Final Fantasy Legend II - Review

The Second Legend on Game Boy

By: Jade Falcon

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 5
   Interface 8
   Music/Sound 7
   Originality 2
   Plot 6
   Localization 4
   Replay Value 1
   Visuals 8
   Difficulty Hard
   Time to Complete

20-30 hrs.


Final Fantasy Legend II

   Many people are fooled with the Final Fantasy Legend series. They really are not part of the Final Fantasy series, but part of the SaGa series. The three games were re-released by Sunsoft due to excessive demand. Was it worth it? Many people are fans of these games, but I don't think it was worth it. I am reviewing the second game of the series, the only one I have played through.

   FFLII's battle system is mainly a copy of the regular FF battle system, with attack, magic, defend, and run. However, the weapons and spells are quite different. Each weapon is allotted a certain number of attacks before it breaks. You can also buy and use magic spells the same way. This makes you buy lots of excess weapons for the long campaigns through sewers and whatnot. Also, there are lots of battles, and you get into them quite frequently in dungeon areas. You don't have traditional level-ups. Every so often, you get status upgrades and changes in magic spells. You quite often get your useful Fire spell replaced with some nonsense thing which you can't use! The battle system could use some work, but it is good for an old Game Boy game.

   The menus are quite solid for this Game Boy game. You can easily open up the menu and change out weapons and whatnot on your characters and look up their stats. The battle menus are well-made also. You will not get confused in a complex menu system in FFLII. The characters are mostly mute through the entire game, and the dialogue is not the best in the world. However, the clues they drop will help you get through the game.

A town
A nice-looking town  

   Being a Game Boy game, you can't really expect the game to have ground-breaking music. It was good, however, but it was not very varied and was quite repetitive. The song I enjoyed the most was Burning Blood. The battle music haunts me in my sleep even today. The sound effects, however, are also quite good, but not as annnoying. Different spells have different sounds, and different weapons have different swiping sounds. Overall, sound was quite good for FFLII.

   For the most part, FFLII is a FF wannabe. It does not introduce anything new whatsoever. You go around, killing monsters with a generic battle system, and defeat a planet-killing monster. Nothing new was really introduced.

   The plot is mildly interesting, but is also quite generic. However, this is at least ten years old, much nearer the beginning of the RPG age, and the "Save the World" theme was not quite as cliched. This in consideration, the plot is quite good. Your father (you choose a character) gives you a Magi and tells you to collect all the Magi from the world and kill the Arsenal, the ultimate enemy. The plot is very good for a Game Boy game.

   The game was poorly translated. The battle statements are the worst example of this. Typos and blunders are all over the place, but it's not bad enough that you don't know what is going on. There wasn't really anything that was culture-specific, so Americans should be familiar with everything in FFLII.

Mr. Hero begins his quest
And the adventure begins...  

   This game is quite hard, and I would never play it again. I've played through it once, barely made it through, and put it away for good. Of course, I had the "balanced" party of one of each type of character (human, mutant, monster, robot) which probably made it somewhat easier, but it still was very hard. The learner's curve is sharp, and if you don't build some stats early and often, you're left behind even at early stages of the game.

Considering this is an early GB RPG, the graphics are quite excellent. I like the enemy graphics in battles the most. They are large, take up half of the top of the screen, and are about as detailed as the GB can get. The overworld and character sprites are good also. I feel that they are better than some of the more recent B&W GB games.

I took about 20 hours to beat it, but successive plays through will probably cut as much as ten hours off due to fewer replays. This includes probably half of that time just building levels. You have to be quite patient with the game to play through it.

FFLII is not for everyone. Some people love it. I am not one of those people. However, don't base a purchase on this review. It is quite biased to the negative because I did not enjoy the game. The game is worth a try to see whether you enjoy it or not. Since it has been re-released, it should be quite easy to get.

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