Final Fantasy 2 is the earliest example of how divisive the series can be. It is what I like to call a Marmite Game; you will either love it or hate it. Admittedly, it isn’t that clear cut, but when you look at people discussing Final Fantasy 2 on the internet, you would think it is.
The second game in the Final Fantasy franchise made significant changes to the gameplay structure from the first. This included a Keywords system where you had to memorise specific keywords that NPCs said in order to ask more information about it. On top of that, Final Fantasy 2 does not feature a levelling system. Your characters do not “level up” in the traditional sense, with progression being more akin to the Elder Scrolls series. In short; your stats level up as you use each one of them.
These changes made for Final Fantasy 2 are the main reason why opinion is divided on the game. Even so, it did get an updated remake on the PlayStation in the Final Fantasy Origins collection, as well as a release on the PSP as well.
- Final Fantasy 2 Review4.6Total Score
As previously mentioned, Final Fantasy 2 is a very divisive game. Unfortunately, having played through the game on stream, I must admit that I now have no desire to play it again. Whilst it does add some very interesting and entertaining systems like the keyword system, the overall gameplay just falls short of being enjoyable.
A large part of this comes from Final Fantasy 2's levelling system. Whilst it works in games like the Elder Scrolls series, the implementation in Final Fantasy 2 just does not seem suitable. For example, the only way to increase your HP is by taking damage, and the more damage your character takes in a single battle, the more HP growth you get. Fundamentally, this sounds reasonable, but in practice, it is simply frustrating.
This is because, as you fight, your strength, dexterity and everything else increases – this means that you kill enemies quicker and take less damage. Therefore, it is harder to get your HP up. It is very easy to get to the point where you are killing normal enemies with ease, but because your HP hasn't increased enough, a boss can one-shot your characters.
Therefore, you have to spend hours, and I mean hours grinding out your HP and MP. It becomes a chore, even for someone like me who enjoys grinding.
Final Fantasy 2 has the potential to be a very good game, as long as you are happy to sit and perform the same repetitive task over and over. Specifically, if you want to get your HP up at the start, you need to keep having your characters attack each other. Then, after the battle, you heal fully and repeat.
It is this monotony that ruined the game for me, as well as the fact that the storyline wasn't as engaging as it needed to be to justify the grinding. I doubt I will be going back to it. However, the very next game in the series brought it right back to the light side again!