The Fabulous Emperor!

AltWeissMission Debriefing: Final Fantasy II 20th Anniversary Edition

Final Fantasy II. The second entry in the famous Final Fantasy franchise, originally released on the Famicom in Japan in 1988. For the franchise’s 20th Anniversary, Square-Enix re-released the first to entries in the franchise for the PSP with enhanced graphics, music, new dungeons and more post-game content.

Gameplay:
FFII is often considered the black sheep of the franchise, and for good reason. II passes on the traditional leveling system and offers a system where you gain stats based on your actions in battle. A character that takes more hits will find their HP rising faster, a character who casts magic will get more MP and magical stats, and so on. While many of the exploitable glitches from the original have been fixed, it’s far from a perfect system, making it difficult to judge your relative power level until you dive into a dungeon. I also have to wonder who thought of the Blood Sword, I love an easy fight as much as the next guy, but including a weapon that can easily kill the final boss in 2-3 hits is just ridiculous.

Story: Okay, it’s an NES era RPG, story isn’t exactly it’s cup of tea. I’ll give it credit, as generic as it starts and remains through most of them game, the events in the end regarding the Emperor were rather cool. It’s a shame the characters weren’t given more dialogue or commentary, as they often watch events progress silently, without comment.

Graphics: This to me was probably the best aspect of this game. I’ve tried playing FFII twice before, but never made it past 10 hours. This time I was able to get past that slow start simply because I was enjoying how beautiful everything looks. The sprites are large and clear, with very nice attention to detail, the monster sprites have also been improved from the GBA version as well. Then  of course was the atmospheric effects that could be found in towns and dungeons, the reflection of sunlight off of the snow, ashes falling from the sky of a destroyed city or the thickening mist as you descend into a dark cave, it was a small touch, but it made things feel that much more real. Bonus points for the nicely done opening cinematic before the title screen loads.

Sound: You really can’t go wrong with Nobuo Uematsu. While it’s not my favorite FF score, the main battle theme, the rather trippy boss theme and the theme of Pandaemonium were great songs.

Replayability: The PSP version provides a new dungeon, as well as the post-game Soul of Rebirth dungeon from the GBA version. Aside from that, however, fans will probably have a hard time picking this one up again. It’s not a bad game, but there are just better RPGs, especially within the FF franchise, out there that you could be playing.

Overall: Many will find that FFII earns it’s title of black sheep of the FF Family, but it’s not a bad game by any means, just outclassed by the more modern RPGs in the series. However, the PSP versions of FF I & II are very nice additions to the franchise, and in my opinion, easily the best re-releases of the first to games so far. For fans of the FF franchise who haven’t had a chance to experince it’s roots, Final Fantasy II (and I) for the PSP are your best bets.

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~ by Sushikins on June 14, 2009.

One Response to “The Fabulous Emperor!”

  1. >Debriefing: The Fabulous Emperor!

    There is no Lelouch in this post.
    How can there be a discussion of a fabulous emperor without mention of Lelouch?

    Madness.

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