Review by Mordecai the Mad
"Similar to SaGa Frontiers Experience system (and that's not a good thing)"
The Japanese Final Fantasy 2 was a pretty good game. It could have been a lot better than it was, but I do not regret downloading it (which is the only way to play it translated unless you have one of the 6 translated carts. One went for about $1700 on Ebay, so good luck)
Story: The plot is a little stale by today's standards, BUT, I think this may have been the first game to do this type of plot so it's okay. You start out as four friends who are fighting against an evil empire. In the first fight you get totally stomped by four evil knights. You wake up in the capitol of the rebellion, one friend short. So you go on a journey, not only to save the world from an evil emperor, but also to find your missing friend. You meet many allies along the way, each of whom fill the fourth slot in your party's roster. But each of whom, is only temporary.
Graphics: The graphics looked exactly like Final Fantasy 1, not that there is anything wrong with that. I personally liked the graphics in FFI and I thought this one was very reminiscent of it's predecessor.
Gameplay: This is where the game starts to fall apart. It is saved only by it's well done story. The experience system in this game was absolutely horrible. Some people will say it was innovative...but that is not always a good thing. The system was very SaGa Frontier like (and I could barely stand SaGa Frontier for this reason), you don't even gain experience, instead you gain stats based on how you fight. Now this may sound cool at first, but it quickly grows horribly tedious as you try to level up (sorry, I forgot, NO LEVELS) you characters. Plus, some people say that this leads to totally customizable characters, which it does, but you characters kind of lose their personality whenever one of them can do the exact same thing. The battles however, are done just like final fantasy. The spells, instead of being different levels, all start at level 1 and grow in power as you use them. Whenever they gain a level, the cost more MP to use.
Sound: The sound for this game was absolutely magnificent. The overworld theme is very depressing which sets the perfect mood for the hopelessness that most of the world feels as it's being ravaged by the emperors forces.
Difficulty: Because of it's horrible experience system (or it's lack thereof actually) you'll have to spend countless hours tediously powering up your characters. Because if you don't have enough HP, or Defense, you'll die in the first hit of more powerful monsters. And if you haven't increased you power, you won't even be able to damage them. So power up on the weaker monsters, they're all worth the same amount of ''experience'' anyway.
Should I buy this game? Good luck on this one. I'd grab the ROM if I were you, then decide if it's worth $1700. Of course, if you can read Japanese, the original cart may be a little easier to find.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 01/17/02, Updated 01/17/02
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