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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a difference compared to the first
I never bought the previous releases. I know it has been released on the PS1 (and therefore compatible for PS2 and PS3) and for Nintendo Portable. I understand they are better value because they include both FF1 and FF2. Unfortunately, I dont have time to play in consoles anymore and I dont own a Nintendo portable, so buying this was a no brainer even though I paid more...
Published on August 17, 2007 by A. Alegria

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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic Reborn Again
A remake of Final Fantasy II is, like the remake of the first one, hard to review. It's a good game for the time of it's release, but a lot of its elements just don't hold up well by todays standards by any means.

Let's clarify one thing, however, the original Final Fantasy II you find on the Super Nintendo is actually Final Fantasy IV. The real Final Fantasy...
Published on July 24, 2007 by S. Rhodes


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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic Reborn Again, July 24, 2007
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP (Video Game)
A remake of Final Fantasy II is, like the remake of the first one, hard to review. It's a good game for the time of it's release, but a lot of its elements just don't hold up well by todays standards by any means.

Let's clarify one thing, however, the original Final Fantasy II you find on the Super Nintendo is actually Final Fantasy IV. The real Final Fantasy II was not released until the Final Fantasy Origins on the Playstation, which it was then packaged with the first one. The game was also released a second time on the GBA in a package called Dawn of Souls. This is the third time the real Final Fantasy II was released in America. The unfortunate thing is that even when it first came to the states in the Origins release, it was dated, and they didn't do much to it in Dawn of Souls and now we've already got a third release of the game, and they still haven't done much to update it. In a sense you want to forgive the old gameplay mechanics. When the game was originally released (in Japan) it was the standard for the time. However, in some ways you wish that Square-Enix would've done more to update this thing.

The game gets off to a fantastic start, at least. It begins with an entire village being burned down as the Emperor continues to take over the world. As the village is burned to the ground, four youngsters managed to escape and are then pursued by the Emperors knights. They're far too weak to take him on and just barely escape death. They're then given the chance to help a resistance group bent on stopping the emperor. For those who played through the first Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II is a big step forward for the series. Your characters, for one thing, actually have names and talk. While the game doesn't focus too much on the storyline, it's nice that there's some exposition, as well as a sense of direction. In the story department, Final Fantasy II is certainly not bad for the time in which the game was originally released. Final Fantasy II's driving force (that either kept you there or drove you away) was the gameplay.

Final Fantasy II was, much like the first one, entirely turn based. That means battles are pretty long and slow. Again, it's standard fare for the time, but it's actually not so bad even by today's standards. It's completely simple, you enter in each characters command then watch them carry it out. The battle system throws in some interesting (and somewhat annoying quirks). For example, a character placed in the back row takes less damage can only damage the enemy with a bow or by using magic. If a character in the back row is using a sword he/she will miss all the time.

Final Fantasy II also breaks tradition. While most RPGs have a level up system of some kind, Final Fantasy II has no such thing. So how do you raise characters? By using them in battle. Depending on what they do, certain stats increase. A character who keep using physical attacks for example, will eventually see an increase in his strength. If you keep taking damage your defense and HP will increase. If you keep using magic, your magic will increase. The game will tell you when stats go up. This system sounds like its awesome, but it has its drawbacks. For one, when certain stats go up, other stats go down. For example, when your strength increases, your magic might go down. It's almost impossible to have a well balanced character if that's what you're going for. It's also annoying because your stats don't increase that fast and it's sometimes hard to gauge just how much time you'll have to spend increasing your stats.

Your weapons and magic have levels though. Keep using a spell and it'll eventually level up. Keep using a certain weapon type (swords for example) and it'll eventually level up. The purpose is simple: A weapon at a high level will hit an enemy several times and the chances of missing become slimmer. Once you give a certain weapon to a character however, you might as well keep them with it. Weapons and magic, like your stats don't increase often or fast, and lower level weapon types often miss a lot.

For some RPGers, this huge focus Final Fantasy II puts on increasing the stats of your characters while leveling up their magic and weapons spells fun. However, at the same time, its dreadfully time consuming. Final Fantasy II isn't a long game per se, but you'll spend a ton of time just wandering around and raising stats. It's also to no consolation that the game is very challenging. And when I say challenging I'm not kidding. The random encounter rate here is ungodly high and its way too easy to get lost when going to your next destination. The good news is you'll know when you get lost: the enemies are too much of a challenge and will often kill you in one shot. The problem, however, is this completely takes the fun out of exploring. Just going as little as five steps in the wrong direction on the world map could be fatal, and what's worse is that the game often doesn't tell you what direction to go. So if you're not accustomed to losing in battle, prepare to do so here. You could try running away, but even if you select for your entire party to flee, you'll often fail. Likewise, most of your enemies will attack before you do.

It's the gameplay that can make or break Final Fantasy II for you. With the challenging difficulty and unbalanced character raising system, some gamers who were introduced to the series with later games (particularly the Playstation era games) will find themselves in frustration. This may be on the PSP, but beneath the surface this is still an old school NES RPG complete with all the limitations and challenges. So it isn't unrealistic to expect the same limitations and challenges, and this in and of itself could completely turn some gamers away.

On the bright side, the PSP version is the best looking version yet. It doesn't take the PSP to its limits, and it's still 2D but the artwork and designs of the monsters and towns is pretty good. So it isn't an overhaul in graphics, but it still looks pretty. Unfortunately, for some, this isn't enough to save the near 20 year old gameplay. The game also sounds really really good, and the reworked soundtrack here sounds even better. It's a fantastic piece of eye-candy on the whole.

The problem with Final Fantasy II is that it's the third release here in the states and it really doesn't add a whole lot of new stuff that you can't get in the GBA version: Dawn of Souls. The fact that you also have to buy this separately from Final Fantasy I doesn't help its situation any.

In the end, if you haven't experienced Final Fantasy II and you absolutely have to, I highly suggest going to your local used game store and picking up a copy of Dawn of Souls on the GBA. It may not be as pretty as the PSP version, but you get it for cheaper and you also get the first Final Fantasy included with it.

Pros:

+It's really pretty
+Great sound
+Not a bad story for the second Final Fantasy
+Exhausting gameplay, there's a lot to do

Cons:

-The character raising system makes it impossible to have a balanced character, and it's also very time consuming
-The challenge may be a bit too steep for fans who began with later Final Fantasy games
-If you've got the Dawn of Souls remake or even Final Fantasy Origins, the PSP version doesn't offer enough new content to justify another purchase, and even if you haven't played the game before, the GBA version is cheaper and includes two games
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a difference compared to the first, August 17, 2007
By 
A. Alegria (Industry, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP (Video Game)
I never bought the previous releases. I know it has been released on the PS1 (and therefore compatible for PS2 and PS3) and for Nintendo Portable. I understand they are better value because they include both FF1 and FF2. Unfortunately, I dont have time to play in consoles anymore and I dont own a Nintendo portable, so buying this was a no brainer even though I paid more than my other cousin gamers.

I have finished playing ff1 and I am more than halfway through ff2. This is a more polished game than ff1 when it comes to story. ff1 lacked character interaction, and the story plot was very lacking. The story is important in rpg games. Playing turn base, random encounters, menu driven battle can be boring if the plot does not give you purpose to go on and keep exploring.

The story has some elements that are almost a ripoff of Star Wars. But it does give you focus. It is very clear where you should go next.

Another thing I found improved was the dungeon design was a little better.

Battle is still handled by pulling down actions through a menu while the game waits on you. Pretty standard on JRPG, and no surprise since ff1 and ff2 are the granddadies of all JRPGs.

One thing I love is that your character can dual wield weapons (one weapon in each hand).

the leveling is kind different from most JRPGs. Characters dont level but skills do. It is like a Oblivion light system (even Oblivion had levels for the character). It works in that you level your weapon and spells by using them. So it is better to focus on a weapon and some spell to take them to the maximum power.

There is a flaw in the system when it comes to increasing HP and MP (health and mana points). You only increase HP if you get hit and lose HP, you gain mana points by using mana points. So you will say, 'well, that is what random encounters are for'. I would answer yes, but the system does not work because 99% of monster you meet in random encounter die in one hit. It is possible to kill all monsters in your first turn without the monster having the opportunity to hit you. And if you dont get hit...yeah, your HP does not increase.

Because of this flaw, your HP and MP increase rather slowly, specially your MP. I had my MP not increase at all because I would save my mana for the boss encounter of the dungeon and would kill only with physical attacks. So this led me to find the well known cheat in ff2. I will tell you the cheat because I found it necessary to survive the bosses (the random encounters offer no challenge like I said above and this can give you a false sense of security until the boss chews your party like a light snack). To increase in power, I would fight outside of town. When my party entered a random encounter. I would not attack the monsters, but I would attack members of my own party. I would take their health down to halfway before I proceeded to kill monsters. This garanteed HP increase at the end of battle. To increase MP, I would cast spells until MP went halfway. Besides, casting spells repeatedly helps level up your spell as well so it is win-win. then you back to town and rest, so you can recover your MP in the cheapest way.

Overall, I am enjoying this game. It looks great on the PSP. The spells effects do look on par on visuals to a newer game. So, if you are PSP lover all the way and never played this game. Then I would say buy it. It is better than FF1 (although I would get FF1 so you can experience how JRPGs started).

Edit: I finished the game. So I am going to adjust my view on the random encounter. The random encounters do become more difficult on past 2/3 of the games, so you start leveling better. I still would do the cheat early in the game so you dont get surprised by the ramp up in difficulty. You still have to do this since the fourth character in your group changes as the story progresses. Whenever I got a new fourth character, I would spend some time leveling him/her up. Otherwise, if you move on with the story, the character would quickly die in the random encounters.

My last suggestion is do not forget to get the Blood sword from the thief, Paul, before leaving to fight the cyclone. This sword makes all boss fights, even the last boss, a cakewalk. I am serious, the last boss will drop so fast that you wil be like "!!!!". I found that I did not have to take any weapon or spell to its maximum power as long as I used this sword. After beating the game, you can reload and try to beat the boss with a fork if you like.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Play it again for the first time, well, again..., August 11, 2007
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP (Video Game)
The early Final Fantasy games only got better with each proceeding installment, and Final Fantasy II improved somewhat on the first game that started the most popular RPG franchise, well, ever. Like the first Final Fantasy anniversary game to get released for the PSP, Square has re-made Final Fantasy II for Sony's portable; updating the graphics, adding a few extras, and leaving the somewhat stale gameplay intact. The graphics and animations have been updated for the modern age, and they look gorgeous on the PSP's screen. Not to mention that the loading times are noticibly shorter than they were for the first Final Fantasy anniversary game, but the buggy leveling system and the constant, random battles are by far the game's biggest annoyance, and really bring down this port. Not to mention that not too long ago, Square ported re-makes of the first two games in one cartridge as Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls for the GBA, which retailed for the same price as either of the two PSP games. Sure the graphics are updated, yet somehow, Dawn of Souls was more enjoyable. If you don't own Dawn of Souls or any of the previous Final Fantasy collections and you're craving some old school RPG action on the go, you could do a lot worse than this. Then again, if you're more used to the Final Fantasy games or RPG's of today, chances are you probably won't dig this too much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality of Story Still Shows Till This Day!, December 4, 2012
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This review is from: Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP (Video Game)
The Final Fantasy series has always been a long favorite of those in the JRPG genre and the second entry in the series, Final Fantasy II, is no exception. The PlayStation Portable remake of the series classic definitely shows the quality of work that went into making this version of the game the best to date. Without spoiling any of the storyline, the updated artwork and character sprites are beautifully done. For a game that has a couple of years under it's belt, the artwork gives a heartwarming view at how amazing 2D animations can look like now. For those that play JRPG's for the storyline will find that you will pick this game up, put it down and walk away out of frustration in a certain scene but you will never let the game go unfinished for how captivating it's script is. Final Fantasy veterans know exactly what I'm talking about. For those who love video game music, this game will sell you on that alone. To say that i could listen to the music in the game and never play a moment of it and still consider my purchase a justified one is a bold statement but one i stick by.

There are some drawbacks of course, players will find the game play to be a bit enduring to say the least. The customization was a bit unbalanced and the combat will become quite repetitious and bothersome in critical moments of the game. While it is easy to say something negative about the game play, some gamers will praise it for doing something unique and different and the end result is indeed an interesting one. It is also sad to see that this does not come with the original Final Fantasy like other versions of Final Fantasy II that has been released over the years.

Who will love it: JRPG enthusiasts that love a great story and the elements that Final Fantasy is known for will be pleased to see how beautiful the artwork and sound is in this new remake of Final Fantasy II.

Who will hate it: Players that do not enjoy grinding to customize and level up characters and skills. Those who hate repetitious game play and battle elements will find it hard to continue such a great story-driven game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the game!, November 20, 2012
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This review is from: Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP (Video Game)
I loved as much of the game I got to play, but unfortuantely, my PSP broke before I got to far into it. But as far as I got, gameplay was awesome, the story was great, as is every final fantasy, and the movement was awesome! I would recommend this for anyone looking into some good old retro gaming.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The updates just didn't go far enough., November 7, 2012
By 
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP (Video Game)
Any Final Fantasy game is bound to have some germ of fun in it, and Final Fantasy II is no exception. Moreover, the remake has really enhanced the sound and visuals. Unfortunately, some really minor gameplay tweaks that would have made the game more playable simply didn't happen. For instance, every tree/building/etc. is solid--no walking behind them--making a path through town sometimes frustrating to find quickly. Furthermore, it's not always clear that you're about to accidentally leave a town and wind up on the world map... and it's almost a guarantee that a random encounter will strike before you manage to take that step back into the town.

It's really only minor annoyances like that which hold the game back. The translation is good, and the leveling system, while a little bizarre, is also easy to exploit. The story is decent and I like the characters. It's definitely an improvement over the first Final Fantasy game; your characters are just as customizable, but they have distinct personalities this time.

This version of the game does seem to be the most "complete." It contains all of the content from previous re-releases (ie., the "rebirth of souls" dungeon) and (I think) a few more tweaks to things like the random encounter rate to make the game a bit more playable. At Amazon's price, it would be silly to pass this up. On the other hand, from what I've heard, there's no great reason to grab this if you already own the GBA version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Fantasy II, November 6, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP (Video Game)
If you are a Final Fantasy Fan this is a must have for your collection. Turn based Fighting system make battles easy. I love this game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Final Fantasy 2., October 26, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP (Video Game)
Of all the Final Fantasys out in the world 2 is by far the most different I have ever played. Without a leveling system like in 1 you level up your weapon and magic skills based upon how much you perform said attack. For example Fire lv. 1 becomes Fire lv. 2 after so much use with a maximum level of 16. The game can be very frustrating at times and might make you rage a little, but if you perservere, you will find a well made story, an amazing villan, and surprisingly dark scenes.

Final score 4/5
If you can deal with the weapon and spell system you are in for a fun game.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great game, June 27, 2014
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This review is from: Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP (Video Game)
I really enjoyed this port to the psp. I never played the original and found this to be a fun way to play through a classic game.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice piece of video game history, February 7, 2014
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This review is from: Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP (Video Game)
This is the remake of the second installment of the Final Fantasy series for the Famicom. It was not released in occident in its time, so maybe you missed it. It has nice enhanced graphics and entertaining gameplay and history. Overall, it is a nice classic RPG.
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Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP
Final Fantasy II - Sony PSP by Square Enix (Sony PSP)
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