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