Final Fantasy II (SNES) review
"When you confront the king about his motives, it begins a downward spiral that starts with you and your friend Kain being relegated to high-class delivery boys..."
Final Fantasy 2 is my personal favorite role playing game for the Super Nintendo. While it doesn't features the great gameplay of Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy 6, it contains a storyline that I consider superior to both of these games.
In Final Fantasy 2, you play the role of the dark knight Cecil, from the Castle of Baron. As the game begins, you are in a foreign city known as Mysidia, taking a light crystal there. The king of Baron has ordered you to take the crystal to him, and you comply. However, your crew has questions about the king's motives, namely ''stealing'' a relic from a peaceful city. When you confront the king about his motives, it begins a downward spiral that starts with you and your friend Kain being relegated to high-class delivery boys...
All of these twists and turns in Final Fantasy 2 can be accessed after about one hour of playing. The story moves at a fast and furious pace, with more changes than a rampant game of ''Twister.'' There's more of a darker tone to the story, as opposed to the cheerfulness of Final Fantasy 6 and 9. Overall, the story is at least equal with that of other, later released Super Nintendo games.
The gameplay of Final Fantasy 2 is traditional real-time role playing action. In case you're unfamiliar with the genre, text menus pop-up, giving you options such as the ability to fight, cast a spell, or other miscellaneous options. Characters fight by the order of their agility; i.e. the fastest character gets to attack first.
However, you can't twiddle your thumbs. While you're planning attacks, so are your enemies, and they aren't going to wait for you to be done. Therefore, a quick mind is needed to know what spells and attacks to use on what enemies before they attack you.
Final Fantasy 2 represents the last hard Final Fantasy game (excluding secret bosses in the later games). You control five different characters, as opposed to four in all of the other games, and if you're not prepared, enemies will wail on you, especially bosses. Training time is still kept to a minimal level; battles require more on your own personal wit than strong characters.
All the little things are done correctly in Final Fantasy 2. There's a wealth of swords, armors, helmets, and shields available for each character. There's class changes and appearance changes for major characters. There's different modes of transportation besides walking, such as an airship, a normal ship, and even a hovercraft and spaceship.
Graphically, Final Fantasy 2 is outstanding for its time period. Mist effects are used beautifully in many areas, and not to obscure graphic problems as in later generation console games. On the battle screen, characters are clearly seen, and enemies are huge compared to your characters, as they should be. The only minor qualm with the graphics is the fact that the character models on the overhead screen (non-battle modes) are rather small and scrunched. However, the overall clarity of the graphics outweigh this small problem.
Musically, Final Fantasy 2 is also a pleasure. A rich orchestra sound flows throughout most of the game. Every instrument can be heard, from harmonious harps to bombastic bass drums to fantastic flutes. The effects are also stellar; the slash of every sword can be heard, along with the freezing wind of an Ice spell. The music and sound effects are never bad, even years after their release.
Overall, Final Fantasy 2 is an outstanding game. If you're a true role playing game player, you owe it to yourself to play this game, or one of it's incarnations, such as Final Fantasy Chronicles for the Playstation or Final Fantasy 2 for the Super Nintendo. Trust me, you won't be sorry.
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)
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