Final Fantasy Adventure - Retroview

Seiken Denfantasy... Huh?

By: Desh

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 9
   Interface 8
   Music/Sound 8
   Originality 7
   Plot 7
   Localization 8
   Replay Value 6
   Visuals 7
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

10-20 hours


Title Screen

   Although not really a Final Fantasy game at all (it belongs with the Secret of Mana series), Final Fantasy Adventure still meets the quality that many of the "real" games (I use that term loosely) have set for the RPG genre. While like Zelda in its battle and overworld scheme, it is also very much like the Final Fantasy series in that there is leveling, a powered up attack (limit breaks, anyone?), and different equipments in armor and weapons. And if that wasn't enough, some enemies have been repeated (remember Lich and Kary?).

   The battle system is real-time, just like your classic Zelda game - walk around, swing your sword (or chain, axe, sickle...), pick up items. An interesting thing to point out, though, is that throughout the game you pick up some NPCs that help you out; some heal you or restore MP, some sell you things, and others fight with you. Overall, this system is very workable with very few minor flaws.

   As far as menus go, they are extremely straight-forward - item, equip, magic, etc. There is nothing confusing about them at all, and the only minor problem you might have is accidentally pressing the wrong button (which is YOUR fault). Overall, the world of Final Fantasy Adventure is very easy to work with.

   The music in this game, although not composed by our beloved Nobuo, is still very well done. Especially for a Gameboy, the music is exciting in places and tranquil in others. The sound effects, however, could use a little work, but, should a remake of this game ever be made, I doubt that they will be a great deal better.

   As for originality, there ARE quite a few concepts and details that have been refried. However, certain bits of the story and the way these old ideas have been composed is nice, fresh, and compatible. And, of course, we cannot forget to mention that this spawned a popular series (even though the Mana Tree seems to have made a strange cameo appearance in FFIIIj...).

   Ah, the storyline. I, personally, did not get bored by the plot, and found it fresh (for an early RPG played by an early RPGamer). Starting modestly with an escape from slavery, our hero meets a strange girl looking for a Gemma knight concerning Mana... and onwards. Mystery, deceit, and despair flow throughout this game, and blend for a delicious broth.

   The translation, from what I remember, was never a big problem in this game. Every sentence is grammatically correct, but, more than that, the original emotions intended shone through, instead of getting lost like in so many other games.

   The replay value for this game is relatively low due to the linearity of the game (that sounds so textbook :P). There is literally nothing for side-quests, minigames, or pack-rat attractions. However, this game has one major thing in its favor - fun. This game presents challenges and great music, and works nicely if you just desperately need to kill something (I know how you feel).

   As for graphics... well, it's not Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, but, then again, what is? Barring that, the graphics are still phenominal for a primitive Gameboy game. There's little to no lagging in heated battles, and some of the enemies and incredibly detailed (especially bosses). All in all, the graphics don't really add to the game, but they definately don't detract from it.

   Now, I'll tell you the truth, this game isn't the hardest game I've ever played. Far from it, in fact. However, it does add quite a bit of challenge here and there, and if you decide to use your chocobo =) take you everywhere due to laziness, the game gets considerably harder (just level up, OK?). Also, many dungeons include tiles that will hurt you to walk on them. Other than that, just play to find out.

   As I said before, this game is extremely linear. So, without your chocobo racing, card playing, and rare item collecting, all your time will be filled with storyline events or leveling. Fold these into a small Gameboy cartridge, stir in a leveling and battle system, and heat for ten to twenty hours, and you will have cooked this baby to perfection.

   You may have noticed that most of my ratings are 8 and below. Why, then, would I put something above average for an overall score? Simply put, this game is fun. While those categories above are definately musts in a good game, they forget about the primary reason we play video games - to have fun. This game is just that. Play and find out, if you can find a copy. It's definately worth it, and it sets the stage for the Seiken Densetsu games very nicely.

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