Of the two games I must say that I enjoyed Final Fantasy 2 more. Final Fantasy 2 focuses on four friends, Firion, Maria, Gus and Leon who lived in the town of Fynn, which has been sacked by the evil empire led by the emporer of Palamecia. Leon has gone missing after defending his friends and now the search is on to find him. Thankfully this story has better pacing than Final Fantasy 1. The clues you are given throughout the quest that you can memorize will be invaluable to making progress in your quest.
One of the very interesting things about this game is learning key words from people which later can get you into certain areas or more information on your quest. Another aspect of the game that deserves mention is the way characters are leveled up. There are no experience points. Rather your performance in fights will affect how you level up. The more you attack, the higher your accuracy goes up. However if you attack too much you start to lose black magic abilites. This also allows you to play how you want to play, much like Final Fantasy 1, although you’re not stuck with the class you choose right from the start. And once again magic is purchased at stores. However spells can be transferred between people, you can equip the spells to your party, rather than have them mastered by one person. Magic spells also have experience points that are gained every time the spells are used. The higher your level of mastery the more potent the spell will be.
The graphics of Final Fantasy 2 are noticably better than that of Final Fantasy 1, the characters are given a bit more detail, and their animation is better. But it still has the still model enemies which are capped at eight in this game. The world and area maps look really nice. Other than that though the graphics are a standard 16-bit fare.
The sound of the game is like that of Final Fantasy 1. Take some tracks, remix them so that they no longer sound like something that came out of a synthesiser and there you have it, quite fitting and beautiful if you ask me.
If there has to be a recurring problem with both of these games that people will complain about it is going to be the random battles. They occur at sometimes ridiculous frequency. Exiting a battle and then taking another step and getting into another fight isn’t the most pleasant experience and at times only serves to increase the time on the game counter. But compared to when Final Fantasy 1 was on NES, the pacing was slow enough that this was not a problem. Still, fans of the more current Final Fantasy titles will more than likely gripe about this to no end. That and perhaps the lack of an angst ridden main character. Yet another reason why these games are greater than that of today. In these games it wasn’t the whiny main character, it was the group fighting for a cause right off the bat. Some will argue the lack of character development, but its not needed in this game. Besides, the games were originally released in the ‘80s, character development wasn’t the important aspect it is today.
The graphics of old obviously stand no chance in today’s 128-bit world. But that shouldn’t stop you from picking up a piece of RPG history. For thirty bucks you can really do no wrong in picking up this game. Get ready to experience the fantasy that started it all. Havin' a little trouble goin' old-school? Then we recommend you check out BradyGames' excellent strategy guide to get back in touch with your roots.
Ah nostalgia, the greatest love/hate emotion out there. Plenty is present as Square kicks it... OLD SCHOOL with Final Fantasy Origins.
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