Review by Leetdude
"The crystals have betrayed me."
I got Final Fantasy Mystic Quest from the local used CD/video game/movie store (a very nice store, it is) about 6 years ago. I got it for $10. I brought it home, I played the game. It was *decent*. Mediocre, at best. After giving it a run-through, raising the hero to level 41 (yes, that's the highest in the game), and killing the final boss a few times, it feel into the deep depths of the entertainment center, with a whole bunch of other decent-at-best games. Last year, some time, I got it out to play again. I gave it a run-through, raised the hero to level 41, and killed the final boss a few times. Then, it returned to the unknown depths of the entertainment center that are getting more and more filled up as I go on playing this mediocre stuff to give you entertainment through reviews. This past week, I decided to grace the game with my fine presence again. I beat it within a week, raised the hero to level 41, and killed the final boss some more. Currently, it resides in my stack of Super Nintendo games that will soon be forgotten yet again. It seems that I'm reviewing more and more pieces of crap/decent-at-best games, because the good games are running out. But that's another story altogether. This is about Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. I am pleased to report (?) that it contains a large amount of terrible qualities. Do beware the game, if you're looking for an amazing, deep game. If you want a few hours of laughs and enjoyment through hatred, then by all means, grab this thing up.
How shall I put this? There's no way to put it. This game looks terrible. The sprites are barely more detailed than the year-old (at the time) Final Fantasy IV, which was bad for its time. Now, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest comes in, revamps them a tiny bit, and expects it to be accepted. Not in 1992, not in 2001, not ever. Sorry, but this game is ugly. The game's characters look no more than miniature, and lack much decent expression whatsoever. Occasionally, the hero shrugs his shoulders (and looks incredibly lame while doing it, I must say). That's about all the extra animation the characters include. Some of the bosses look decent, though. While most of them don't look any better than Final Fantasy IV, some look fairly cool (some of the forms of the final boss are cool). The backgrounds have barely any detail whatsoever, with the best being the animated (oh, WOW!) star field during the final boss fight. I do NOT like the Graphics of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest whatsoever.
I am pleased to report that some of the music in the game is actually fairly good! Tritsam has the standard ''move over, kid, I'M the star of this game!'' music, which you would expect of the character. The music in most of the temples is a calmer, spacial feel, which goes well with the peaceful, enemy lacking areas that they are. The music in the final level sounds very generic, but nonetheless, it gets its job done very well. The Focus Tower's theme is also fairly generic, but it isn't horrible, in any way, shape, or form. Some of the sound effects, on the other hand, are true crap. The sound of the sword sounds like... nothing you'd see in this world. Sorry. The arrows and the ninja stars sound nearly the same, which goes to show you how much work was put into them! ...or maybe not. The jump sound effect gets old, fast. Overall, while the music is fairly good in the game, the sound effects bring the score down a lot.
Most of the way the game controls is exactly the same as every Final Fantasy game before it. The A button is the confirm button. The B button is the cancel button. The Start button brings up the menu. The X button brings up game saves. The Y button switches your companion between automatic and manual control (yes, the game IS this simple). The L and R buttons switch around your weapons. Since the game is turn based, there really is no point in reviewing the controls-there's no need for great controls, and all turn based role playing games have the same control.
Now, this is an innovative story! Or maybe it isn't! You decide! *ponders* Nah, I'll decide for you. The game has no story. Basically, four vile creatures have shattered the four elemental crystals, and in doing so, have sealed the entire world behind four doors, and are ruining the environment. You play as the hero, randomly grabbed by an old man, who goes out to save the crystals, open communication between the quarters of the world, and stop the evil monsters doing all of this. That's about it. More? Nope, not here. Sorry. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest has a generic story done to death in the last decade. That's not Final Fantasy caliber, in any way!
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest plays almost exactly like Final Fantasy IV. You are always in the party, and you have companions with you. However, you can only have one, because the game's story only has one person with you at a time. Which stinks. Both you and your companions can use a variety of magic spells, or fight with cool weapons. However, these weapons barely ever change over time, and eventually your character learns all the spells, making the party members all the same. Also, each character has a variety of special techniques that only they can learn. Oh wait, that's Final Fantasy IV. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest allows you to fight, use magic, use items, or retreat. Sorry, no special techniques here. You can save anywhere in the world. That isn't a GOOD thing, but it's worth noting, because it lowers the score even more. And we have the MP system here, right? No. We have a preset number of times we can use the spell type of choice, be it White, Black, or Wizard. A Cure spell costs the same as a Life spell. Where's the logic in that? Overall, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest plays just like a normal Final Fantasy game, with a whole bunch of really big flaws that definitely do NOT take place in the rest.
I believe that the area Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is lacking the most in is the Challenge area. There are two main reasons for this painful fact. The first, and more important, is that your companions never gain levels. Only you can gain levels and experience points. The rest of your companions are at seriously high levels for the area. This is painful, and makes battling in battlefields extremely easy. The second factor is that you really don't gain heavy status from levelling up, and you're already very powerful early on in areas. You have no need to level up, because you can kill the opponents, even if you don't level up whatsoever and avoid all battles possible, short of the ones at the battlefields, which often give you extremely useful items, that you wouldn't want to skip over anyway! because of these two critical factors, this game is quite easy to go through, and even easier if you are a veteran to Final Fantasy.
Because mostly of the challenge, and lack of length, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest isn't a game that you'd play through multiple times. As was implied in the introduction, I took a five year break in between play-throughs of the game. If I didn't come back and review the game this time, it probably would be 2005 by the time I played the game again. The game doesn't have any real extras that you'd want to come back to, and the game is very linear. It's EXACTLY the same every time you play it. If you didn't do so the first time through, you can get your main character to level 41, by levelling up about 5 levels from where you are at the end of the game. You can also search out all of the spells in treasure chests, although most of those are along the main path. The point in case is that there's nothing that drags you back to the game, in any way, shape, or form.
Play Control: Not applicable
Game Play: 15/30
Replay Value: 5/15
OVERALL: 38/100, 38%, 4/10
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is not a great game, no matter how you wish to look at it. While it does have some interesting points that may make you get the game, it has nothing that brings it even close to Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VII, or any of the other awesome games in the series. It admits that it's for the new player of role playing games, but I would not be surprised if even the random action player would find this way too easy for their tastes. Although you may want to pick it up, it's best if it's left on the shelf and forgotten.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 07/28/01, Updated 07/28/01
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