One of the only games that never, for even the slightest fraction of a moment, lost my attention.
The first Final Fantasy adventure created on the snes was not an event not to be missed. Legions of fans would have this game titled 'greatest of all time' and I'm almost inclined to agree with them...
The basic rundown, without giving away anything, is that the king of Baron is sending the Red-Wings to capture the crystals from innocent folk who rightfully own them. Cecil, as any great hero, rejects a life filled with killing and plundering and so forth. He tells
the king that stealing these crystals is wrong, he gets expelled from the
Red-Wings.. The king says that he has to deliver a package to Mist, only
then will he be re-instated. Off go Cecil and Kain (his dragoon friend)
to deliver the package, and har-har, things get sticky.
There's a couple big plot turns, which add some excitement to the game and spice up the atmosphere. There are also a truckload of memorable moments, such as when Cecil fights himself and most definately the ending.
In the end, it's basically your run of the mill save the world from the source of all evil, but there's nothing wrong with that premise if it's done right. Final Fantasy II does it right.
The visuals are appealing, plenty easy on the eyes, especially for an early 90's snes title. And though it doesn't look quite as nice as Final Fantasy III, the graphics seem unique and are very enjoyable. The characters sprites always seem to fit in place and even convey personality, a shining example of this is that loveable duo Palom & Porom.
The musical score deserves more praise than any hundreds of pages I could write on it, simply Godly compositions by Uematsu add a whole new level of enjoyment. Stand out pieces such as Fabul's theme and Troian beauty are perfect. While pieces like Edward's theme and the Tower of Zot set the perfect mood. If you're a lover of games, the Final Fantasy series, or music in general and you don't love this soundtrack I suggest a visit to the local psychiatric ward.
The plot is deeply involving with a few side ventures along the way, Rydia's journey through monster land comes to mind. Couple this with characters you'll care about and even a few romances along the way and you just can't lose.
Final Fantasy II takes place in 3 completely different worlds, the overworld of the planet, the underground drawfland, and a spot which you might not expect, the moon. It's creativity like this that earns Final Fantasy II a place in gamers memories.
The cast, really wonderful and memorable characters like Kain, Cecil, Palom & Porom, Rydia, and the list goes on. The supporting cast, with the likes of Rubicant & Cecil's brother, could easily star in a game of their own. I'll put it this way: years after completing this masterpiece the first time, I'm still playing it. Years after the release I'm writing fanfics and looking up information on 'Dragoons'. These characters just don't get old.
A Good battle system similar to that of the next in the series, there is no one super-duper wipe the enemy from the face of the earth in one fell swoop spell, except Meteor, and that barely plays a role in the game. The menus are layed out superbly and work without a hitch. Attacking, defending, selecting your spell, all the above and more are easily done. Add to this customizable menu colors. Technically, this game's great.
You want to talk about a rewarding game experience? The ending sums things up perfectly, and the final showdown between the forces of good and evil in this title will never be forgotten by me. Easily the greatest final battle I've ever fought.
But, yes, every silver lining has its cloud. With Final Fantasy II it's the dumbed-down disease. The Japanese, as usual, get it better than us with their version having more items, no censorship, and an overall harder difficulty level. Plus the fact that they don't have to deal with a little word called 'translation'. That's it for down points folks.
I strongly suggest that if you do not own FF2, try and find it then buy it. An unforgettable epic from the people at Square.
As always, my inbox is open, and I'd love to hear anything you have to say:
-your friendly neighborhood ff