After the revolutionary success of Final Fantasy I, it must have the obligatory sequel, Final Fantasy II: The game where people die by blinking away and sacrificing their lives for our dear characters. The game where the emperor has no motivation other than killing innocent people. The game where main characters are bound to be orphans. And lastly, the game where justice is always right.
Final Fantasy II. Although very short, it’s very difficult. Welcome to the much improved version of the original Final Fantasy where character development is indeed implemented. Improving the storyline, plot and environment, this game has more depth circulating around its world and more things added to explore.
FF2 is considered to be the starting point of the franchise’s series of plot development and environmental culture. As you know throughout the series, the stories have been much improving in the years of developing the games. Not just story, but also characters and all other things have been improving. And the catalyst among the series’ games is got to be FF2 (Not FF1, it’s too simple).
Some notable things to start about the game is the Chocobo. The Chocobo is first introduced in this game and it started to pop everywhere in the Final Fantasy franchise. There’s also the recurring character in the series named Cid. Although it has different characters in the series’ games, they still have the same name called Cid which is really intriguing as to why they use the name over and over again.
From looking back the old Final Fantasy I, the producers of the game decided to make the story more interesting and make the plot more sensible. Set in the alternate medieval age with magic and airships under the reign of the supreme douchebag emperor, the story is about 4 or rather, 3 parentless youngsters who decided to join the rebellion against the emperor since they don’t have anywhere else to go and their only choice is to join the rebellion. Throughout the game, we are tasked dangerous and important missions to help out the rebels. Such missions will include getting materials for weapons and armor, destroying a giant overweight airship, and rescuing a princess in distress. To be honest though, can’t the rebellion do all of this on their own without the help of our protagonists? I think the only time the rebels made their move is when they retook the city of Fynn.
Overall for the story, I think it’s a bit short and there are plotholes in some parts of it but I think it’s pretty well-managed and entertaining as well.
In the start of the game, our (4) 3 main characters which is Firion, Maria, and Guy are orphans due to losing their homes and their parents from the empire which, for some reason, decides to attack everyone around the world (Note: The fourth guy is a spot for eventual occurring characters). I might be wrong but I think this is a clichéd set-up for the protagonists to have some motivation. The protagonists themselves are just normal characters in my opinion. They don’t have exceptional skills. They don’t have a lot of magic power. But rather they’re just simple people who have to work hard and achieve something they wish for. Other characters like Princess Hilda and any other characters are kind of plain though and there are some other parts they are reduced to plot devices to move the story. The emperor himself doesn’t really show any kind of motivation and reason as to why he is attacking everyone around the world.
The characters department in my opinion is kind of “meh” for me but at the very least, the producers of the game made various character development for our characters which is nice improvement from their first game, Final Fantasy I.
Honestly, I like the music they made in this game. Like in Final Fantasy I, they made it so good and it really feels like we’re fighting another country in this world. The music fits every moment in the game and has a patriotic vibe sometimes. Although not perfect, it still delivered a well-done tune in the game.
Square made the system in FFI and extends it to the system of FF2. We got the basics of exchanging blows, the travelling via vehicles, the random battles and different kinds of environment. Well, what’s new? In games, we often see that characters get experience points by slaying monsters and completing quest. By doing those, we get to strengthen our party members. However, it’s different in Final Fantasy 2 as they put a different kind of way to toughen up our guys.
Leveling up through experience is not a factor but rather, they implied a “skill progression leveling” system which only focused leveling not the character as a whole but they focused only a particularly skill of the character. The system is long and complex I don’t even want to explain how it works but I think I’ll give a short example: Firion uses a sword, everytime he uses it his sword skill goes up and by the time it reaches a “full bar”, his sword skill will level up. The same example applies to magic as well.
Other than those mentioned above, they also introduced the Key Terms. Key Terms are terms (of course) that are used to be memorized by our characters and can be used to ask questions and gain information from various NPCs. Similarly, there are some special items that can be used to have the same effect.
Gameplay-wise, I think it is fun overall but in a lot of times frustrating and hard if you don’t know what you’re doing in the game.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
One of the main questions should be is it worth playing even though it’s old? Here’s my answer, it depends on your decision. I don’t really recommend playing old school games that are very frustrating and outdated nowadays but if you’re into RPG and traditional at that then maybe you could give this title a try. In my opinion, I had fun playing the game but not so much of it. Most of the time, I’ll be stuck in something or I’ll be killed instantly because I was underleveled and losing my game because I didn’t save. I think it would be so much better if they have put down a barrier to separate strong monsters from weak ones. But apparently that’s just my ranting and it also applies to the difficulty of the game.
The story has improved from its predecessor but it’s not really great either since it has some plotholes that needs covering. The characters have improved as well since they now contain the developments we’re looking for since the franchise’s first game. They’re not perfect but they’re pretty decent. The music is, if I have to describe it, plain but great. As they say sometimes, if your story and characters aren’t that great then Music will carry you. I like it because of its simplicity and I got nothing to say. The gameplay is very complex and it’s hard to make decisions sometimes in this game. You don’t know if you have to level up first or just go in the objective. There are a lot of consequences that built up in the game if you don’t make the right decisions. Again, it might be just my ranting so I’m going to get that topic away. The gameplay just kind of extends what system of FFI has to offer towards FF2. With a few additions like the Chocobo, Snow sled, Formations, New Dungeons, the Soul of Rebirth and a lot of other things, they made the game slightly decent and made many things to offer and explore.
Overall, I think Final Fantasy is a bit above average.
Give this a title a try and you might like it. Also, thank you for reading my review.