Review by orestes1981

"A remake of the "red-headed stepchild" in the Final Fantasy universe."

The second part of the Final Fantasy Anniversary has resulted in Final Fantasy II to be released for people that haven't played the original or the GBA version that was a part of Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls .

Square-Enix promises some slight differences between the original and the GBA version. They hope that Final Fantasy II: Anniversary Edition can show gamers that the improved graphics and widescreen format are reason enough to pick the game up for the PSP.

Graphics

It is always nice seeing an older game getting extra love and care for a release. That is the problem with re-releasing some game, because they can just be a straight port of the original.

That is one thing I noticed right away when I was loading up the game. The new CGs added to this game look absolutely beautiful. When you enter the game, you realize that this is indeed the same game that was on your Gameboy Advance; however, it benefits from the higher firepower of the Playstation Portable.

The colors look crisp and the higher resolution really benefits the overall product. It is well worth the price of admission as well. The computer generated scenes are breathtaking into and unto themselves.

On a side note, Yoshitaka Amano's art style really on display with the increased power of the PSP and the higher resolution provided by the console. The CGs come from the re-release on the Playstation entitled Final Fantasy: Origins.

Gameplay

Final Fantasy II has always been the ugly step sister of the group. The reason is the way the game plays in comparison to other RPGs and other Final Fantasies. The way the characters become more powerful is by using their weapons, or forms of magic, repeatedly. When you go to the status screen, it will show you the level of your proficiency with a particular weapon and how far it will take for your character to level up using that weapon. The same thing goes for magic as well.

The storyline isn't anything to right home about either. It mostly has to deal with a group of children/teenagers fighting for their home. It really lacks the punch of other stories in the series. Another thing of note, the fourth member of your party reminds me of the “Red Shirts” in Star Trek. It just seems that they drop like flies in this game.

The difficulty is relatively low because it is an updated port of Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls. That means you don't have to attack your own party members to raise their HP or raise the attacks proficiency with a certain weapon.

Neutering the challenge is one of the worse things they could do with this game. Dawn of Souls was for the GBA. That system has a larger number of children that use that system then a PSP. That is why the difficulty was so low; however, the PSP doesn't suffer from that problem because the majority of people that own a PSP are in their Teens or over 18. The difficult should have been aimed to those people, not the little kids.

Sound

This is one of Nobuo Uematsu's early soundtracks; however, it is a definite improves over the music used in Final Fantasy. The soundtrack sounds like a general upgrade over Final Fantasy: Anniversary Edition. On the other hand, the game still lacks vocals for the dialog, which is a sore point when compared to other PSP RPGs.

Lasting Appeal

Like June's release of Final Fantasy: Anniversary Edition, this game features an extra dungeon and some other goodies that separate it from Dawn of Souls. The first thing that comes to mind is the bestiary.

However, the game itself is shallow when compared to modern RPGs. It lacks the replay value of those games because of the linear quest. A bonus dungeon is good in the grand scheme of things; however, it doesn't alleviate the feeling of “been there, done that” with this game.

Fun Factor

The same thing I said about Final Fantasy: Anniversary Edition still holds true for this game. It doesn't get rid of redundancy and repetitious nature of this game. On the other hand, it is a nice game to pick up if you like RPGs and own a PSP.

Overall

Final Fantasy II: Anniversary Edition doesn't remove the feelings that were created with Final Fantasy: Anniversary Edition. It just boils down to more of the same. It is a fun game to own; however, if you own Dawn of Souls or Final Fantasy: Origins, save your money for Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, or Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness. The reason I mention them, why buy a remake of an NES game? You can wait and buy remakes of superior games.

Graphics-7.5= The graphics are superior to other version of this game. The combination of updated visuals and CGI help tremendously.

Gameplay-7.5= There is a reason that the gameplay that appeared in Final Fantasy II was never repeated in the other versions of the series. That doesn't mean it isn't fun to play.

Sound-8.0= Nobuo Uematsu's work is still relevant today. The lack of voice work is a serious downer in some respects.

Lasting Appeal-6.0= A very linear game; however, the bonus dungeon adds some additional playing time.

Fun Factor-7.5= My point about the gameplay still holds true. it is really enjoyable to see how the gameplay has evolved over time.

Overall-7.0


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/10/07

Game Release: Final Fantasy II (US, 07/24/07)


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