Oh my god…what an improvement. The game literally took everything I complained about with the first and fixed it. This is a game I can see people liking and spawning dozens of sequels from.
Not to mention, it added a whole lot of unique qualities not often seen in RPG’s such as every character being able to use any weapon or spell. The leveling system is different too, having to constantly use spells and attacks to upgrade magic and weapon skills, as well as your base stats. It’s the only game in recent memory that I was excited when I got hit by things, because that meant you were that much closer to increasing your defense and hit points.
The only gripe I have with this system is it takes way too long to level up some things. Hit points go up easy enough, but your magic points take forever, as well as spells and weapon skills. The max you can get any of these skills to is 16, but you won’t get anywhere near that. I completed the game with only one kind of high spell…Cure at level 10, and that’s because you have to use it all the time. My weapons skills were level 10 as well.
The game doesn’t make you grind all that much, which is a wonderful thing. I really hate the games that make you grind for hours. This does it very balanced, until the last dungeon. My god is it hard. I was always strong enough to get through any dungeon without too much difficulty throughout the entire game, but then you get to hell or whatever and you find yourself very underpowered.
But the best part about that is you just fight some enemies there, they beat the hell out of you and you become stronger, so I was able to progress somewhat fast regardless, and by the time I made it to the last boss, none of the enemies gave me a hard time anymore. But if you want to get to the last boss, you better set aside a few free hours. I mean, holy crap!! You have to go through a tough and lengthy cave of hell and when you finally get through that, bruised and bleeding, you find yourself in an entire castle you have to climb now, nearly twice as big as the already lengthy cave. It takes forever to get to the boss! Fortunately it was my day off and I could sit there for a long time to beat it.
That is the problem with both these games. The points in between saves are wayyy to long. Throughout the week, I really only play for 20 minutes at a time. I constantly had to shut off the game in the middle of a dungeon, or just leave it on until I had time to complete it. It’s so annoying! And if you die, you are screwed. It’s ridiculous. You have to start all over again. Thank god for the inclusion of memo saves in Origins for PlayStation or I would never have the patience to play these games.
Overall, Final Fantasy is a piece of crap, but Final Fantasy II is great. Now I am on to Final Fantasy IV!