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Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (Game Boy Advance) artwork

Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (Game Boy Advance) review


"Iíve been writing reviews only for the games I like, but this is real life and if I really want to do this for a living then I am going to have to come to terms with the hard fact that I will end up doing reviews for games I hate as well. If you ever had any respect for me, you're going to lose it here. I guarantee Iím going to get at least one thread that says ďHow dare you call Dawn Of Souls something that should have stayed buried in the past.Ē Yes, I said Dawn Of Souls--the GBAís remake of F..."



Iíve been writing reviews only for the games I like, but this is real life and if I really want to do this for a living then I am going to have to come to terms with the hard fact that I will end up doing reviews for games I hate as well. If you ever had any respect for me, you're going to lose it here. I guarantee Iím going to get at least one thread that says ďHow dare you call Dawn Of Souls something that should have stayed buried in the past.Ē Yes, I said Dawn Of Souls--the GBAís remake of Final Fantasy I and II. Yes I hated it, and yes Iím going to tell you why.

First off, the redundancy is an issue that needs to be addressed. If people say that random-encounter games are boring, they probably started out by playing the original Final Fantasies. Iím sorry, and I donít mean to judge a game based--for the most part--on one horrible quality, but the encounters in this game needle my flesh. Every two steps I found myself in another redundant battle with countless monsters eating away at my hp. And donít give me the excuse that ďretro gamesĒ are different and deserve a little bit more tolerance. Lunar was retro, but when it showed up on the Playstation Working Designs completely re-vamped the battle system, making it easy to avoid battles if you wanted to.

The encounters wouldnít seem so bad if you knew where you were going, or what you were doing, but this game left me in the dark most of the time. The only option I was left with was hopefully stumbling onto where I needed to be. And when youíve got every monster breathing down your neck, itís a little hard to do. The storyline here is lacking, not in the sense that it doesnít have an endearing quality that makes you want to push forward but that the ebb and flow is very unclear. I have to admit that two somewhat addressed this problem, but one is missing some serious detail issues.

Another thing that makes the random encounters easier to bare are the graphics. The design of monsters is the backbone of any battle. Final Fantasy has always been known for having the same looking monsters with different colors and different names. Iím not really all that surprised they did it here too, but that doesnít mean I canít complain about it. Iím sorry, but itís just boring fighting the same thing over and over, looking at four different designs with only a change of tone to seperate them. I found myself drifting away from the screen and pushing A repeatedly at almost every battle I was that irked with it.

The battles are draining, both on your mind and your characters. This was more of an issue in 2 then it was in one. Mostly for the fact that you canít tone your magic down. Part 1 had cure, curaga and so on, if you wanted to use only a little you could. Maybe I am missing something here, but 2 took a different direction with magic. It gains levels now. The higher the level, the more mp you end up using. And when Iím coming up on the boss, I am terrified if Iím not at full life. So if I missing 30 or 40 hit points I like to heal myself again, so you can see how annoying it is to use 12 mp points for something so infinitesimal.

Use potions you say? I would love too. But by the time I actually got to the boss, all my potions have been used up because Iíve been in countless battles that exist simply to create a rupture in my calm universe.

You want to save your magic points in part 2, unless of course youíre masochistic and you want to actually pursue these annoying battles. As I said, the experience in this game has taken a drastic turn. Instead of gaining levels, certain aspects of your abilities gain depending on how you use them. If you use a sword long enough, the level goes up and you get more accuracy and more strength behind it. Itís the same principle with the magic. The longer you use the magic, the more mp you gain. This would be fine, but after a while they rarely go up and if youíre trying to raise them by busting through a dungeon itís not going to happen. By the time you actually get to the end you are going to be completely drained and facing a tough boss on one leg. So alas you must leave, rest up and start all over.

Iím a fan of retro games getting a face-lift and being reintroduced to society. There was no change in this game, however. Nintendo simply packaged something decrepit, shined it up, cleaned it off and sold it as new. Have the massive leaps in technology pushed our nostalgia to such a demented level? I feel like Iím the only one who found this game dull and washed up. Playing this game is like punching my own face: Itís irritating, but in the end I only have myself to blame.

Graphics: For a 2-D game they arenít bad, but the fact the monsters never change is really grating.

Game play: Everything about this game is pretty simple. The commands, the controls and the dialogue are all pretty straight forward, but I wanted a bit more of a challenge.

Fun factor: Non-existent. Not knowing what youíre next moves are makes this game bad enough, but the random encounters push this game into sheer chaos. Chaos is only fun in real life.

Replay Value: Wouldnít play it again if you paid me.

Sound: Digitized and redundant. It isnít the worst thing in this game, but like everything else itís lacking.

Overall rating: 4.5/10


Rating: 4.5/10

True's avatar
Community review by True (May 03, 2005)

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