Final Fantasy II has long been considered one of the weaker mainline entries in Square Enix's series. While it did attempt to push the property forward in terms of storytelling, its intriguing but deeply flawed levelling system has left many a player unimpressed over the years.
In Final Fantasy II, you play as a group of youths who make a stand against an all-conquering empire. When compared to its predecessor, there's a heavier focus on characters and political plot points — perhaps a sign of things to come for the franchise. It's not what we'd call a particularly memorable story, but it does add a bit of weight to the adventure.
Actually progressing said story can be tedious, however. The game has a 'keyword' mechanic where you'll learn various phrases by speaking to non-playable characters. The idea is that you can then use these important words to open up new topics of conversation, thus advancing the plot. Unfortunately, it ends up feeling like an unnecessary step in unfurling what is ultimately a straightforward, mostly predictable narrative.
And as alluded, Final Fantasy II has more weird ideas up its sleeve. The aforementioned levelling system sees your base stats and weapon proficiency increase through performing specific actions in turn-based battles. Take enough damage and your maximum HP will increase; cast magic a few times and your intelligence will get a boost. A fairly innovative system on paper, but it falls apart very quickly in practice.
The main problem is that it just takes so long for these stat increases to rack up. The grind in Final Fantasy II is real, and to make matters worse, it sometimes feels like growth happens at random. Not to mention that it's all highly exploitable, since party members can attack one another to maximise their gains. It's just so poorly implemented.
Thank god for the Pixel Remaster's boosts, then. In this enhanced re-release, you can increase the rate at which your stat gains occur (by up to four times), making the whole process way more tolerable. These additions alone arguably make this the best version of a divisive Final Fantasy.
How to level up in Final Fantasy II
There's no FF game i dislike not even this one
It does use a weird leveling system i liked the world and the villain, gameplay was still enjoyable and i loved the multi hit attacks u could do up to i think 10 times, 20 for dual weapons if i'm not mistaken
I'd also add the obnoxious 4th party member switching and the unnecessarily long dungeons in the latter half of the game to the negatives. Altho they probably only feel so drawn out cause of the way the leveling system works and the random encounter rates
I still enjoyed my time with it but damn was I just glad to finally beat the game and left unsatisfied after the final boss as opposed to all the other FFs that left me feeling so accomplished
Best world map music, though (when the acoustic guitar chorus kicks in 👌)
@Matroska You make a fair point, there's an underlying melancholy to a lot of FF2's music that sets it apart from the more outwardly heroic stuff in 1, 3, etc. Overall tone of the game kind of reminds me of 4, now I think about it.
No thank you. The PSX version is better looking.
the only time i tried FF2 was emulated and not translated. so, i played 15 minutes then gave up.
ill get this, oh yeah
Can’t believe they had the audacity to introduce an actual story with this sequel and called it “Final Fantasy 2” just to get sales. Story is completely against what Final Fantasy is all about, Final Fantasy was never a “story based” game and I for one wont stand for it. If they wanted to make a game with a story they should have started a completely new franchise. It’s bullsh*t.
"Use skills to level them up" works in tabletop RPG (e.g. old-school Cthulhu / RuneQuest) where you have a human GM; in computer RPGs like this and Elder Scrolls it just gets horribly abuseable.
Also, did this game's writers consciously lift things from Star Wars, or were they just mining the same set of tropes Lucas used?
While I've never managed to sit through the entirety of FF2 from start to finish, dropping off around half way through the game, I am willing to try this one again and again.
Pixel Remaster might be the point where I finally finish it.
@kyleforrester87 amazing s%#*post; I loled hard.
@kyleforrester87 Hahahaha, I love it. 🤣
If people want to complain about FFXVI’s battle system being action-based versus turn-based based on their preferences, I say have at it. But the people saying it’s not a traditional Final Fantasy game have not been looking at the history of the franchise.
They’ve pretty much reinvented the games with each sequel. Games III to VI might have had more incremental changes when it came to mechanics, rather than a complete overhaul. But other than the usual FF mainstays — Chocobos, Cid, spell names, etc. — their stories and settings usually have nothing to do with one another. The most consistent thing about Final Fantasy is how much they change each iteration. Even direct sequels to numbered entries — X-2, XII-2 and 3 — have different games styles. And that’s not to mention the spin-offs and their wildly different gameplay.
Some people just cannot see the difference between opinion and fact.
I've never actually played this one, so it'll be fun to finally try it out... whenever I happen to get to it. Based on what I've heard, though, it follows in the pattern of a bunch of NES series, where the second entry is divisive and experimental.
Call me crazy, but I'd love a remake of this. There are so many games with untapped potential that have been released throughout history and I think it'd be worth while taking another crack at them. They don't even need to have a FF7 remake budget, just give them a modest amount of funding at let them see what they can do.
@Ralizah Experimental is a great word for it. Fits even better when you realise that FF3 is like a direct evolution of FF1, almost like 2 never existed.
Tl,dr. Not buying.
@Ralizah But, but... it has an unconventional progression structure and experimental mechanics!
Haha Deeply flawed levelling system is right. It's an age old criticism of the second. They can't change it now, so they will have the same critique rubbed in over and over forever. FF3 was such a big deal in Japan, due in part to a rebound from FF2.
On a side note one of the devs lost his family around that time and FF2 story drew inspiration from it, so its story themes are rather sad and gloomy.
Will you lot buy it as a collection or individually?
I'll turn the battle off as I can't be bothered being stopped every 5 minutes
FF II, by the way, is where a large number of the franchise's iconic critters first put in an appearance — Bombs, Behemoths, Coeurls, Malboros, the familiar form of the flan / pudding amorphs, Chocobos, airship engineers called Cid (Cid of Lufenia was retconned into the backstory of the first game in a later release). Much of the bestiary in the original game was cribbed from the Monster Manual.
Back when you could rent games, played the crap out of this...
I love this game. I mean tell me another game where you can one-shot the final boss👀
Shame about the score, but I still look forward to experiencing the game finally.
Is it as stupid easy as the GBA version or is there some actual challenge?
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