Breath of Fire II
Breath of Fire II is the sequel to Breath of Fire. It is set 500 years in the future, and stars a couple of familiar faces from the first game, along with a brand new cast and amazing story.
Release Date: April 16, 2002
Platforms: GBA, SNES
JustRPG Score: 62%
+Decent Game Play System
-Cookie Cutter RPG
-Players may have to grind on occasion
Breath of Fire II Overview
Players take control of Ryu Bateson, an orphan, as he attempts to find out more about his history. He has the ability to transform into powerful dragons, and is joined by a friend of his who is a talking dog man that uses a crossbow to fight. Ryu ends up finding out that demons threaten the world, and he sets out with his collected friends( one of which who is a massive armadillo man) to stop the demons and prevent them from destroying the world.
Breath of Fire II Screenshots
Breath of Fire II Video
Breath of Fire II Review
By, Tony Ames
When you think about it, games like this Breath of Fire II re-release are quite amazing. Just set the cartridge next to its Super Nintendo counterpart. It’s astounding. Pity the game itself does nothing that impresses half as much as this little exercise.
It’s always a little depressing when you look at the instruction manuals for games on the GBA. Most of them have really good character art. But the game, limited by technology, falls short. It doesn’t look bad, of course, especially if you like older sprite-driven graphics. It’s just disappointing.
Actually, when something is limited by technology, the thought of what might have been always nags. I mean, listening to Breath of Fire II’s music makes me cringe a little. But, when I pull out some headphones and listen to the composition, I start thinking about how the game would sound with real instruments. But, imagination doesn’t change the fact that the synthesized instruments sound like crap.
What were most annoying though were the personal actions. Several characters have abilities on the world map that allows you to navigate areas of it. Which is ultimately a not-so-subtle way of forcing certain members into the party. Which isn’t unbearable on its own, but then it leads to some of the most pointless quests I’ve ever seen.
For example: You’re chasing this bat-winged woman to prove your friend innocent. You find a frog in the woods. He asks you to get a witch to change him back. You scale a tower, beat the witch, and the frog becomes… a frogman. The frogman lets you access a town in the lake. There, he’s arrested for ‘impersonating’ the prince. Then his sister asks you to prove him to be the real prince. It turns out he gave his royal pendant to the witch as a gift. You go to her tower, but she isn’t home. Then you track her to this restaurant, and get it back. You take the pendant back, and it turns out the fake already has a fake pendant. So they decide to have a cooking contest. You have to go find worms, cockroaches, and flies to use as ingredients. You do that, fighting three bosses, then it turns out the contest is rigged anyway. But then the fakes cover is blown, so he takes the princess and runs. You catch him, he transforms into a demon, and you kill him. After all that, you talk to the chef, and he tells you that they recently caught a bat-winged woman. And then you tell them you need her, and they let you have her.
What’s really sad is that this is not the first thing that happens when you start looking for this girl. You have 3 other slightly shorter but similarly pointless quests. In other words, you spend nearly half the game doing one thing that ultimately doesn’t effect the overall plot.
It doesn’t help that in all of this very little attention is paid to the cast. In fact, most of them wind up pretty much the same as the plot- pointless and fluffy. Well, that’s not entirely fair. There are a few funny scenes involving the female cast, generally involving heaping abuse on hapless bystanders. Other than that, each gets an obligatory quest devoted to them, after which you they could burst into flames and the story wouldn’t notice.
Really, the best part of the game is combat, which isn’t without its problems. Tried and true turn-based combat is the flavor of the day, with no particular additions either. There’s an interesting system called Shamanizing, which allows your characters to join up with Shamans, altering their appearance and stats. Of course, you have to scour the earth to find these Shamans, if you want them. You don’t necessarily need them though. But that’s not why combat stands out. Instead, it’s because as the game progresses the bosses become a fairly good challenge, thus making Breath of Fire II a worthwhile game to those that want to sweat a little in fights, at the very least.
The game has relatively little to offer besides the main quests and seeking out Shamans, and is fairly short by modern standards. I don’t have an exact time, but the game couldn’t have lasted longer than 25 hours. In fairness, that’s pretty typical of Super Nintendo RPGs, if not a bit above average.
Ultimately though, I can’t say that I really enjoyed Breath of Fire II. The story is almost insulting until nearly the end, I didn’t like the characters, and combat was by and large pretty boring with all too many encounters. But, the latter half of the game is worthwhile for people seeking a degree of challenge, and the game is fairly inexpensive nowadays, so it may be an option for those with tighter budgets.
Final Verdict: 62%
Breath of Fire II Videos
Breath of Fire II Game Play