Review by Fallen One
"The best SNES FF out there."
For my first review ever, I've decided to review Final Fantasy II, otherwise known as Final Fantasy IV Easytype, one of my all time favorite games. I've enjoyed most of Squaresoft's Final Fantasy series, and while some of them didn't live up to my expectations (FFVIII and Mystic Quest come to mind), this one definitely did. It definitely deserves a 10 with its awesome storyline and easy, yet fun gameplay.
Graphics (6/10)- Although the rest of the games aspects are good, the graphics, unfortunately, are not. Since this was one of the first RPGs on the SNES, don't expect too much; compared to games like FFVI and Chrono Trigger, the graphics are only adequate. The graphics aren't all that bad, though; some summons and spell effects look very cool. I don't play a game for its graphics, so unless you really care about good graphics, they shouldn't bother you too much.
Music/Sound (8/10)- The music is definitely some of the best music I've ever heard in the FF series. Some of my favorites are songs like the Baron Castle theme, Red Wings, etc. The music is very well done, and definitely better than some FFs such as VIII and IX. My only complaint is that a few tunes can get quite annoying. Examples include the battle theme, which is only average, and the town theme, which gets very repetitive. Overall, though, the music is excellent.
The sound effects are done pretty decently, although they aren't anything that great. Pretty much your usual sound, with little sound effects to accompany your spells and normal attacks. Some summon spells sound somewhat realistic, though. The sound is good, but you'll almost forget it entirely when you begin listening to this game's beautiful melodies.
Story (9/10)- The story of Final Fantasy II is definitely one of its best parts. Cecil, the Dark Knight of the Red Wings from Baron Castle, is forced to steal a crystal from innocent magicians of Mysidia. After this attack, Cecil wonders why the King of Baron is forcing the Red Wings to commit such horrible crimes. After questioning the king's actions, Cecil is expelled from his post on the Red Wings, and is asked to deliver a package to the village Mist. Then the adventure starts. The story sounds pretty simple, but later on there are a bunch of twists in the plot to make it more interesting, which I won't include in this review; play the game yourself! Most characters are very interesting and memorable. The story definitely lived up to my expectations.
I only have one complaint about the storyline. The dialogue, while still fairly easy to understand, is very choppy and incomplete in some areas. I myself have not played Final Fantasy IV Hardtype, so I cannot compare the two, but from what I've heard, the Hardtype translation is much better. I don't think it was necessary for Nintendo/Square to chop off so much dialogue; the translation could have been done much better.
Gameplay (10/10)- Now, I don't care how much better the gameplay might've been in Hardtype- the gameplay here is just plain fun. This, in fact, is the ONLY FF ever to include a party of five members, which made battles much more fun and interesting. Each member has his own class, like Kain the Dragoon and Cecil the Dark Knight. The classes system balances the game out so that no character can be the same as the other- each has his own weaknesses/strengths. For example, Kain cannot cast magic, but is an excellent attacker, while Rosa can cast White Magic, but isn't skilled with physical attacks.
Battles in the game, though very easy, are fun to play, especially boss fights. Some bosses are challenging, some aren't, but all are fun to battle using the uniqueness of each of your five members. Overall, the game isn't very difficult at all, but is still a blast to play through.
Replay (7/10)- Many RPG's are lacking in replay value, and Final Fantasy II is no exception. However, if you missed some secrets in the game, it could always be fun to go back through and get the items you missed. Still, some of the fun is gone; you know what's going to happen in story, know what bosses you're going to fight, know what characters you're going to get, and so on. The replay value of this game is decent, but you probably wouldn't want to play through it more than a couple of times.
Buy/Rent? Ummm...rhetorical question. Although this game is pretty expensive now, if you can find a fair price for it, pick it up. You definitely won't regret it.
Overall, this game is one of the best FF games I've ever played, and one of the best games ever, period. It has a great storyline, excellent gameplay, and a fantastic soundtrack. It is my second favorite game in the series, topped only by Final Fantasy Tactics.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/21/01, Updated 06/06/01
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