Capcom appears to be on a role
with the re-vitalization of older games, older characters, and us older players
nostalgia for such things. Breath of Fire II follows the first in the series as another
serious addition to the RPG genre on the Gameboy Advance. It leads in with a well
developed prologue, introducing your character, one which you get to name, like always, as
a boy sent on his first quest, a simple one, to find a girl who might be lost in the
forest to the North. And, as in the first installment, you dont get too far before
running into a dragon (this ones sleeping) which happens to haunt your dreams as
well as the girls. So begins another quest in one of the richer RPG worlds.
From the get
go, the player realizes that BoF II is another epic, one which will challenge the
Square-centric attitude around RPGs. Unlike the competitor, Capcom gives us a unique game
that doesnt really borrow from anyone else in the fieldat least it wasnt
apparent; for me, Breath of Fire is a welcome break from the now passť games that haunt
the shelves of our local shops.
character in your party has their own unique ability, one which can be performed while on
the world-map or elsewhere. Much like BoF, where you had Bo, for an example, who allowed
you to walk through forests, you have others like Sten, who can pull you across close-gaps
or your main character who can fish. I think the game could have been richer if Capcom
would have given you a slew of skills that you could acquire through your quests, ones you
could switch between to make the game more expansivemaybe a skills matrix, or the
ability to learn skills from other members in the party. For me, theres a fine line
between too much complexity and just enough to make the game more enjoyable.
you wont find it necessary to spend hours upon hours playing BoF II, which comes as
a relief on the GBAa system that doesnt really cater to multi-hour game
sessions. Portables are cool, but theyre not 60 70 hours cool. And this is
where my enjoyment of BoF II comes to fruition. I found the mixture of a fast pace across
the world map and the ability, like its predecessor, to automate my battles an immense
advantage to putting in the time it took to increase character levels and acquire the
necessary hardware to progress through each quest. Like other RPGs, youre forced to
buy a majority of your weapons and upgrade your armor over time. Granted, you do find some
unique items, but the overall feel was of having to purchase them; however, this is
balanced out by the fact that you dont really get into a financial crunch and, over
time, youll have to actually store money at the bank.
mentioned that the game was rich, but its richness not only encapsulates its battle
system, quest(s), and characters, but also the graphic and sheer color in the game. For
the GBA, plagued by the evil dark-screen, bright colors do a tremendous job in aiding the
players overall enjoyment of the title. But, since its Capcom we can almost expect
colorful, cartoon-esque games in any title they produce. This one is no exception.
are plentiful, but not to the extreme: it is possible to make it from one town to the
other without actually engaging in combat. When you do run into them, theyre not too
difficult, unless youve strayed into an area youre not quite ready for, but
this goes for any RPG out there. What is nice about the monsters in BoF II is that
theyre nicely done, and there seems to be a variety in their numbers. It would have
been nice to see them drop a few more itemscome on Capcom, throw us a boneso
we dont need to always refill our item sack.
quests are pretty straight forward: go to point A, do something, fight a boss, etc., move
on, which does run the risk of being tedious for some players. But, with BoF II this
isnt really the case. The quests remain relatively short, but seem to play into the
overall plot and theme of the story, which can, at times, feel a bit nebulous. The puzzles
arent complex, but just enough so as to not seem completely hack. Granted, you need
to remember while playing this game that it isnt a new game; rather, its a
remake of the old SNES title. Something tells me that with the re-release of the Breath of
Fire series on the GBA Capcom is building up to their forthcoming release on the next-gen
systems, namely the PS2.
my choice in RPG games is always limited, especially with the next-generation systems,
Breath of Fire II came as welcome relief to the monotony of action or sports related games
that seem to be assaulting the local video game dealer; I feel like the thoughtful, fun
RPG is slowly being squeezed from the gamer-conscious. And in all truth, I havent
really enjoyed a majority of the RPGs Ive seen on the PS2. So, where do we turn? Our
trusty GBAs. What with the drive in the development houses to re-release their classic
titles from the SNES, I cant think of any better time to own a GBA than now.