Breath of Fire II Review by: MistressCome here, my destined child.
Breath of Fire 2 is the second installment of the Breath of Fire series. Originally for the SNES, a GBA port came out with some extra features and a balanced EXP and money ratio. It's also one of the first RPGs (that isn't Pokemon) that I've ever played. Here's my review on it:
Graphics - 6
The graphics of this port are okay. I prefer the SNES version though, since it makes the game pop out more. The GBA version has different character portraits and some extra pictures included in certain cut-scenes. While this is a nice addition, the overall graphics (in my personal opinion) is better on the SNES version.
-May be better on the SNES.
-Extra pictures included on some cut-scenes.
-Different character portraits.
Sound - 9
The sounds are one of the greatest aspects of the game. Like many RPGs, there will be scenes that make you laugh, cry, or excited. The astounding themes of BoF2 greatly enhances each and every scene in order to make the player empathize with the characters or scene.
The songs are scattered all around the world of BoF2; however, there is a way to be able to play all the songs in one place. This requires a specific person to reside in the player's town (see Depth); this doesn't come without compensation though. More details about what is said on this paragraph can be found on a BoF2 Township guide.
As wonderful as the songs of BoF2 are, there are not without some flaws. Many of the songs are not long in terms of musical scores. A song may play about 20(?) notes before it goes on repeat. Another flaw would be that a few of the songs sound similar to each other. The final flaw I found for the sounds is that there are close to 35 songs on BoF2. While 35 may seem a lot, it is actually very little considering the amount of musical notes each song has.
Despite these minor flaws, the soundtrack of this game is one of its best features. Many of those who will play this game will soon see why.
Addictiveness - 8
Because the game has so much depth put into it, Breath of Fire 2 can be very addicting. Its great story and amazing character development makes it hard to resist once played.
The engaging situations the game provides make it hard to focus on anything else. One might think: "What would happen if I did this instead of that?" or maybe: "What would happen if I say 'yes' instead of 'no'?"
BoF2 has more of a replay value than its first installment. Most likely because it offers more than just a storyline (see Depth).
-More potential replay value than BoF1.
Story - 7
In the beginning, a black screen is shown with something fading in. What could it be? It is revealed that a frightening eye pops up, telling the player to give his/her strength to God.
The scene then switches to a gray view with a little girl running away from her father. The father then calls the player and asks him to find his sister. If the player talks to the people in the village, they may give a little history of what happened to the village or where the little girl could be found.
After finding the little sister and going though some scenes, the main character will be shocked to find that everyone in the village suddenly doesn't remember him or his family. Not knowing what else to do, the player will go to the church, where he is now considered an orphan. This is where the main character meets another orphan, Bow. The real game will start once the main character and Bow go through some scenes together.
Although the story of BoF2 may be a little cliché, what amazed me were the character developments shown. Capcom gave a reason for each character to fight alongside with the main character, rather than just putting them there. They gave a background story for most of them, while integrating it with the storyline. They made the dialog fit according to the personalities of each member. The storyline was even very focused about the characters.
Also, I would like to mention that there are multiple endings possible in this game. The endings depend primarily on what the player had done during the storyline. There are a total of 3 endings: bad ending, good ending, and best ending. A guide can help acquire which ending the player wishes to see.
-Amazing character development.
Depth - 10
Breath of Fire 2 has so much to offer during the storyline. In this installment, a new feature called 'Township' has been added as a break from monster killing and such. Township is actually part of the storyline, so it can't be avoided. This feature allows the player to build a town for conversing and changing party members. It also allows the player to recruit residents -- that may or may not help the player -- to increase the town's population size.
There’s also something called ‘shamanization’ which enables the player to fuse elemental, holy, and devil spirits with the characters of the party to make them much stronger. This is also part of the storyline; however, only fire and wind shamans can be found by the route of the storyline itself. The rest must be found by exploring or using a guide as help.
Each character has its own special skills, most of which are required by the storyline. Additionally, the character’s special skill may be used to play mini-games that are randomly found in the world map. Such examples include the main character’s ability to go fishing for fish and special items that can be found in the bottom of the ocean. Other characters may be able to go hunting for animals to obtain their meat.
-Can build town to take a rest from storyline.
-Able to make characters stronger by fusing with spirits.
-Character’s special skill able to obtain items via mini-game.
Difficulty - 7
The game isn’t that hard, but it can be quite a challenge. I noticed that it’s harder to flee from a battle in BoF2 than in any other RPG games that I’ve ever played. Not to mention that there is a lot of backtracking involved, so battling monsters while trying to go from town to town can be very exhausting.
However, the GBA port of this game has increased amount of experience points and money per battle. So it is much easier than the original SNES version of this game. In fact, the only time I remember having to grind before a boss battle was at the beginning and the near-end of the game.
There are some bosses in the game that relies on pure strength and a lot of potions to beat them; and then there are some that needs certain strategies in order to make them fall. I remember one boss that countered massive amounts of damage if it was physically hit, so I had to only use magic spells on it in order to take it down.
-Hard to flee from random encounters.
-A lot of backtracking involved.
-Increased EXP and money per battle.
-Different tactics for bosses.
Overall - 9.3
Aside what is mentioned above, there is one flaw I must emphasize about this game: it has a really horrible translation. This is the one flaw that irks me the most. The dialog of some NPCs doesn’t make sense, and one may be misled by it. Being the amazing game it is; however, can be easily overlooked.
Breath of Fire 2 is possibly one of the greatest early RPGs that Capcom has to offer. If you haven’t played it yet, I recommend you do so.
-Great early RPG.
-Bad translations, but can be overlooked.