Review by DarkAngel13

"The Originator of 16-bit RPG's"

Final Fantasy II was the start to the ''golden era'' of Role Playing Games. In the early 90's the SNES was getting huge, jostling with the Sega Genesis in the war for what system would take home the 16-bit era crown. In 1992 though, the United States was introduced to the beginning of the end for Sega: Role Playing Games. Sega hadn't been a company known for RPG's, in fact, the one real large one was the Phantasy Star series.

When Final Fantasy II came around it showcased the power that RPG's would end up having on the console war. It revolutionized gaming with it's intense storylines, thick plots, character development, etc. Plus the fact that the graphics were top notch for that era in gaming didn't hurt. One huge think though, was the impact of the music on the game. One would typically think that music shouldn't have too much of an impact on the game itself.

Not so fast my friend! The music of Final Fantasy II was, and still is, a masterpiece to gaming. All of the music in the game is highly enjoyable and seems to set all the right moods during the game. To be blunt, Final Fantasy II was the ''Big Bang'' that started the RPG phenomenon.

STORY-
You are Cecil, Dark Knight of Baron, Captain to the Red Wings, the most powerful airship fleet of Baron. You are sent by King Baron to seize the Crystal from Mysidia. Along the way though, you start to think to yourself, ''Why did we hurt them? They were surrendering to us?'' You begin to have second thoughts towards the king for the first time in your life.

When you return to Baron, you question the king as to why you were supposed to steal it. The king simply gives a bland generic response of saying, ''They were a threat towards our kingdom.'' and dismisses you from your post as Captain. Your best bud Kain, the Dragoon, intervenes and attempts to get the King to reconsider. No such luck though. The King decides to send you on a mission for him though, bring a mysterious package to the village Mist. The next morning they set out on the start of a journey...

Sound- 10
The sound of Final Fantasy II is still a masterpiece to these ears even after the 10+ years it has been released. The sound effects all sound nice and crisp. The ''CHANG CHANG!'' of the Crystal Sword never gets old. Alas, the same can't be said for some of the spells. Most of the spells, like Virus (Bio in later FF's), Meteo, Flare, and Holy, all sound great each time you hear them. You get sick of some of the sounds. Namely the life spell, but that might be just because you may use it a lot =P.

The music of Final Fantasy II is absolutely gorgeous. While it is still not in the league of Fianl Fantasy III, it still does an amazing job. Almost all of the music composed by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu. The crystal theme will never get old, no matter how many Final Fantasy games are made. The battle theme is almost a guarantee to get stuck in your head, as is the boss battle music. The music always seems to fit the tone of what is going on in the game, and that is a very important element to sound in a video game.

Graphics- 8
While not as glamorous as the later RPG's of the SNES era, Final Fantasy II still can compare relatively well with FFIII and Chrono Trigger. The character sprites of FFII are amazing. They are all accurately detailed towards each character. The spells are all also very nice looking. The monster design is where this game shines. For some reason, the monsters of FFII are to me some of the best ever. They're sprites, but they still manage to amazing you with how they look.

Controls- 10
The controls of Final Fantasy II are great. They're incredibly responsive and fit to how the game should have them be. A is your action button (Speak with people, etc.) as confirms choices, whereas the B button is used to go backwards in a menu and such. The Y button isn't really used for anything ironically (since typically it was a very used button.) The X button is used to access your menu screen while not in battle, check out your characters, etc. The only spot that you can pause the game in is during battle, and to do that you use the start button.

Challenge Level-
Sadly us here over in the United States got stuck with the easytype version on Final Fantasy II. As many people over time have learned, is that there were two versions of FFII released. The Japanese got the hardtype, while us here overseas got stuck with the easytype because we were ''Not ready'' for it. Well, finally along came Final Fantasy Chronicles and we got the hardtype. It was harder, but not to where we couldn't handle it.

Anyways, FFII does reek of easiness. You shouldn't die very much throughout the course of the game. Most of the general monsters that you meet should be killable while suffering little to minimal damage. Most of the bosses are very simple as well. The only part of the game where the battles actually start getting tough is towards the end where you have to fight the ''Ultimate'' monsters that guard the legendary weapons.

Replay Value- 10
Final Fantasy II is a joy to play through whether it's your first time through, or your tenth. While it is for the most part lacking of the scale of subquests that the newer Final Fantasy games have, the ones there will still suffice. Quests like the spoon, getting the Bahamut summon, and Odin are all worth quests. Of course those all pale in comparison to attempting to get the Adamant armor. The Adamant armor is quite possibly one of the hardest things to get in video game history. In fact, even for it's immense usefulness as the most powerful armor in the game by far, it may not be worth your time to chance your 1-in-4096 odds of getting it.

Final Thoughts-
Final Fantasy II is one of the great RPG's of this generation. Just by the way it revolutionized the genre helps enough, but the fact that it was also an amazing game does wonders. Ironically this was my first RPG, which means this does have a little different meaning to it. A game like this though, that has been able to still be good even after withstanding the sands of time, should not be ignored by someone

Final Score- 9


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/13/00, Updated 10/18/03


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