Review by LanceHeart Gothann
"A good, yet old, matchup"
As many may already know, these two games were the first in a series that would soon become one of the larger game franchises in the world. What most people don't know is that this is one of the MANY times that these two games have been re-released/remade.
Let's begin with a little introduction. Final Fantasy 1 and Final Fantasy 2 are NES games that were re-released at the same time on NES a few years after their initial release dates. As a result, people got to play two good RPG games in one cartridge. Later on, it was re-released on the Wonderswan color, with new graphics (quite similar to the ones in all subsequent releases). Then came a PSX release with Final Fantasy Origins, and now Dawn of Souls.
Let's get on with the review of this game pack (I won't double-review a game, it's not worth the time to review both games separately since many key aspects are the same)
There is no contest, both games have excellent gameplay. With most, if not all, of the WonderSwan modifications and a few PSX bonuses. This game's gameplay has been enhanced greatly from the NES gameplay, with a precious dash function in towns, dungeons and all non-main-map areas and an auto-target system in battle. It is no contest that the addition of MP in Final Fantasy 1 also makes things a little easier, but even at that it is still a nice addition, with the Magic levels being retained in that game. The magic-learn system of Final Fantasy 2 also has it's own strong points with it's magic level-up system.
Now I'm taking the storyline review down to the old NES level, back when these types of games were commonplace yet not corny yet. The stories of both games became the mold for many FF games to come, and it's no surprise. With the pure heroism of FF1 and the massive amount of plot twists in FF2, these two games have stories almost a decade before their time.
This is where the game takes an awful hit. The graphics in the game are way too outdated for the GBA standard. For two games that were re-drawn and re-sprited in the WonderSwan Color age, it should have evolved ever since that time. Even a few changes in the colors or new looks would have been a bit nicer. Although there are very old graphics on the GBA, the looks are well polished and the double-port of the graphics didn't take that much of a hit.
Yet again, rewritten music taken from the WonderSwan Color age, remixed a bit. Though the GBA can't handle good sound, at least better melee sound effects would have been nice. All in all, the game still has a lot of quality when both sounds are blended. I still feel jolted when I enter battle after a long time of not having seen one, so at least the battle music still alarms you as before.
Play Time / Replayability
12-24 hours each game.
Replay nearly infinite for both games.
While it is true that the games remain the same every time through, it's quite impossible to figure out how many possible combinations you can make with characters and spells in FF1, and it's an even larger amount of possibilities with the freestyle level-system of FF2. Changing one thing could possibly mean ultimately changing anything from how hard the game is to how far ahead you should think of your moves while walking in dungeons.
Buy or Rent?
Buy if you like old FF games. Buy if you NEED to complete your FF collection, rent if you want to try it, avoid if you already have Final Fantasy Origins and a fully functional PSX or PS2.
Gameplay - 10/10
Story - 10/10
Graphics - 6/10
Music/SFX - 8/10
Play Time / Replayability - 12-24 hours; infinite replay
Buy or Rent? - Up for debate
Final Score (not an average, although it seems like it)
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 11/29/04
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