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Lufia 2 - Retroview
Lufia II - Review

A Creative Masterpiece

By: Traks


Review Breakdown
   Battle System 9
   Interface 8
   Music/Sound 7
   Originality 8
   Plot 6
   Localization 7
   Replay Value 6
   Visuals 6
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

30-50 Hours

 
Overall
8
Criteria

Title Screen
 

   After the 8-bit era, systems like the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis allowed developers to put more personality into their games. Square didn't hold back with Final Fantasy III or Chrono Trigger, Enix didn't cut any corners when they made Terranigma, and Neverland put no restrictions on the creativity used to make their masterpiece, Lufia II. Lufia II became one of the last great RPGs for the Super Nintendo when it was released in 1996. It had all the qualities a good RPG should have, like an excellent interface and fun battling system.

   Battling in Lufia II is simple and quick. In battle, there is room for four characters and one capsule monster (who not only levels up with you, but also gets stronger as you feed him weapons and items). The battle menu is quick and painless, and the fighting interface is very easy to understand. Lufia II even puts an original twist on battling: the IP system. As you get attacked, your characters gain Item Points (IP) which can be built up to unlease special attacks and techniques. The IP abilities and affects are very easy to see, due to Lufia II's excellent interface.

   The interface has everything a modern RPG should have. The menus are very easy to navigate, with spell, item, and special ability explanations only a button-press away. Cycling from page to page or character to character is quick and easy. Even shopping is convenient; you press one button to buy and equip an item, another to only buy it. The interface is one aspect that makes Lufia II enjoyable.


Silly girl, it's just a rope.
A Snake Indeed  

   The music is yet another. By no means are Lufia II's tunes tedious and boring; however, you probably won't find yourself humming them when you're not playing. The music is happy and cheery when all is right with the world, and changes with the atmosphere accordingly. The overworld theme has just the right feel to it, and the battle music is lively and energetic. The sound effects in battle are nice, but they are even better out of battle. You see, the hero in Lufia II uses a variety of tools to achieve his means, such as an arrow and hookshot. These tools sound differently depending on what you use them on; they clang against rock walls and stick into enemies. The tools are one original aspect of Lufia II.

   The tools mainly help you with the many puzzles in Lufia II. These puzzles are another original item. The way the dungeons are put together, built around the puzzles, are unlike any other RPG for the Super Nintendo. Other original aspects are the IP System and the easily-navigated menus in general. Certain plot points were also original when they appeared in Lufia II.

    The plot in Lufia II isn't like an ever-present entity like it is in other games such as Chrono Trigger or Xenogears. In fact, the plot advances in a way characteristic to earlier RPGs: To get to point B, you must first solve the problems at Point A. For example, to progress from the second town to the third, you must rid the town of a monster that causes earthquakes. Even though the plot is advanced in such a common and often monotonous way, the people and events inbetween and throughout points are lively and coherent; such is the quality of the translation.

   The translation is generally flawless. However, even though Lufia II was localized expertly under the watchful eye of Nintendo, there are still some awkward phrases. For example, one scene pits the heroes in a collapsing temple with no way out. In an explosion of hope and knowledge, one of the characters boldy states, "Let's walk down!" Mistakes like this are few and far between, and it is unfair to point out one bad point. The localization in other places is excellent, from the bungling Berty and Bart to the bickering Hilda and Guy. In fact, mistakes in the localization are only blaringly noticible during a replay of the game.


She's huge!
Attack of the 40 ft. Woman  

   Lufia II has ample replay value, too. There are troves of treasures to find, and lots of enemies to battle. Lufia II even has a replay mode which gives four times the normal experience and gold, as to speed up the game during a replay. Other replay factors include the Dragon Eggs (which can be taken to a certain person in exchange for goodies), the randomly-generated Ancient Cave, and experimenting with Capsule Monsters.

The capsule monsters in the game look great, as does everything else. Lufia II sports some of the best graphics of the 16-bit RPGs. The colors are bright and enemy sprites in battle are fairly detailed (helped, no doubt, by the fact that all of them are huge). The graphics in Lufia II only add to the overall enjoyment within.

Lufia II will be easy to anyone that takes the time to understand the game. It can be hard, but not so hard that you'll throw your controller to the floor in anger. Some points are difficult. Certain bosses can be tricky, and the Ancient Cave is close to impossible, as are some of the puzzles. Other than that, Lufia II sports little challenge.


Let's talk to ourselves!
Who are you talking to?  

Lufia II is a fairly long game. There are a lot of places to explore and countless things to do, so spending upwards of fifty hours on this game isn't uncommon. While Lufia II is fairly long, it is entertaining throughout. I found this game to be very enjoyable; enough that I have played through it three times. When it was released, Lufia II was a game to not have missed.





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