Alright. So I got this release for Christmas 2004. The night after I spent my first minutes playing Final Fantasy I. After two weeks I finished that one. Then I re-started on Final Fantasy II, got that done in two weeks also, then spent three weeks on the Soul of Rebirth Mode.
FFI: The learning curve is quite fast, the battles are pretty simple, turn-based battles, but, compared to the NES version, with auto-targeting and the spells-per-level changed into MP. The UK translation was just terrific. I'd love to have such a translator for most games. The music was just wonderful to hear for such a small system, and I spent some time admiring how they redid the Boss Battle A and B, but the Last Boss track didn't sound as good as in the PS1 version. Probably limitations, but still a bit disappointed about that. The story begins with the earth driving into imbalance and such, and four warriors which should save the world eventually by freeing the power of 4 Crystals. You get to choose between six classes: which are Warrior, Black Mage, White Mage, Red Mage, Monk and Thief, which can later be upgraded to stronger classes, along with improvements to the magic power of the Mage classes. White Mage and Wizard seems to be the only female class, strangely. So you start, and head for the local kingdom, in which the king tells you to save a princess, and you go do it in a dungeon to the north of the kingdom. There some knight called Garland tells you he will 'cut you down to size', and then you enter a battle, then if you're unlucky get killed, and if you're lucky, you kill him, which then saves the princess and they agree to make a bridge for you, at which point you get a point of narration about what might await you on your journey and such. Eventually you fight the same knight at the end of the game, but in a more demonic form, named Chaos. The side quests are unlocked with the freeing of the power of each Crystal, and they contain areas from Final Fantasy III, IV, V, and VI, and bosses like Cerberus, Scarmiglione, Gilgamesh, Shinryu, Phantom Train and all those you might already have beaten in other Final Fantasy titles. You also get nice weapons from them, like the Kotetsu and Ultima Weapon. Also, these dungeons are randomly chosen from a list of presets so you never arrive in the same spot. Overall, it gets a 9 of 10. FFII: Great title, I find. You start off with four heroes, which you can give any name, but are default named Firion, Maria, Guy and Leon. You start off running from soldiers from the Palamecian Empire, which strives to take over the world (yeah, folks) and are forced to get killed since those soldiers are too strong for you at that point. Now, the battle-system is in a way identical to that of FFI, but with various differences; you have no levels and get no experience from battles. Indeed, your attributes raise as you use them or they are stressed, for example; you took a lot of HP damage in a battle. Result when winning is that your HP with that specific character raises if stressed enough, and you also have Magic levels up to level 16, and also weapon proficiency levels. If you use a staff if your staff level is 5, you could not possibly do as much damage as with using a spear when the spear level is at 15. Got it? So, out of that. After getting killed, you wake up in some sanctuary after a man with a turban named Minwu heals you, and then rush out to find Maria and Guy. Apparently Leon is missing, so they go ask the Princess of your kingdom Fynn where he is. Apparently they don't know whatever happened to him, and you get a mission; to infiltrate in the Empire-occupied town of Fynn and find a certain Prince. When you find him he gives you a ring which seems to be of importance, and after that just dies. OK, after that you return to the headquarters of the Princess and you have to continue your quest with many other things. Apparently a number of conversations in this game are triggered by saying Keywords, like Wild Rose or Sunfire, but you must learn them first, and it's not always easy to find people who tell you Keywords. The battle system I find the best in all the old-school FFs, excepting the job training in FFIII. There is also a Soul of Rebirth Mode unlocked upon finishing the game, in which you play as Minwu and others who died, and are forced to fight a different version of FFII's final boss eventually. The music I find just fantastic, with themes like that of Castle Pandaemonium, the castle of Kashuan, the main theme, and of course the battle themes. This is one aspect of FFII which I find sometimes sounds better than in the PS1 version, since the strings and trumpets seemed to sound too harsh in that version, and they seem to sound much more balanced in FF:DoS. Overall, a 9 out of 10. Total: 8 out of 10. These might contain the most fun I've ever had on a hand-held, excepting M&L: SS and other stuff. I hope I'll ever meet this fun again.
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