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 Breath of Fire II (SNES)

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Laosh'Ra
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PostSubject: Breath of Fire II (SNES)   Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:09 am

Quick summary:
Breath of Fire II is a traditional SNES RPG similar to games like Final Fantasy: top-down view, random encounters, dungeons filled with treasue and so on.
Compared to Final Fantasy, it has probably less gameplay depth but several neat little (or big) features such as building your own town (with several different possibilities), day-night cycle, hunting and fishing, temporarily fusing characters with shamans to enhance them or even totally convert them into new beings with a different ability.
Except the main character, all playable characters (there are quite a few) are more or less animal-hybrids which is not to everones taste.
I should point out that this game is very challenging. If you don't like grinding at all, then try the GBA version (see below).

NOTE: I will not give an overall score because everyone is looking for different qualities in games.


GBA Version:
The game is so challenging on the SNES, that the GBA version simply increased money and experience gained by a factor of 2 or 3. Personally, I havent played the GBA version because I prefer nostalgy and the challenge (which adds to atmosphere for me) plus the graphics seem not as good and fluent. The GBA version also comes with quicksave and some pictures as rewards here and there. Afaik no new gameplay content itself was added.


Story / Feel:
I'll do my best not to spoiler anything you'd not find out very early on as the story is rather interesting.
The setting is a typical fantasy world but it feels (for the most part) not as black and white as in other games.
The bigger picture is about dragons and demons (in very awesome ways).
The game has quite some style, especially during the crucial parts of the story.
The graphics and escpecially the atmosphere are great imo e.g. enemies are actually animated (which is not the case in Final Fantasy) and there are several original ideas which challenge you at an intelectual level. For example decisions are to be made which have more or less drastic consequences (from minor things such as getting a different (not necessarily better!) reward to major things like an alternate ending).
The atmosphere shifts from "yay we're having an adventure" over "whoa" to "oh my god we are so doomed". This works out well because of the difficulty too: unlike in Final Fantasy you will probably not have tons of mana-restoration items later on in the game to easily cure the s*it out of your party. In fact, I literally almost lost to the last boss by running out of items as I underestimated the last dungeon. And I'm not inexperienced, having beaten dozends of such RPGs before.

Score: 8/10


Gameplay / Controls:
For the most part, Breath of Fire II plays like a common classic RPG with it's own fancy ideas on top.
As pointed out before, this game is quite challenging. On top of that it might sometimes take a bit to figure out where the game continues.
Every playable character will learn new spells when leveling up. These spells obviously differ in quality, quantity and type depending on the character.
The main character can go fishing which doesn't work out so well until you get good equipment later on so I skipped it for the most part (don't bother trying to get a treasure chest early on).
Hunting is very useful throughout the game (there are basically two characters which can do this). It's basically a minigame which takes a bit of practise and luck but usually gives you items that fully restore a characters health and sell for a big sum early in the game.
Other characters have abilities to travel the world more easily and/or access certain areas.
The controls are straight forward IF you know them. The biggest flaw here is that some functionality can be overlooked (e.g. it took me a while to realise that select brings up a world-map, most characters have a special ability outside of combat if you press the Y-button).
This is also the case for certain items as they are not very well explained.
Other than that, things are fine.


Score: 7/10


Multiplayer:
No multiplayer. However, the GBA version is said to allow item-trading.

(No score)


Replayability / Secrets:
The amount of customisation is rather low early on and increases over time due to certain quest rewards, your town, the shamans and the amount of playable characters.
As with most classic RPGs, there are several major secrets which are sometimes more sometimes less difficult to find.

Score: 6/10
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Mark57Raider
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PostSubject: Re: Breath of Fire II (SNES)   Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:13 pm

This games really good. I will say that it wasn't as hard a game as you say it out to be as I didn't get a lot of game overs, but it had a normal difficulty level I think. Another flaw is the translation wasn't as great, but STILL a great game. There were many things/surprises that I didn't expect would be in there that are in the game... oh yeah spoilers lol. Well... the fact that you get Aerial ability late in the game on the world map is a big plus. I was a fan of the fact that Bow was your best friend in the game because of the Dog aspect of it. Seemed to fit quite right. And Katt was the feisty feline hero in the game.

Also one overall good thing about it, was that each character on the world map had a different way of interacting with Y. There were a few fetch quests, but it wasn't really bothersome. Good review Laosh'Ra though in explaining things in depth.

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Laosh'Ra
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PostSubject: Re: Breath of Fire II (SNES)   Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:10 am

well, maybe final fantasy seems much easier to me as i have developed a feel for it after playing through several different of its games.
so maybe you are right, i guess its not that hard if you frequently train your characters and get all of the important secrets.
still, there are some nasty parts, especially the solo-scenarios. e.g. when playing as sten, you encounter enemies which cast death on you in 1v1 combat. how unfair is that? the last dungeon is also quite tricky (so you better come prepared) but i guess thats fine considering its the final challenge.
i guess my biggest issue was the lack of mana-items. in final fantasy, you end up with tons of ethers and elixiers. in bof2, i had only 1 item for +100 mana, and 9 buyable items for +20 mana (which deal 20 damage when using) which is not that much in combat as a single cure3 spell to decently heal the party already uses up 20 mana. if it werent for several moondrops and "van ext." or whatever, i had been forced to cast exit in the final dungeon...
that said, i liked that difficulty! final fantasy almost seems boring near the end as you can just keep using items and never die (with few exceptions like lvl5 doom etc.)
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PostSubject: Re: Breath of Fire II (SNES)   Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:58 am

Yeah I remembered the part where I had to keep exiting because my magic was depleting.. although that happened sometimes. Sometimes I would just use my attacks instead of magic to damper my magic depletion. Maybe I didn't have that hard a time with Sten at his hometown. Though the boss against the monkey prince was annoying, he wasn't impossible to beat. Being said that, most of my money came from the roasts that I picked up during hunts which I pretty much farmed around 45 or more at the end. So getting across in that aspect was not hard. I enjoyed hunting in Breath of Fire 1 as well.

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