"Breath of Fire is a classic RPG ported from the SNES to the newly made Gameboy Advance. They added a bit to the game, but kept the original entertainment that had always been there. I was one person who never got to experience any of the Breath of Fire series made by Capcom, before this game for GBA that I picked up, because it looked entertaining. At first this game bored me, and I put it away for multiple months, but then I went back to it, and I found myself playing it more than all of my oth..."
Breath of Fire is a classic RPG ported from the SNES to the newly made Gameboy Advance. They added a bit to the game, but kept the original entertainment that had always been there. I was one person who never got to experience any of the Breath of Fire series made by Capcom, before this game for GBA that I picked up, because it looked entertaining. At first this game bored me, and I put it away for multiple months, but then I went back to it, and I found myself playing it more than all of my other games combined until I finally beat it earlier this very day. It's not the greatest RPG, but it does deserve to stand on that plateau.
STORY (11/20): This is the biggest weakness in Breath of Fire, and it really sets this game back a bit. The story itself is very good, with the feuding with the Dark and Light Dragons, and the interesting villians you will encounter on the side of the Dark Dragons, who want to revive the Goddess of Destruction.
The overlying story is great, but where the game faulters is characterization. Not even the main character Ryu, is very well characterized. I mean, they have small traits within them, like Gobi's greed and Mogu's quietness, but they never develop them. The characterization is weak in Breath of Fire, and directly hurts the story behind it. It would be nice to see this characters develop more than when the first initially join your party.
GRAPHICS (14/15): I have such a weakness for the Gameboy Advance's graphics. They are so very beautiful compared to what I am used to looking at on handhelds. Breath of Fire is no exception, and the graphics are very colorful. The dungeons may be a little dull at times, but that is the point isn't it... You are in a dungeons and caves. The whole color and scenery is very nice in Breath of Fire, and even the characters look good. Nice job porting from the SNES to make it look even better.
SOUND (8/10): In an RPG music plays such an important role. Without good music the game will not stand up even with great graphics and a good story. Breath of Fire has very good music. The only problem is it is repetitive, but at least it is good. and very good. It is no Final Fantasy, but it is still good nonetheless.
GAMEPLAY (36/40): This is where Breath of Fire shines in my eyes. First I will go through the few but apparent weaknesses. I am a big fan of random battles, compared to other varieties but this one is just goes over the edge. I'd say about every five steps you take in Breath of Fire, you will get into a random battle. This means you will spend more time on the battle screen then anywhere else. Now the actual battling is fun, as it is turn based, but you can choose whether to attack normal or use one of your special techniques. This is a very nice form, it just would be alot better if the battles were not so frequent.
Now Breath of Fire spends most it time in various dungeons. All the dungeons are fairly fun, but at times also annoying. The puzzles are just mostly what path leads where, and what path leads to a dead end or a treasure. Now this is more just a trial and error method, and praying that you don't get yourself completely lost in the dungeon. Now and then the dungeons have some interesting twists in them, that will require some strategy to find your way through it.
Despite these two weaknesses, the game is very fun. Each dungeon has it's purpose, and you can use the character of your choice, most of the game, to battle with. Finding all the characters is entertaining, cause some you will need to save from death, or even enter their dreams. Every character basically has it's own special unfield power such as unlocking doors or breaking down walls, or turning into a fish/bird. This are fun methods, and well take you backtracking to find a few items. This game is entertaining, and while with some weaknesses you will keep playing it. I thoroughly enjoyed Breath of Fire, and I though despite the thousands of battles per minute, it is still a fun game.
REPLAYABILITY (7/10): Breath of Fire is much longer than I expected. I expected this to be a fairly quick RPG, with only like 10 or so hours in it. I probably had around 20 hours at least put into it, before I finally beat it. That is actually very long for an RPG, especially one that isn't littered with cutsenes (How I love those cutscenes though...). There is alot of things to find, some that you will not need to completely beat the game, but you should gain anyway. After you completely beat it though, there is not much else to do. There are 3 different endings, but that will take at most only another hour to see them all.
DIFFICULTY (5/5): Very controlled difficulty. Just make sure that you keep your levels up, especially in the beggining, and you will cruise through in the end. If you keep your levels down, and somehow survive through the beggining, the game will then begin to get very tough. It all depends on how you play it. It is fairly easy though, but long, and the puzzles will keep you thinking.
VINTAGE VALUE ( 2): Even though this isn't the actual true original Breath of Fire, this game is where the series started. There would be four more Breath of Fire games to follow this, with Ryu and others reappearing in them. This was Capcoms gold mind on the RPG industry, and this story was where you first met the world of Light and Dark Dragons, and the boy named Ryu.
OVERALL (83/100): Breath of Fire was a more enjoyable game then I first thought. You may get bored with all the searching and exploring, but that is your penalty. Don't grade this game too harshly at first and you will peel away the layers to get into the nice juicy center. Breath of Fire is a great game, and when of the best games for the GBA, and a great RPG too. If you have never experience this game on the SNES then you should definitely pick this one up, for a very enjoyable experience.
Community review by ratking (December 01, 2002)
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