Review by Archmonk Iga
"The first worthwhile Final Fantasy"
WHAT? An EIGHT?! How DARE you?! If you're thinking this, then please relax. I'm a huge Final Fantasy fan, and just because I don't give one of the series' most popular games a perfect score doesn't mean I don't like it. So what does it mean? It means that I think the people who worship FF4 should try to see on the other side of the spectrum. That is, the spectrum saying that FF4 is great, but it's not the second coming.
FF4 is really the beginning of the FF series' good stories. Instead of following a few one-dimensional characters around for hours and hours, we are given some very entertaining ladies and gentleman to do our bidding. The story begins when Cecil, a "dark knight" (the "dark" part has an obvious negative connotation), is ordered by the king to do some shady business with other folks around the country. Cecil wants to be loyal but can't help questioning the man's intentions. So he does what he's told, and all hell breaks loose. Shoulda followed your heart, Cecil. That king is a tool.
It's so nice to have a new sort of story in this series, but I'm even happier that we have characters with personalities. Cecil makes an excellent protagonist, and is the first FF character that we know who goes through that intense character development we know of from all the FF releases following this one. Rosa is a little boring (the love interest), but Rydia, Tellah, Edward, Palom and Porom, and so many others provide us with so much entertainment and heartbreak that it makes one wonder what took Square so long to make a story like this.
The visuals in FF4 are decent, but as you can tell by looking at FF5 and FF6, they could've been better. Still, when I play an RPG, as long as I can see what I'm doing, I'm good to go. Not to mention many of the monster designs look pretty cool. It's a shame that they aren't animated, and kind of silly actuallyall they do is flash, and that's their attack animation.
In my opinion, FF4 has the catchiest music out of all the FFs. While at times it's a little too catchy for the situation, there's no denying that it's enjoyable to listen to. That damn boss music! You can't get it out of your head!
Call me a hater, but the gameplay in FF4 is the weakest of all the FFs (excluding the three preceding it). Each character has his/her own class and special abilities. Rosa is a white mage, for example, so she is necessary to keep the party alive. This is all well and good, but you know what really bums me out? There are 12 unique characters, but the game only allows you to use five specific characters in the end. You get no say in who will be in your final party, which is kind of disappointing. I know it's cool that we can have five people in battle at once, but some more variety would've been nice. And come onwho doesn't want Edward in their final party?! (/sarcasm)
Another problem is one I have with every old school FFthe battles occur way too frequently. Every old-school RPG seems to be like this. Why? Why do we have to fight a one-minute battle every five steps? Let me just get to my destination!
But despite any problems I have, I still love this game. The items and equipment seem limitless, and battles really can be a lot of fun. Not to mention there are quite a few sidequests that may just be worth your while.
If you don't deal with any of the optional events, this could last you less than 20 hours. Even with all the secrets completed, it will still probably be the shortest Final Fantasy out of all of them. Still, the story is so good you may want to come back to it awhile after you beat it once. If you own this, you are a lucky individual. If not, then try to get it.
LASTING APPEAL: 8.5/10
It's short, it's simple, and it's sweet. It's not perfect, but that's kind of why I love it so much.
OVERALL: 8.4/10 (8 when rounded)
Thanks for reading =)
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/11/07
Game Release: Final Fantasy II (US, 11/23/91)
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