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Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (SNES) artwork

Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (SNES) review

"The plot, too, is forgettable. It's the RPG standard--destroy the bad guy--but without the lovely trimmings that usually come with said standard. There's little to hold my interest, and even less to inspire me to replay the game."

My first RPG ever was Final Fantasy VI; it's what introduced me to my love of the genre and my love of Final Fantasy in particular. Perhaps this is a little unfair to much of the rest of the series. Having seen the best of it first, nothing else can compare.

This is, in all probability, the source of my extreme distaste for Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. In the last few years I've become something of a game snob, particularly in reference to RPGs. If it's a console RPG and it wasn't originally made by a Japanese company, you'll have something of a difficult time convincing me to play it. A very large part of the reason for this is FF:MQ.

First of all, this game was made in America for American audiences only. I hope I can be forgiven for saying that this single fact foredooms the game to mediocrity. FF:MQ isn't, however, just mediocre. It's downright terrible.

The characterization in this game is positively laughable. It makes Legend of Dragoon and The Legend of Zelda look like absolute marvels of characterization. Don't get me wrong, please; I love Zelda. Always have. But being an action RPG, it's really not about characterization. FF:MQ is much the same. I can't even remember the names of the characters....No, wait, I can. Kaeli and Tristam and Phoebe. That took way more effort than it should have. I can still easily name all eight of the Campbells from Eight Cousins, which I haven't read in ten years. I shouldn't have to work this hard to remember characters from a video game. That alone tells me that the characters are less than noticeable.

The plot, too, is forgettable. It's the RPG standard--destroy the bad guy--but without the lovely trimmings that usually come with said standard. There's little to hold my interest, and even less to inspire me to replay the game.

The gameplay is extremely simplistic, the music rather bland, and the graphics are terrible. Final Fantasy IV is an absolute marvel of artistic genius compared to Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, which plays a lot like an adventure game trying to be an RPG and failing miserably.

If you're looking for a mindless bit of gameplay to keep you occupied for a few hours, then FF:MQ is for you. If you're like me, though, and you appreciate the fine tradition of games like Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI, you're unlikely to think much of it.

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Staff review by Lassarina Aoibhell (August 28, 2002)

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