Final Fantasy II

Final Fantasy II

released on Dec 17, 1988
by Square

Final Fantasy II

released on Dec 17, 1988
by Square

Final Fantasy II is the second installment in the Final Fantasy series, developed and published by Squaresoft. It was directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, with Yoshitaka Amano designing the characters and Nobuo Uematsu composing the score. It was notable for being one of the first story-intensive RPGs released for console systems, and introducing many series staples, including chocobos and a character named Cid. Its story is unrelated to the original FINAL FANTASY, and its gameplay is a major departure from the previous title for eliminating the traditional experience-based progression system.


Also in series

Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy III
Final Fantasy III
Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy

Released on

Genres

RPG


More Info on IGDB


Reviews View More

I think this is the last of the weird experimental sequels of major franchises from the 80s. It developed a lot of concepts that, combined with the crystals and classes from the original Final Fantasy went on to lay the groundwork for the franchise. I even think the leveling system is neat in concept, but that "in concept" part is the caveat that almost everyone who doesn't outright toss this in the trash uses. The problem is that skill system had unforeseen consequences.

Like many Americans, the first time I played Final Fantasy II was by way of Final Fantasy Origins, and I went into the game knowing that I could just grind for a while at the start to save myself world of hurt later on. Even with that knowledge, the fact that an efficient way of getting stronger in this game is to repeatedly hurt yourself and heal yourself is just stupid. It's a shame, because had the system been play tested more, they could have probably worked some of this stuff out, but instead it shipped with what was in many ways a broken combat system.

They tried to innovate elsewhere too: The keyword system seemed like an attempt to put a word parser into the game, possibly similar to what Ultima had done by this time, and the rotating cast of guest characters was a cool idea that kept the story moving along. Unfortunately, that story moved through several dungeons which were about as much of a waste of time as the tedious leveling system and ultimately culminated in a game that seemed deadset on wasting your time. Possibly permissible when you're 10, on summer break, and have the luxury of wasting a week just playing Final Fantasy II, but fundamentally bad design.

Like the other weird sequels of the late 80s, I don't think Final Fantasy would have evolved in the way it did if it hadn't been for this game's attempt at new mechanics, and I sorely wish franchises would be bold enough to try new things with sequels again.

Some good ideas ahead of its time, but very confusing. Not really a fun game to grind without a guide.

The story and events are a huge step up coming from the first game though, very impressive for the time it was released.

Maybe my least favorite in the series, although I appreciate it trying a bunch of different things from the first. The leveling system has just never clicked with me though, much prefer the Pixel Remaster version where you can accelerate it

Good, decent, similar to predecessor.

Brief.
Final Fantasy II does have the very important role of being what not to do in a turn based RPG, which helped Square in their later projects. Despite the overall plot being more interesting than the surrounding titles on the surface, the entire experience is hampered by the game's progression being, to put it simply, broken.

Instead of an across-the-board level system for characters, you instead prioritize levelling their weapon proficiency, and can evolve individual stats by participating in combat and taking certain actions such as dealing or receiving damage. This matters significantly less as the game goes on, but this makes trying to jumpstart the levelling of characters incredibly tedious. While I imagine this was intended to coerce the player into strategizing their battles to min-max character growth, it doesn't necessarily succeed at that in ways that at any point feel good.

This system may sound familiar to Elder Scrolls players in games such as Morrowind, which I feel incorporates this idea much more smoothly due to it being action oriented. FFII is a turn based game, with very few options to directly influence your growth, and many other factors that make the game nothing more than a chore.

Played the GBA version, and used fast forward button a lot.

I found it to be more interesting than the first game, both storywise and gameplay-wise. The story is more comprehensible, and having a lot more dialogue and named characters made it better.

The individual leveling for each stat (which is what basically this game is infamous for), made it stand more on it's own compared to first game, but it was kind of tedious. I grinded for like an hour just to level all my spells so they could even do anything. From what I know they drop this leveling system in later games, and that's good. I thought the first game had more interesting areas, this one had a couple, but nothing I'm gonna remember later. It's a completely fine game.