Final Fantasy II Review

As the famous Beatles song goes “It was twenty years ago today, Final Fantasy was released to play. It's been going in and out of style But it's guaranteed to raise a smile.” Well, maybe it wasn't “exactly” those lyrics but for the purpose of this review let's just go with it. The Final Fantasy series was launched roughly twenty years ago and to celebrate Square Enix is releasing special anniversary editions of a few FF games. The one we will be looking at today is the PSP release of Final Fantasy II. Let's see what's going on with this sucker...

I've played a couple of Final Fantasy games in my time but somewhere along the line they got a little too...well, pretentious I suppose. I'm a simple gamer. Give me a story that makes me want to keep playing, something pretty to look at, and don't make it impossible and I'm a happy gamer. The FF games have been pretty but the stories have gotten confusing. FF II is certainly a game from a simpler time with an old school RPG style and some audio and graphical updates to make it PSP-worthy.

Final Fantasy II start off with a great cut scene of a small town going up in flames. A group is seen running through the crumbling town loosing for a way out. Naturally it turns out that you're in that group and since your town has been destroyed you figure someone must pay. That someone is the emperor of Palamecia and the emperor goal is, of course, world domination. It's up to you and your crew to make sure that doesn't happen. Pretty straight ahead story.

I mentioned the graphical and audio updates. Of the two the audio is the biggest upgrade and does not seem dated at all. The graphics have been giving an overhaul as well. The characters are surprisingly detailed, the 2D backgrounds are very nice, and there is even the familiar disembodied little white glove as a pointer. The cut scenes are simply beautiful. You can not tell that the game harks back to the NES or SNES days graphically. The game is played in a traditional overhead style. Your group is displayed by a single character when roaming through towns, dungeons, and world but separates into individuals during battles and certain important conversations.