Final Fantasy Adventure - Retroview

Very Adventurous, And Good For A Long Car Ride

By: Robust Stu

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 7
   Interface 6
   Music/Sound 8
   Originality 3
   Plot 6
   Localization 7
   Replay Value 5
   Visuals 7
   Difficulty Moderate
   Time to Complete

25-30 hours


Final Fantasy Adventure

   A lot of people have fond memories of a game called Secret of Mana. Well, before Secret of Mana (actually Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan) came Final Fantasy Adventure (Seiken Densetsu 1, if you haven't figured that part out). While it was on the Game Boy and was a lot less advanced technologically than its more famous sequel, it was still a very good game, well worth a look by any self-respecting RPGamer.

   As our story opens, you are a slave to the Dark Lord of Glaive, and you are forced to fight huge monsters every day for the amusement of the Dark Lord and his right hand man, Julius. One day you escape, and while picking your way through the woods, you find a girl (who you name at the beginning of the game) and her bodyguard under attack by a gang of monsters. You defeat the monsters and save the girl, but unfortunately her companion is dead. You take his place by her side, and swear to protect her on her journey to find Bogard, one of the Gemma Knights of old. Without spoiling anything, the story gets very interesting and emotional, and even I was shocked to discover the truth of the girl's past...

   The battle system takes the overhead, real time battle features of Zelda before it, but adds in the HP/MP and magic use of traditional console RPGs. A neat feature of this game is a battle meter that S-L-O-W-L-Y charges, but once charged allows you to unleash a special attack, which varies depending on which type of weapon you're using. There are experience levels like most CRPGs, but instead of gaining a fixed set of stats like most CRPGs, you get to pick which stats you want to increase after gaining each level, which I thought was a neat feature.

You'd better figure out a way to keep him from getting up there
You'd better figure out a way to keep him from getting up there  

   The graphics, obviously, aren't going to blow your socks off but given the limited resources they were given to work with, I thought the graphics were very detailed. The backgrounds are fairly well drawn, and even the sprites are sufficiently well done to make the graphics a plus in this game. They definitely beat most of what you'd find on the 13 year old black and white handheld.

   The music was probably the best part of the game. FFA had a superb overworld music (which changes to another awesome tune halfway through the game), and the dungeon music, which admittedly didn't have much variety, was still more than good enough that you didn't get sick of it halfway through the game and in fact gave the dungeons a more frantic and tense feel than they might have had otherwise. Throw in a kickass boss theme, and you've got some great music. Even the sound effects, while a little scratchy, were good considering the era in which this game was made.

   A rarity for a Game Boy game from the early 90s, this game had a decent localization. It wasn't the best ever (there were a few screwy sounding lines), but definitely more than good enough to get you through the game. You weren't left scratching your head at too much of the considerable amount of dialogue you come across through the course of the game.

   This is a good game and all, but tended to get a little boring at times, and by the end of the game you were just kinda hoping to get it over with. Not actually bad, but it just sort of tended to drag a bit at times, but that was balanced out a bit by a good story and a good battle system, so I'm going to go thumbs in the middle for replay value.

People buying Breath of Fire 3 being among them
People buying Breath of Fire 3 being among them  

   While this was the first game I saw that combined the overhead, Zelda-style battles with the HP/MP and experience of CRPGs, I somehow doubt this was the first game to do so. At the very least, Zelda and Ys did the overhead real-time battles first, and every RPG before this did every other element of the game before, so other than actually combining the two elements, this game really did nothing new. Therefore, I'm going to have to lowball this one on originality, too.

This game would have been better if a few dungeons were cut out and the game was shortened a little bit, but as it stands, you're looking at 25-30 hours for this baby.

This was an all right game...not good, not bad, but all right. It wasn't the best RPG on the Game Boy (that honor goes to Final Fantasy Legend 2), but it is still a decent game. If you're going on a road trip and need something to keep you entertained for a while or if you want to see the first Seiken Densetsu game, pick it up, otherwise skip it.

Mildly Recommended.

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