I'm on a real Game Boy kick lately, so I've been playing Final Fantasy Legend II. I tried out a few different Game Boy games, including the Super Mario Land games and FF Legend I, but they were all so bad they were almost unplayable. Yes, I was surprised, too! But FF Legend II was clearly different. For starters, there is a story. I wasn't just dropped into the world and passive/aggressively expected to fend for myself. No, there was a bit of an intro, and even a teacher/character to hang out and protect me for the first fifteen minutes or so. This is acceptable, I will continue.
I'm a couple hours into the game so far, and I'm enjoying it. I chose this series because I didn't know much about it. I have vague memories of playing one at G&G games in the Woodland Mall, maybe twenty years ago (dear god, I'm so old!) And I've always been a fan of Final Fantasy games, so I wanted to see what Square had for the Game Boy crowd.
Well, first off, the game allows you to build a party of four, which is more of an old-school final fantasy method, and a mechanic I enjoy. I built my party from a Mutant Female, Human Female, Robot and a Baby-Dragon. The game only gives you four letters to name each character, but I was able to get creative, and I'm happy with my names: Djna, Fara, Bobt and Enki.
The basic structure of the game is nothing original. Lead character leaves town to find her father who went out searching for Magi. Magi are magical stones that grant power. World is going to hell in a handbasket, Magi are probably related. Ashura is bad organization trying to find Magi. The first Magi you receive will tell you how many Magi are in a given area. Hey, I recognize that mechanic.
The equipment and ability system in this game is interesting. It appears that all of your weapons, items and magic are consumable. So, when you go to the weapon store to buy a hammer, you actually buy fifty hammers, and burn through them. There are some restrictions that I'm figuring out. My Baby-D (who is now an octopus) can't carry any additional items except what he came equipped with. The Robot can equip almost any weapon, but he can't use magic. He's a tough mofo too. Mutant F has a little higher Magic and Human F has a little higher strength.
Another interesting mechanic is related to my Baby-D. It seems that choices 6,7 and 8 for character select are virtually the same. I came to this conclusion when I got a bit of Spider's Meat and fed it to my baby dragon. He changed into a slime! By now I have changed him a bunch of times, and he's been a Slime, Zombie, Spider, Jaguar and an Octopus. It seems that this is his mechanic. He can't equip anything, ever, so he just burns out his 30 Fangs, Talons, Tenticles etc and then it becomes necessary to change him again. I'm glad I didn't choose more than one animal pet, because he's not as useful as the others.
So far the game has been light. There's not a whole lot more visible depth to any of my characters, and my ability to examine their stats is limited. I'm guessing this game takes 5-10 hours, we'll see how far I get. It's nice to have a role-playing game back into my life.