Review by roadkill

"Sigh...yet another great RPG passed up for a Greatest Hit"

Thank Mr. Steve McFadden for this one. My thanks go out to him for peaking my interest in this game. I remember clearly reading his review and then I immediately went out to buy it. This game is a good RPG for the person that likes to have fun. A plain, simple to comprehend RPG that’s good for all ages.

Graphics – 9
Cute is one word that comes to mind. As in, the characters, the houses, just the towns in general are all works of art. The graphics in the field are just your standard 3D graphics that might remind you of navigating throughout the world in Final Fantasy 7, 8 or 9. But in battle is were this game really differs from most. All the action is live meaning that there is no waiting.

Sound – 9
Man, this is great. Good tunes and the little comments that the characters make at the end of battles is really growing on me. And there’s this cool thing that resembles a giant puzzle at the title screen (not in the game). When you hear different sounds, you unlock a piece of the puzzle. When done, it’ll reveal a picture. You can also access all the many sounds you’ve heard throughout the game with this. Very cool.

Characters – 10
When you start a new game, you have the choice of one of two characters named Claude or Aena. Both characters have depth to them and are well thought out. Of course, there are more then just two character throughout the game, and each other character is rather in depth as well. Also, each character in this game is drawn extremely well and just reeks of Japanese influence.

Control – 6
This game makes full use of the analog controller. I mean, literally, almost ever button of the controller has some use for it. During battle, these controls can be too much, but as you get used to them, they naturally become easier to remember. But at this point, I’m not very used to them. I have seen some definite improvement on my part though.

Battle system – 8
Cool battle system, but as I said above, the controls really aren’t too user friendly at the start. Each character can be programmed to take orders so that you only battle with one character. You can command them to attack with magic, perform physical attacks, run away from everyone or just heal. Given that natures of these battles, you’ll only want to control one character. You can set all characters to auto if you don’t like battling, but I don’t trust the computer to do my battles. You can also regain control of any one of your characters in battle just incase the CPU slips up. Like I said before, these are live battles. You can attack when you want to, you can run wherever on the battlefield, you can distract your enemies. Pretty much whatever you want.

Replay – 8
If you’re one of those people who like to unlock everything, I don’t know if you’ll really like this game as well as someone who doesn’t. There are just so many things to unlock and so many optional characters to get. It’s like in order to do one thing, you’ll have to forgo another. When you first start up the game, there are two people to choose, so that adds to the replay some.

Overall – 8
It’s a great game. But, I guess the guys at Sony didn’t think it was good enough to make their greatest hits. This game is no longer produced so you’ll have to do some hunting to find this gem. Or, if you have the PS2, you could wait for the third installment of this popular series.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 08/02/01, Updated 08/02/01

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