"An excellent game, and one I'd recommend starting with if you're an RPG newby."

I've heard a lot of people criticize this game for its lack of any real challenge, but those are people who are used to games like..let's say FF6 or 7. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is the only RPG I know of to be released in the US before it was released in Japan. It was intended to be a kind of beginner RPG, and that, my friends, is the result. However, after Mystic Quest was released, Japanese gamers became curious about the game and wanted to have a chance to play it. So it was released in Japan under the name Final Fantasy USA. It turned out to be very popular in Japan as it did here.
Now most people I've heard criticize this game do so because of two things: The gameplay and the overall brevity of the game. I, on the other hand, don't see what the big deal is. It's supposed to be an RPG for newbies!
Play/control 10-10. It could not be any easier, and I don't mean figuratively. There's no equipment system, as all weapons and armor you find are automatically equipped, as are the spells. The main hero can have four weapons equipped at a time, Sword, Axe, Claw and Explosive. The only one of those four you can buy I believe is the Explosives, but I could be wrong. The hero is accompanied at various points on his quest by various warriors (never more than one companion at a time), and you can't affect them in any way. They don't gain experience with you, yet their stats will still be higher next time they join you. As to actual gameplay, the hero can use his weapons on the dungeon maps, which comes in handy when you have to hit switches or blow open new chambers. You can switch your ally between Automatic and Manual control. Auto obviously means that that character will be controled by the CPU. This can come in handy sometimes, as if the main hero dies the companion will automatically revive him and if necessary heal him. As for entering a new area, say from the world map into a town, you press A or B in front of the place to enter it. People criticize this game for being too easy and this I think is a part of it.
Audio 10-10. Though the composer here was not Nobuo Uematsu, he did an excellent job. The themes all fit their uses very well, as do the SFX. Battle themes are all uptempo and fit the situation nicely, while dungeons have a dark feeling. Nobuo, looks like ya got a rival.
Story 8-10. It's basically the same as FF1. The four Elemental crystals are losing strength after having been stolen from the Focus Tower. You are Benjamin, a young lad who is chosen to save the world from destruction.
Challenge 6-10. I think any challenge is in finding where to go and how to get there. Most bosses are disappointingly easy, even the last boss is a joke!
Overall 10-10. An excellent game, even if it is a little...too..uhm..basic for people's tastes. If you're a newby to the RPG genre this is a good one for you.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/10/02, Updated 03/01/03

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