Final Fantasy Legend II - Retroview

Quite a Fun Game, Indeed

By: Robust Stu

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 6
   Interface 7
   Music/Sound 8
   Originality 2
   Plot 7
   Localization 3
   Replay Value 3
   Visuals 4
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

40 Hours


Final Fantasy Legend II

   Often mistaken as actual members of the Final Fantasy family, the Final Fantasy Legend trilogy is actually the first three games of the Saga series. For those who have played the later games in the series, you'll notice the similarities. Final Fantasy Legend II was, in my opinion, the best of the three games, and may still be the best RPG experience on the original Game Boy, with a pretty good story and enjoyable combat.

   In this game, you play a youth whose father disappeared through a window one night and never came back. Before leaving, he gave youa piece of Magi, a mystical talisman which is actually a piece of the shattered statue of the goddess, Isis. With three of your friends, you set out to discover your father's fate, while at the same time attempting to collect all 77 pieces of Magi on the way. You'll meet a lot of characters, ranging from townspeople to huge, evil monsters and even gods on your quest, which takes a lot of twists and turns along the way, surprising for a Game Boy game.

   The battle system is typical of the Saga series. It's just you and your team against a group of monsters. It only has the four basic commands found in any RPG, but there is an added depth to it. Each weapon, shield, item or spell has a limited number of uses, after the expiration of which that particular item becomes unusable. This can really paint you into a corner, because if you run out of weapons and have no money, you could literally end up selling the shirt off your back in order to pay for new weapons and if even that's not enough, it's time to hit that restart button. This adds an element of strategy to the game that you don't find in a lot of other RPGs. Additionally, you could equip pieces of Magi to raise different stats depending on the characteristics of the Magi you equip, which I thought was neat, and sort of a precursor to the Relic system of Final Fantasy 6.

You heard him, don't lose it!
You heard him, don't lose it!  

   Being on the original Game Boy, the graphics aren't going to blow your socks off, but given the hardware I feel that this game was extremely well done, especially being that this game came out in the first few years of the system's existence. The backgrounds were fairly well detailed, and while the character sprites weren't that great, the enemy designs were well done. Of course, it's in black and white, but that really didn't bother me very much. The animation was there, but not as sophisticated as what you'd find on another system by any means.

   One of the best things about FFL2 was the music. There was a very good variety of tunes for a Game Boy game, and most of them were good. I particularly enjoyed the overworld music, and the dungeons all had great songs that, while appearing fairly often, somehow never got repetitive. In a way, the music was what helped make Final Fantasy Legend 2 as much fun as it was, because they sounded fun. If it had the first game's soundtrack, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it anywhere near as much as I did. The sound effects hadn't improved, but they were still good for the Game Boy hardware.

   This game had a great story, and it helped to mask the somewhat subpar translation. It really was pretty poorly done, but you were still able to puzzle through it and enjoy the story when you had to. Presumably they weren't expecting a huge hit in this game, and didn't put too much effort into the localization, which is too bad because if the translation was a bit better, this might have made the game into a classic.

   Aside from playing through the game again with a different party, there really isn't enough to this game to make a second play through another voyage of discovery. There's nothing in the way of side quests, and seeing how much you can build up your party is the only real draw to playing through again right away. However, I thought that this game was fun enough that I pick it up and play it through every year or so.

Will this be the last time you see your home?
Will this be the last time you see your home?  

   The Magi system was new, but other than that there wasn't much in the way of innovation in this game. It's fun, but not original, so I'm going to have to stick it to them in the originality department. Amazingly, between the lengthy story and level building, you're probably looking at spending at least 40 hours on this. It's not going to get old though, so those 40 hours won't drag too much.

You may or may not be able to tell from reading this review that this is one of my favorite games, certainly my favorite Game Boy game, but it's true. While it may not blow you away, it's a great, fun game that I think you'll enjoy a great deal if you can get your hands on it. It was re-released by Sunsoft a few years ago, so you may still find copies of it floating around in places. If you're in the mood for a fun little Game Boy game to play on the way to school, give it a go.


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