Review by RJLilley
"An Underrated Game"
I had discovered RPGs around grade 4 or 5. At the time, EarthBound was my favourite game, and I was psyched to get as many RPGs as I possibly could. A friend of mine saw this as an opportunity, and proceeded to sell me "one of the legendary Final Fantasy games" for $20. I did not know any better at the time, but he was trying to swindle me. The reason I didn't notice, is because I enjoyed the game, and got my money's worth out of it. I did not regret this purchase, and I actually ended up appreciating that I took a chance on this game. He had intended to rip me off, but I got the last laugh in the end. I got a decent game, for a decent price, and I still play it every so often.
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is not meant to be a masterpiece, by any stretch of the imagination. If you're expecting something along the lines of Final Fantasy II, or Final Fantasy III, you will be disappointed. Guaranteed. However, if you look at Mystic Quest, as a beginner's RPG, and allow yourself to enjoy it, you will. Mystic Quest is a fun game. It's not a difficult game, and you can beat it in a day, without much trouble. You need to look past its faults, and recognize its strengths. If you're a person who is very critical of video games, stay away. You'll cause yourself some unnecessary headaches, and you won't have an enjoyable experience. If you can play a wide-variety of games without being too critical, have at 'er! You won't be sorry.
The characters in this game are fun to play as. You have your main hero, you have a nature-loving "goddess", a treasure hunter, a water-'based' archer, and a fire-based musician as your party. You will never have more than two people in your party at any time, and all characters have their strengths. All have different forms of magic, suitable for each stage of the game. There are a lot of enemies, some of which are incredibly annoying, and some of which are pretty cool. Same as any RPG I've ever played. Although enemies are generally really easy, the battle system is simple, and fun. One major strength for Mystic Quest in my opinion, is the lack of random battles. Except for a few places where you cannot see "overworld" sprites, you will always approach the enemies when you're ready to fight. There is no random battle system in this game. There are various "battlefields" where you can go to gain experience points, and if you wish to keep fighting weaker enemies, you can leave an area, return, and fight everyone again. You will never be underlevelled in this game.
The storyline is simple. There are four crystals which have been stolen, and all chaos will occur if they are not retrieved. The main hero, Benjamin, is the only one who can save the world, according to a wise old man. (Although very early on, you find out he randomly picked Ben. I guess it wasn't destiny...) He will give you hints at certain points in the game, and every time you find a crystal. There are mini-storylines in the game as well, where you will need to help a character in their quest, while completing your own. Although this storyline is extremely cliche, it's tolerable. I don't mind it, but I'm not extremely picky. Play this game with an open mind.
The controls are very easy to learn. You move with the D-Pad, and the other buttons either open up a menu, or allow you to jump. Your main character can stab with his sword, swing his axe, throw bombs, or use a claw (similar to the hookshot in Zelda ... sort of) outside of battle, which is fun. You activate switches, chop down trees, blow up stuff, or climb walls. Using items and magic is very easy, and will not take much getting used to. If you've played a lot of RPGs, you have nothing to worry about. You'll be fine. For the newbies, it won't take long before you're figuring out every puzzle with the greatest of ease.
I enjoy the simple SNES graphics of ol', so I enjoy what is given here. The sprites are nicely done, and the backgrounds are somewhat detailed. The enemy sprites are fantastic in my mind, but I will admit I am biased. The graphics may be Mystic Quest's best asset, but that is to be expected from a Final Fantasy game. You will always know which character you are, which sprites are the enemies, and you'll always know your surroundings. It's easy to see who is speaking, and the cut scenes are good. There are a lot of animated sprites in the game, and it gives it a certain feel that I enjoy. In battle, the enemy sprites will change after they've taken a percentage of damage. It's really neat, and it helps you know how much damage you've done to them. Another aid for the new player. Other games should use this more, as it was a lot of fun watching an enemy suffer!
The music in this game is enjoyable. Some of the battle musics repeat themselves, but it does not get annoying. Each area has its own music, and it's all good. Nothing in the game made me want to listen to my mp3 player while playing, so that is a plus. The sound effects are great, even if it's something simple like setting off a switch, or causing a very small explosion, it sounds good. When you damage an enemy, or use a spell, you'll know it. Without getting too repetitive, the music is fine, the sound effects are fine, and are another strength to this game.
Yes, the game is simple. It certainly does not take a rocket scientist to beat this game. In fact, many novice players will not have any trouble whatsoever. However, it's a fun game for what it is, and I would recommend a person try it, and enjoy it. It's a very straight-forward game, with only a few challenging puzzles along the way. I wouldn't recommend picking it up for any more than $25 or so, but if you see it for cheap, pick it up. The graphics are fun, the sounds are great, and personally, I enjoy the characters. The storyline is a bit bland, but there is no reason for you not to enjoy this game. As I said earlier, do not expect a masterpiece. What you can expect, is a solid gameplay experience. You won't find yourself playing it tons after you beat it, but it is one of those games where you'll spend a random afternoon completing it, and you'll have fun the whole time. The key is to keep an open mind, and you will not regret your purchase.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/26/07
Game Release: Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (US, 10/05/92)
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