Final Fantasy II: Final Stats, Thoughts, and Trivia

Is Final Fantasy II the worst Final Fantasy game? Not in my mind, not in terms of the one I enjoyed the least. FFII is a JRPG with decent gameplay, but it feels very dated and bland in certain aspects. FFII introduced a lot of tropes and elements that were refined in later FF games, such as:

Named characters with defined personalities (though Firion is pretty bland)

A character named Cid

Chocobos

A back row for characters in battle

The deaths of several ally characters

Dragoons and the surname Highwind

The Ultima spell

Continue reading Final Fantasy II: Final Stats, Thoughts, and Trivia

Final Fantasy II Part Six: Hellraisers

May 19, 2015: You can go back to Deist and tell the dragoon widow about Ricard. “Ricard’s gone, too, then…” She cried into her hands. “He was a… a noble dragoon. I’m sure he was… pleased that he could… d-die in the name of honor…”

The woman decided to take her son and leave Deist at last.

There are too many painful memories within these walls,” she said. “Oh! I meant to thank you for saving the wyvern egg and for giving me the chance to see Ricard one last time. That’s why I want you to have this. It was the most treasured possession of the dragoons of Deist: Excalibur. With Ricard gone, you should be the ones to wield this sword.

Our final destination: the Jade Passage, a dungeon cave with crystals all over the walls.

In this dungeon, Great Malboros show their true colors when they attack and inflict like EVERY ailment on you.

A monster in a treasure box is the Blue Dragon! O_O

His box hides the Cat Claw weapon, though. Continue reading Final Fantasy II Part Six: Hellraisers

Final Fantasy II Part Five: Last of the Dragoons

May 16, 2015: Now, we have to shlep our butts back to Fynn… again. Ugh, this is starting to remind me of the constant backtracking in Tales of the Abyss. Some RPGs need more than one world to explore.

There was a cyclone outside of Fynn.

Leila was in the castle. “When the storm kicked up and the ship went down, I got separated from ye. I thought ye were dead for sure. It’s good to be wrong now and again!”

Hilda: “The emperor’s foul magic can control even the winds… Polf, Paloom, Altair, Gatrea… all were destroyed, one after the other. And now the Cyclone is headed for Fynn…

The emperor himself is controlling the cyclone, I’ve no doubt.”

Gordon: “The ultimate magic is in our hands, but what good does it do us? The cyclone will kill us before we even have the chance to use it.

Unless we sprout wings and learn to fly, I don’t see how we can get into that cyclone.” Continue reading Final Fantasy II Part Five: Last of the Dragoons

Final Fantasy II Part Four

 

May 13, 2015: Dude, Where’s Our Boat?

We had to find our boat again. Before we returned to Altair, we took a detour to Mysidia and bought some great new weapons.

Hilda and Gordon set up a Rebel Camp outside of Fynn Castle to retake it.

I parked our boat on the northern part of the Fynn continent, northwest of the camp.

May 14, 2015: Gordon: “You’re to be the heart of our attack. While we hold the bulk of the imperial forces at bay, you’ll slip in and kill the castellan.”

Firion nodded.

Our trio knelt before Hilda, who was happy to see them. “I owe you my life. It would appear you also deserve credit for destroying the Dreadnought. I don’t know how I can ever thank you enough.”

Leila went ahead into Castle Fynn and rejoined us there.

Continue reading Final Fantasy II Part Four

Final Fantasy II Part Three: Lair of the Lamia

May 12, 2015: Dragon Keeper

The Empire poisoned the waters of Deist in an attempt to kill the wyverns. They did Kefka before Kefka was Kefka!

One of the wyverns clung to life, so we had to get water from a life spring in Deist Cavern to heal it.

This part reminds me of how Lenna’s wind drake was sick in Final Fantasy V, too.

Continue reading Final Fantasy II Part Three: Lair of the Lamia

Final Fantasy II Part Two: 2 Lost 2 Furious

January 2, 2013: Kashuan Keep

I’m frustrated with Maria because her physical attacks suck from the back row, but I don’t want use up her MP all the time (though casting spells is fun). I only kept her in the back row because she started the game off with a bow.

Bows do not suffer a damage penalty from being used in the back row.

It is nice how each weapon type makes a different sound effect.

Continue reading Final Fantasy II Part Two: 2 Lost 2 Furious

Final Fantasy II Part One: Baffled in Bafsk

I love how minimalistic the box art for the PSP versions of Final Fantasy I and II are.

Final Fantasy II

System: PlayStation Portable

Developer/Publisher (Famicom): Square

Developer/Publisher (Remakes): Square Enix

Released (Famicom): December 17, 1988

Released (PSP, Japan): June 7, 2007

Released (PSP, North America): July 24, 2007

Released (PSP, Europe): February 8, 2008

A long lived peace…

is at an end.”

September 12, 2011: Hold on. Am I supposed to die right off the bat?

Yes. FFII opens with four young people (Firion, Guy, Maria, and her brother Leon) trying to fend off Palamecian Black Knights.

Firion, Maria, Leon, and Guy with the Emperor looming in the background.

 The Empire of Palamecia, led by their Emperor, is trying to take over the world. The Empire killed these four protagonists’ parents.

At the outset of the game, you are thrust into a hopeless battle against the Black Knights, who leave you for dead.

Continue reading Final Fantasy II Part One: Baffled in Bafsk

Friday (Least) Favorites #1: Game Tropes That Can Die in a Fire

Perhaps a more clickbaiting title would be better: Nine CRIPPLING Flaws You Won’t BELIEVE Video Games Get Away With!

I understand why these tropes exist, but that doesn’t make them much less annoying. 

1. Poor Checkpoint Placement and Restricted Saving

Checkpoints ain’t perfect. The ones that are placed just far enough apart to force you to replay segments over and over can annoy.

Saving restrictions are trickier to pin down. Some games implement it into the gameplay, like in the early Resident Evil games as a method of emphasizing the survival aspect. Other games can force you into replaying segments of the game if you don’t know how long it will be between save points. It seems that PC games (and sometimes their console ports) and handheld games have a slight advantage in this regard. Several PC games let you save wherever you want with numerous save slots, and plenty of handheld games are smart enough to let you at least make temporary saves, perfect for their portable nature.

2. Boss Rushes

I hate boss rushes. So much. Boss rushes clearly pad out a game, and can also be a right irritation. How much they bug you depends on how much you like the game, and its bosses. With that in mind, a boss rush in a Platinum game wouldn’t bother me, but a boss rush in a mean old game like Magician Lord would. I didn’t like ML much…

3. Overly Long Minigames

Minigames can be a welcome change of pace, but other times, they wear out their welcome. Take the shooter segment in Platinum’s otherwise-legendary Bayonetta… please.

Formulaic JRPG Blue Dragon is another example that offers up some on-rails shooter minigames. If you fail them, you have to start them all over again, bringing us back to the first entry on this list. However, they don’t last very long and they’re mostly optional in sidequests IIRC. 

At least Blue Dragon’s Mechat ship looks cute.

4. Controls You Can’t Fully CustomizePlease don’t force me to play with an inverted Y-axis. This quirk can dovetail with the previous entry on this list. 

5. Permanently Missable Content

This isn’t so bad in short games and/or games with new game plus, but when you’re two-thirds of the way through a long RPG like Final Fantasy VII…

Perhaps the remake will fix this. After all, does anyone really enjoy missing the Alexander summon on a slightly tedious snowswept mountain area?

6. Escort Missions

The classic. These don’t seem to be as much of a problem these days, however. But most developers didn’t take the time to make escort missions enjoyable outside of Resident Evil 4 and Ico.  

7. Trapped!

When a free-roaming game suddenly cuts you off from that sweet, sweet open world without warning.

8. Repetitive/Unskippable Dialog and Cutscenes

To be fair, some pieces of dialog bear repeating. But Fiona from the janky Mercenaries 2: World in Flames parrots the same tip and dialog whenever you start the game and leave your headquarters. Every. Single. Time. Hell is other people, truly. Another example (without voice acting) is Otis from Dead Rising. If you got interrupted while trying to hear an update from him on the transceiver, he would complain and start the dialog over again. Later games in the series fixed this.

9. Weird Achievements

I used to care a lot more about cheevos than I do now (caring about them too much almost ruined my gaming passion), but there are still some achievements that are lulzy, like zero-point achievements. Why. This is admittedly only a problem on Xbox; the PlayStation Trophy system assigns at least a small point value to your overall trophy level. I think I have a game that has a zero-pointer for getting all of the other Achievements. Madness. 

To a lesser extent, viral achievements which only unlock if you play against someone who already has the achievement and achievements that require you to play against someone on your friends list are nice in theory, but have issues in practice. There is no guarantee that you will be able to play against someone who has a viral achievement, and you may not have a friend who is willing and/or able to help you unlock certain achievements. Then there are the games with multiplayer achievements whose servers get shut down, making those achievements lost forever. Annual sports games are egregious in this aspect because last year’s game’s servers will get shut down to encourage people to buy the new game.

Finally, and this is an issue that existed before the Xbox 360’s Achievement system, the achievements that require you to fail. Do you intentionally fail to get as many cheevos as possible, and to work towards 100% completion? Do you intentionally let characters suffer and die to get all the endings? An example lies within the Resident Evil Outbreak games, some of the more obscure spinoffs in the series.


These games had Event Lists to track how much of each of the 10 scenarios (five per game) you have experienced. Dying at certain points and getting bad endings were requirements to fully complete the Event Lists.

I love achievement systems overall, but some achievements have flaws.

Well, there were some of my least favorite design decisions and nitpicks in games. What are some of yours?

The World Ends With You Part Eight: No Time Left

January 4, 2017: At the beginning of the last day, Beat started to vanish.

No one was moving on the streets of Shibuya.

It’s kind of dumb how some items require yen Pins instead of just yen. I can’t keep all of those denominations straight!

Continue reading The World Ends With You Part Eight: No Time Left