Review by HotsumaElite

"FF: The Legendary Journeys"

An RPG Classic for Gameboy from Squaresoft! This was a relatively inventive game for being just a hand-held - and had amazingly large depth to it which was only matched in games that came out much later!

Story (6/10):
The basic storyline in Final Fantasy Legend is about some kind of wondrous tower which reaches high into the heavens. As you ascend it you find new lands that are plagued with troubles and monstrous over-lords. Each new land is very unique... the ground is grassland, castles - as you ascend further up - you get to an ocean world... a world in the sky... and lastly a world made up of futuristic ruins.

The storyline isn't anything fantastic and it seems all kind of arbitrary that you and your merry band of adventurers are supposed to climb this ungodly tall tower.

Gameplay (9/10):
Here's where the fun begins! Like classic NES Final Fantasy games, you build your own group! First thing you'll do, after creating your main-character, is recruit your party. You can have up to 4 people total including your main character and can be any assortment of Human (Male and Female), Mutant (Magically gifted men and women), or MANY different types of monsters from goblins, to undead, to snakes, to slimes, etc.

The game is set up so that if any of your characters die too many times, they are unable to revive without the purchase of EXTRAORDINARILY expensive hearts. Naturally, as you ascend the tower, new and more powerful group members can be recruited to replace the old ones - everyone can be replaced except your lead character. So it really is your choice whether you want to revive your hardened veteran or just bring in a new person.

The characters advance in diverse ways as well --- while Humans can purchase potions to increase their strength, agility, and HP, Mutants increase their powers automatically, and Monsters can increase their power by eating meat left by monsters you kill on the battlefield. The meat will sometimes change the monster into something more powerful, something weaker, something comparable, or make no change depending on the Monster/Meat combination.

Now here's the thing that some people may love or hate - depending on who you are: Weapons and Magic have charges. In other words, you buy a brand new Long Sword --- it starts with 50 uses, once you use it 50 times, that's it - it's gone. So a big part of the game is continually buying new weapons and magic due to the wear and usage of it. It can be an expensive endeavor as some items have very few charges to begin with - but overall, this adds a sense of realism to the game that is well received in an RPG Gameboy game. Again, depending on who you are-- you'll either love it or hate it.

Graphics (10/10):
The graphics in this game are fantastic for a Gameboy game. The sprites are all highly-detailed and memorable, the monsters are all well-drawn, the weapon effects are classic, this game features excellent graphics that do not disappoint.

Music/Sound (10/10):
This game features music by Nobuo Uematsu - the Final Fantasy Music-God... I needn't say much more except that this game has excellent sword clash sounds, machine gun, punch/kick sounds, spell effects, all together the sounds are beautiful ---- and the music contains many memorable themes. Wonderful stuff - one of my personal favorite parts about this game.

Replayability (5/10):
Well, as many RPGs, this game doesn't have a lot of replayability. The only thing that might make this game fulfilling to play once more is to experiment with a different party combination. All in all though, I've often found myself returning to play this game again - and I've cleared it a few times in the past 8 years or so.

Overall (9/10):
This is a great little classic RPG for Gameboy. It might be a tough find nowadays, but if you see it - you won't be disappointed if you pick it up. The fact that this game warranted 3 Gameboy sequels should tell you that it's not a joke. There is a lot of play-time in this game, and it's perfect for a long trip or any time when you need a solid RPG on a portable system.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/29/04

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