Breath of Fire II
A Classic SNES Title Returns on the GBA
Story: Breath of Fire II follows the story of Ryu a young orphan boy that is descended from the dragon clan. After leaving the orphanage Ryu and his young fried Bow stumble across Barubary a powerful demon. Barubary easily crushes the two of you and you reawaken in the present time in a small town where you and Bow operate as mercenaries of a sort. The story doesn’t truly get moving though until Bow is framed for a crime and you are forced to travel across the land to clear his name. Along the way you meet a variety of interesting characters that will join your party. You eventually stumble upon the main quest though which ends with a battle against Deathevan a powerful demon that desires the destruction of the world.
Characters: The cast of characters in this game is composed of eight playable characters and many support characters that can take up residence in your town. I actually like most of the support characters though most of them don’t seem to get any development as characters outside of growing closer to Ryu in terms of their friendship.
The game also features several villains though most of them feel a bit lacking. The only interesting one is Ray to be honest. Barubary and Deathevan while extremely powerful are never given proper motivations other then they are demons and as such they just want to destroy the world.
Gameplay: This game features a turn-based combat system that is based on the characters agility stat. The higher your agility the earlier your turn will be in combat.
Graphics: The game looks good for a GBA game.
Sound: I tend to play GBA games with the sound turned off, but the few tracks I did listen to were rather enjoyable.
Level Design: This is probably the one area that the game made a major misstep in my opinion. While the world is rather large it doesn’t feel so massive to be foreboding, but certain areas in the game can have an encounter rate that is just obscene. You’ll barely take five or six steps and be engaged in yet another battle. This is especially true for the final dungeon which is also a maze in certain places. So you not only have a high encounter rate you have to figure out which path you need to take to get into the underground town that the dragon clan lives in.
Level Design: 7