it becomes a lost and forgotten gem. The 2d graphics produce wonderful little character sprites and nicely detailed backdrops for each fight. Each background of a battle is rendered where it takes place on the main map (if you run into battle while walking in a forest.... trees are going to be your backdrop). The magic spells are very fluid and bring a warm nostalgic feel. The enemies and bosses are also very well drawn which heightens the tension in a boss fight. I am not a huge fan of palette swapping so it dropped the score a small amount but only because all RPG's pretty much fall into that curse. As far as graphics are concerned I would rate it a 9/10

Sound:
Everything remains mostly untouched here. Most sound enthusiasts will pick apart the differences with relative ease. If the sound is appreciated but not necessarily the key point in your experience, then you won't tell much of a difference between the port and the original. The game shines audio wise in battles. Whether it be a regular battle or a boss battle, the music is wonderful and beautifully composed. Words, however, will never be able to describe the feeling of the fiend boss monsters themes. One of the best tracks I have ever heard in any game. One wouldn't expect anything less from Mr. Legendary Composer anyway. 10/10 for this category for retaining its origin which was and still is musical bliss.

Gameplay:
This Final Fantasy operates in the best way in my opinion. Battles are not conducted like a turn based system but rather on an ATB. Each character and monster have bars that drain when an action occurs and fill up as time passes. The higher the speed the quicker that character will charge his bar. You can change your battle speed from 1 to 6 to slow or speed things up. You can also change the mode from wait to active. Active means that the monster will always be charging his bar and attacking no matter what you are doing short of pausing it. Wait allows you breathing time while selecting spells or items and that is it. Herein lies one of the very few flaws this masterpiece has. Setting your battle speed to fast and setting it on active can be extremely detrimental to your survival. There is a glitch where one character may go two or three times in a row, or two characters that are fully charged get superceded for someone who just finished charging 2-3 seconds after them. Another problem everyone encounters is slight menu lag. That would be my main complaint. While it doesn't prove too much a problem if you play on wait mode and on a battle speed 4 or higher, it becomes a major complaint at higher battle speeds on active mode. It's your choice as to what speed and mode it's on, but the whole point of fast speed and full active mode is to present a high tension battle. Knowing exactly what to pick and where to send it becomes a chore when you have to find a spell or locate a lost item. The enemy could sneak in two free jabs. As long as you keep the speed 4 or higher and on wait mode, the menu lag should not impose much of a problem if any. Gameplay would rate a 7/10 if your a fast, adrenaline paced RPG gamer. If you would rather take an extra 60-90 seconds for a battle then it changes to a 9/10.

Conclusion:
Being a port, it's hard to keep the warm old days of nostalgia into the game but Square succeeds damn near flawlessly. Despite having the little bit of menu lag and the small glitchy ATB, this has got to be the best Square title released/rereleased in quite a few years. I even bought a gameboy player, a wavebird controller, and a gameboy micro for this and the two upcoming ports from Square. There has never been a better time to own a DS/GBA/GBM.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/26/05


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