Review by PatrickBateman

"Some of the greatest pure rpg play ever"

Ok to start with I've played many many rpgs including every ''normal'' final fantasy and dragon warrior game, excluding game boy or other psuedo systems like that. I did manage to track down original ff2 and 3 so I'll be playing those soon, but they're a lot like 1. Just about the ONLY criticism I have of this game is the lack of difficulty. Almost every other aspect of gameplay is perfect when I think of what I would change about the many great rpgs I have played.

Ok I lied. The graphics could be better, but I'm writing this review basically to make the claim that with sound and graphics up to par with current system capabilities and a higher difficulty level this might be the best rpg ever. The graphics aren't bad, just not great even for the time when this game came out.

Fantastic! Excellent sound even by today's standards, except it's not surround enabled (like Legend of Dragoon, for example) and it could be ''bassier.'' But overall great sound. The world map theme gets annoying after awhile, but you don't spend too much continuous time there anyway.

Absolutely great! The ease and layout of the button controls is great. Let's run through all the stuff that's good about the gameplay.
1. Multiple weapons that can be switched during battles or at any other time with the press of a button.
2. Enemies ''degenerate'' as you kill them - very cool effect.
3. The magic system is great in my opinion, spells can have more than one use and can target single or multiple foes/allies.
4. You can jump! I remember when I was a wee lad this was my only complaint about the original Zelda. The layout of dungeons allows (and often requires) jumping and things can get quite creative.
5. The battlefield system is a great idea, this way once you've fought all the enemies in a certain area, you never have to fight there again. Also, most battlefields are optional so if you want extra, ahem, CHALLENGE you can just skip some to miss out on the experience, gold, and special items.
6. The icon system for enemy encounters within dungeons. Again, it's great because once you've defeated monsters to clear a path, that path stays clear. The BEST thing about this is that while you're looking around to figure out how to best navigate a dungeon (since there are traps and numerous dead ends) the screen doesn't blur to pieces like other rpgs and interrupt with random battles. You can also choose which enemy type to fight quite often.
7. The puzzles are a good idea, usually involving stategically placed enemies and traps. They tend to be easier than in other games though because of #6 above. The general idea is good though.
8. The battle system is great in my opinion - very fluid and well setup with characters at the bottom. Games like FF7,8,9, etc have better battle systems, but that type could be adapted to a sequel of Mystic Quest (which hopefully would preserve the great stuff about the original.)

What could be better?
Well along with stuff said above, more characters and character options would be great - i.e. more than 2 at a time, weapons/armor/spells could be interchangeable. Also more weapons, armor, spells, and items in general would be great (many more) as this shortens and simplifies the game and contributes to how easy it is. Eliminating regenerative chests would be great - another huge reason this game is easy. Basically if Square took this game and made a sequel that was longer, more difficult, with much more complexity of characters, weapons, armor, and magic, and had special skills for charcters and even more flexibility, while retaining present-day graphics and sound and all that was great about this game, I seriously think it would rival the recent Final Fantasy games that to me seem a lot more like watching a movie than playing a game. Oh, they could also add subquests.

Why so easy?
Um, two words: Seeds and Exit. In Fireburg I believe it is, you can buy seeds at a ridiculously low price, considering how much magic each one refills, and makes it easy to carry 99 at all times, or at least 50. With that much magic, any level is easy to blow away, but they didn't stop there. If you use the exit spell it will instantly destroy just about any non-boss enemy and makes it very easy (with seeds) to waste everyone in sight and get all the experience and power you want to fight the bosses. But even before you get these two things, regenerative chests keep you happy with lots of cure and heal potion and bombs and arrows. But the biggest reason by far is the seed thing. You have a nearly unlimited supply of them, therefore you also have nearly unlimited cure spells and no matter how badly you suck at fighting you can take your time and pummel away in any level, just using cure a lot and then seeds. Ok for those who didn't know that's why the game is so easy. But if these things were remedied in a sequel, it may just be the elusive perfect rpg!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 07/24/01, Updated 07/24/01

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