Review by Garger
"A good game to kill time? Yeah. An awesome game? No."
Final Fantasy Legend II is a game boy RPG that is very old, but still fun for me to play if I want to kill some time.
The graphics for this game were pretty decent for its time. Hey, it was made back in 1991, for goodness sakes. The field sprites are about what is to be expected from a game like this. The characters aren't very detailed, but considering how small the sprites are, they're not too bad. Also, the "gods" you encounter in the game are a lot more detailed, but they're a lot bigger, too! One improvement over the original they had here was that each monster group even had their own field graphic, as opposed to using the same field sprite for about 3 different monster groups.
What really impressed me about the graphics, however, were the in-battle sprites. Although there were no animations, the pictures were very detailed, especially for an 8-bit portable system with only 2 colors, and it was easy to see what kind of a monster or person it was supposed to be. Of course, they reused the same sprites 5 times for each monster, but the names generally fit the sprite pretty well. Both of these are improvements over the original, as the original used the same in-battle sprites six times and some names didn't quite fit (such as grouping "MINOTAUR", with the same sprite as "WERERAT". You just have to use your imagination. The flare animation is really cool, and the other spells look all right too.
Not bad...especially when compared to the original's almost complete lack of such, but it's nothing too great either. Your main character's dad leaves you when you're young, and when you grow up, you want to set out to look for him, and a few other things about "Magi", the legacy of the ancient gods of the worlds (which are held together by the "Pillar of Sky"), and a little more information on your father's position unfolds. There aren't many plot twists, and there is nothing incredibly involving about the plot, but it's nothing to be snorted at. There is very little character development here; pretty much all you can infer is that your main character is an adventurous type who likes to see the world, and so is the father. As for your supporting characters, well....all you know is that they went to school with your main character. What I do to compensate for this is weave my own story around them.
Battle system: 3/10
It's your typical RPG turn-based system; simple, not difficult to learn. There are two things that take this score down.
Number 1: The enemy hordes get INCREDIBLY numerous. I've seen as many as 24 enemies in one fight, as opposed to your measily 4 (if you have a supporting character, then 5), and as many as *14* of the same enemy in one fight, and late in the game, this can get REALLY frustrating, as you use up nearly all of your resources for one RANDOM battle (if they don't kill you off first!), and in the final area, this is a really big issue, because you also have the insanely hard final boss fight to do after using up most of your stuff on your way there. And the worst part about this? You CAN'T run away (there is only one exception; a very hard random enemy that drops the most powerful sword. You CAN run away from him, and he's in the final area.) So, guess what? Unless you have powerful all-encompassing spells, you will probably barely escape with your life. The problem with the good spells, however, is that they come in small usage numbers, so in order to have enough to make it through with relative ease, you most likely won't have room for much else (like CURING!).
Number 2: The systems used to improve your characters (other than the Robot's) are very scattershot, and difficult to understand. The humans and mutants, for example, have to fight and every now and then they'll gain a stat or an ability. The weapons you use in battle have an effect on what stats are most likely to increase, but it still seems rather random to me. They let you know by giving you a message at the end of the battle, like "Luke's HP gained by 15", or , "Erno's strength up!". These are usually rather scanty improvements, and you can never tell when they'll increase. Also, sometimes you'll have the same parameter increase several times in a row, whereas others are left untouched, leaving you with a grossly unbalanced character. A character who gets numerous HP boosts may have a ton of HP, but what good is it if he can't damage his enemies, because his strength is still rock-bottom? My last gripe about the human/mutant development is the mutant ability acquiring process. You gain them randomly, just like stats, but sometimes you'll get the same ability twice (this isn't always bad, as who wouldn't want two cures in their arsenal with 15 uses each?), but sometimes it's bad, because you'll get two of a standalone ability, where number doesn't matter. For example: My mutant had an immunity to poison (0POISON). She/he fought and acquired another 0POISON in another slot, which means nothing because he/she was all ready immune to it, and therefore, it wastes a slot in his/her abilities that could be used for equipping or another ability. Or, even worse, your mutant had fire immunity (0FIRE) and lost it for a WEAKNESS to fire (XFIRE). Your mutant is now more vulnerable to fire, as opposed to nulling it before!
Now, for the monster system. You eat the meat of a monster, and you are changed into a different monster, HOPEFULLY a better one. Unless you know how the system works (and it's quite complex), you are likely to be continuously banging your head against a wall, because you are getting weaker instead of stronger. Even if you understand how it works, it's rather hard to get a very good one early on, and it's VERY EASY to get a bad one.
The only reason I gave this area a 3 is because the Robot system is much easier and very powerful with the right equipment. I enjoy using robots, and, I like the game enough to tolerate the abysmal improvement systems.
As much as I hate some of the aspects of battling, I still enjoy playing this game...it's a good way to kill time, particularly on long trips. Also, perhaps my feeling of triumph for beating the system outweighs my disdain for some of its aspects. The controls are easy (it's hard to go wrong with only two buttons). Nonetheless, I look past the flaws and enjoy the game anyway.
This game is quite difficult, which, depending on your personality and opinion of the game, can make it fun or make it utterly infuriating. The final boss fight is certainly not easy, even if you have a very strong party. You will DEFINITELY feel like you earned your victory against this one, and it is actually rather exciting. The other major bosses are very hard too. So, if you want a challenge, consider this game, definitely.
Replay value: 10/10
I will say this for the game; It's actually fun to replay this game, because there are so many different things you can do with your party; so many combinations, so many different ways to go about beating the game. I've had this game for some time, and I still play it.
I rather like this game, regardless of how frustrating it can be. I guess I must be masochistic! Anyway, if you like a good challenge, as it is very hard, or a way to fritter away the time, if you can find a copy of this game, go ahead and get it. I don't think there are many places where you can rent it; if you can find it for less than 25 dollars, you might want to try it out.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 09/20/05
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