Posts Tagged ‘Final Fantasy’

The big mistake? A look at Final Fantasy II

ffii_psp_logoFinal Fantasy is a series we know and love. Some highlights:

  • The Four Warriors of Light to start it off:
  • Cecil and Golbez of Final Fantasy IV
  • Kefka of Final Fantasy VII
  • Maybe you’re a Cloud fanboy of Final Fantasy VII
  • Maybe you like the technical aspect to Final Fantasy X
  • Perhaps you’re an online MMO player with Final Fantasy XIII
  • Perhaps you play the others

Either way, you’ve probably played at least one of them unless you’ve had your head in a hole.  However, what you may not know is the series nearly died before it got off the ground.  Yes, I’m talking about Final Fantasy II – Japan.

On the surface, it seems like you can build a team of Gods.  Each weapon, spell, etc., can be leveled up 16 times.  You can essentially make it so you know everything very well, especially on the Game Boy Advance remake.  At the very least, you can make your characters any custom class you want.  Sounds good on the surface, right?

ff2coverWell, all’s not rosy.  This game takes hours upon hours of grinding just to be able to realize that dream.  When I was replaying it for RetroAchievments recently, it took almost 40 hours just to get to Level 10 on each with every character.  I still haven’t found a way to really level past 10 reliably.  Also, you have to do things like take hits to get more MP, then spend MP to get spells.  It turns into a tedious, sometimes stupid, play mechanic that doesn’t reward smart play and turns the game into a grind-fest.  I spent nearly 90 percent of my time grinding and like 10 percent actually playing the game.  It is debatable whether I could have cut some time, but considering that it was my third play through and I had some idea of where everything was, this is a lot of time to be spending grinding just weapons and spells.

This verdict has generally been agreed upon.  The game has been universally the worst seller of the entire series according to  It also has been passed over at the time for being a bad game in the eyes of the American reviewer at Nintendo.  The only reason Final Fantasy III – Japan wasn’t released in the United States was because of time restraints for Final Fantasy IV, which was needed to showcase the Super Nintendo.  Final Fantasy IIJapan even had a localization done, but like Super Mario Bros 2 – Japan, it was rejected for release close to the final call.

This was later rectified when America discovered the games and its remake was packaged with seller Final Fantasy I when brought to the United States in the GBA remake, Final Fantasy I and II:  Dawn of Souls.  It still showed how bad of a game it was, and except for hardcore players, is generally not played.  I may play emulated versions, but I won’t buy it.  Square Enix doesn’t deserve my money for that game.  I did a run of it for on their stream channel, and I kind of regret doing it, because of its length and how awful the game really is.

Fortunately, due to forgiveness and bumping it out of release, it didn’t destroy Final Fantasy as a brand.  However, when you ask for different games, and new features, don’t always be so sure.  Sometimes conservative is better, but not to the point of Capcom recycling.  Experiments don’t always work.  Final Fantasy II – Japan would be better off forgotten if not for copyright time-related issues and renewals.

Real Things Video Games Teach You: Final Fantasy XIII


 Managing group strengths, long-term skill development, minor problem solving, rapid strategy shift under changing conditions, learning from mistakes. ~Final Fantasy XIII


Real Things Video Games Teach You was a series of Tumblr posts started by Oliver in May 2013 where he posted a bunch of posts in a short period of time. He’s recently added posts to the Tumblr account this year.  He has given VGS permission to re-post these under his name as part of  a series posting twice a week.  If you want to see all of his posts, check out his Tumblr account:


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