Breath of Fire II

Another favorite Super NES RPG gets a portable face-lift for the Game Boy Advance�but does it lose anything in the transition?

Arguably the best game in Capcom�s RPG series, Breath of Fire II makes a seamless transition from the 16-bit Super NES to the small-screened Game Boy Advance. Although the game got smaller, it�s still an engrossing adventure that no RPGer on the go should be without.

Good Breath
BOFII is essentially an epic quest of self-discovery. As one of the fleeting kin of a group known as the Dragon Clan (so named for their ability to transform into gigantic fire-breathing things), you�ll meet up with eight other diverse souls and embark on a quest to unlock the secrets of your past�and save the world in the process. The road is loaded with entertaining and challenging side quests that keep the game fresh and exciting�even when the narrative takes occasional trips to clich�-ville. Sibling rivalry, lost love, domineering parents�you name it, this game�s got it all.

The game�s only flaw is the ease with which you can defeat bosses and reach the end of the game. Anyone who�s ever played a turn-based combat system will immediately take to BOFII�s antiquated slug-fests, but most of the time you�ll just hit Auto-Battle. Despite an occasional tough opponent, you�ll bulldoze over most monsters without breaking so much as a hand sweat.

Rich Palm Playing
BOFII�s plush sprite visuals are matched by an atmospheric music score that admirably gets the job done. Straightforward and simple controls solidly track your every move, too. In the realm of today�s high-powered next-gen role-players, BOFII is an excellent time-killer�not to mention one of the better entries in the series.