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»Final Fantasy II
  "With a GBA port around the corner, it's not worth it."

Story: 8

Control: 7

Graphics: 8

Sound: 9

Import Value: 5
Now weve all heard the title. If not you might just want to stop reading right now. However this is not the US version of Final Fantasy II, the snes one, that was really Final Fantasy IV (easy mode). The original Final Fantasy II came out in the late 80s after Squaresoft put all they had into their absolute final fantasy, hence the name of the series, and the first one boomed. This sequel was unlike any other game at the time. Similar to the first game in name and graphic styles alone, this sequel created a new world. One of the first console rpgs to have a party of actual characters, in contrast to the generic ones of the first. The most interesting part of the game would be the leveling system. Gone are actual levels, instead you raise your stats based on how much they are used. Ie. Your hp stat gains experience based on the amount of damage you take and your proficiency in using your sword increases as you land hits on your foes. Ok Im rambling again, on to what you're here for.

The classic 8bit sprites are gone. They are replaced with somewhat decent 16bit looking ones. If you have played this game on Final Fantasy Orgins, then you know what to expect. Yet the transfer to the psx cleaned up the game a little bit. On the wonderswan the game looks somewhat washed out. It is still a beautiful looking game, the best out of the original trilogy, yet its just alittle annoying. The characters and enemies all have unique sprites. Sure some of the enemies are just rehashes, but the bosses are beautiful, even with the washed out look. Even with there problems, the game is still a pleasure to look at unlike some other wonderswan games...

One of the staples of the Final Fantasy series has been its music. This game does not fail in that department. Using more upbeat/modernized forms of the NES games songs it has a great sound track. The only problem is that the wonderswans speaker is atrocious. Therefore to hear this great soundtrack you need headphones. Sound effects are very similar to the NES version, with some from the PSX version. So you have a kickass soundtrack with decent enough sound effects, sounds like a winner to me.

But then again, whats a game without its most important part, gameplay. Its really hard to mess up a traditional jrpgs gameplay, so square stuck with the simple two button interface. But they added menu hotkeys and a run button. The run button makes all the difference in the world. One thing that needs to be said is that this games plot is not about overthrowing evil hellbent on taking over the world. Its about 4 orphans who are trying to find out what why this empire killed their families. Ok so I lied there is some plot points about taking out the evil overlord, but thats not the entirety of the plot. There is actually another plot of discovery and self sacrifice. Keep in mind, unlike the first Final Fantasy, this one the characters actually have something to say. So theres actually dialogue, and it gets pretty good after awhile. Good enough here aswell.

Importing brings up the question of do you really want a portable Final Fantasy II? But in light of the news that Final Fantasy I & II advance is coming, I would say to wait. Unless you are desperate for this game, or sick of the original.

Great game, just marred with the fact that a gba port is just around the corner. It also doesnt help that it was ported to the PSX not to long ago...

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Posted on: Oct. 24th, 2005


Platform: Import
Genre: RPG
Developer: Squaresoft
Publisher: Squaresoft
Release Date: 05/03/2001
Save Type: 1 Slot
Players: 1