Breath of Fire II

Breath of Fire II

"Explode into pieces! ryu"

Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Genre: RPG Players: 1 ESRB: Everyone Difficulty: Intermediate

This was my first Breath of Fire game, followed by the original, then the third. And it's still my favorite. I 'member when I first saw it, a friend was fighting this two headed wolf boss type dude. I didn't like it at first sight, but I rented it anyway, out of extreme boredom. And it surprised me by being a SERIOUSLY sweet game! One of the better ones I've played.

Gameplay-- Pretty good, I should say. During battle, you have the choice (at a certain point in the game) to turn into a dragon as Ryu, the main character. It takes up all of your magic points, and the fuller your MP bar is, the more damage it does. It usually does quite a bit of damage, too. You're also given a special ability for each character to use in and out of battle. In battle, they're all pretty weak, with only a few exceptions. But out on the field, you can do pretty fun stuff like fish, roll around in a little ball, fly, hunt, etc. There's also the unique aspect in the game; you can cmbine your characters with two shamans of different elements to power them up. You occasionally get a new look for the character, that really powers them up and gives them new abilities.

Graphics-- REALLY awesome! The battle graphics are some of the best I've seen on the SNES, and I love the attack animations. The spells and monsters are great looking. The only problem is the pretty feeble world-map character looks. Too small and blocky, for my taste. But greatest of all is perhaps Barubary - the greatest looking bad guy I have yet to see in a video game! Don't ask me why, he just looks like a huge centipede, but he is AWESOME lookin'!

Music-- The music is superb. The boss battle song is the only video game music I remember clearly since the long time I've played the game. I'm listening to it right now, in fact. The other music is great, too. If not Final Fantasy level or anything; for a game on the SNES and of it's time, I would say it's really well done. The sound effects are so-so, I've heard worse, and I've heard better.

Storyline-- You start off trying to hunt down a thief and clear the name of your best friend (a dog headed person... this game is filled with a LOT of guys like that...). Along the way, your dragon powers and heritage are revealed. After you catch the thief; you go on a quest to save the world from the evil churhc of St. Evan. Only late, LATE in the game are you told [Note: Highlight following for spoilers] you are the 'destined child'. The "medium" ending is by far the best, by the way. The only problem is that plot hole the left blank... it's pretty obvious that Patty(Yua) is Ryu's sister, but they don't really dwell on it. Another thing they leave out is Ray being a Dark Dragon, and Ryu a Light Dragon. Both are from the original Breath of Fire, and don't affect the storyline, but can serve only to enhance it.

Fun Factor-- A VERY fun game. You can do small fishing mini-games, and the game itself isn't just a "go to dungeon and kill boss" type game. Certain scenarios to be pointed out are where you have to capture an animal (forget it's name...) to free Spar the elemental, or kill ALL the enemies inside the queen's stomach (a midieval type of libosuction). And the hunting mini-games are VERY cool!

Overall Satisfaction--I was very satisified with this game. I played it all the way through without really doing anything else (unfortunately, this included homework...). A very fun and addictive game.

Highs: Dragon-transformations, shaman-combining, hunting mini-games, Barubary!
Lows: Didn't remark on Patty/Ryu's relationship...
Score: 9

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