Final Fantasy Adventure

Game Boy

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 8

The Final Fantasy series has always been a love-it-or-leave-it series. Either you enjoy its RPG stylings and storylines or you don't. Well, except Adventure...most likely because it's not really a Final Fantasy at all. It's actually a sort of prequel to the SNES multi-player classic Secret of Mana, one of the all time greats.

Taking place within the empire of Glaive, the hero of the story is forced to battle for the pleasure of the typical evil ruler. You learn of a secret pendant, the mana tree, and the girl who can change the fate of the entire realm. It's your typical medieval storyline filled with various creatures the genera is known is for. The quest is rather short (at least compared to more modern games in the series), clocking in at about 8-10 hours max. The world the game takes place in is also small, but it's much harder to get terribly lost and waste hours wandering about for no apparent reason.

Anyone who has checked out any of the 2-D Zeldas (or of course the Secret of Mana series) will feel right at home. The game hardly strays from the standard formula set by those games, with creature encounters occurring on nearly every screen. Weapons can either be purchased at one of the many shops or found via treasure chests dropped by monsters. Certain weapons may only affect specific creatures so be prepared to experiment when the time comes. There's also the usual variety of armor, potions, magic, and skills you can earn by leveling up. Certain characters will also join in on the quest and lend a hand at various points, but these are handled by the AI and not the player.

For a 2-meg cart, there's quite a variety of creatures to destroy. Each "section" of the game features it's own array of murderous monsters. Of course, they get stronger as the game goes on as does your character. There's nothing really spectacular here to look at and most of the monsters look like simple icons than anything else. This of course excludes some of the bosses which take up ample screen estate. Backgrounds are standard fare, filled with trees, snow, sand, and grass.

Unlike the variety in the graphics, the music is severely hampered. Roughly 4-5 tracks will carry you through the most of the game and while catchy, you can only have so much of a good thing. The Chocobo theme is a perfect example. You'll love it for a minute or two until it drives you insane three minutes later. Sound effects don't help much either with simple static passing as a connected hit.

Besides the music, there are a few other annoyances as well. Talking is simply a matter of walking into a person without any type of button press. It can be infuriating when the brain dead AI either won't move out of a pathway or walks directly into yours for the same conversation you just had... 3 times. The menu system could also use some streamlining. Switching weapons is a constant problem late in the game and cycling through 3 menus to choose a weapon gets annoying quickly. And finally, most players may be turned off quickly by an extreme difficulty for the first hour. You're horribly under-powered from the start, but once your stats start to rise, the difficulty drops significantly. Just give it time.

Many people don't even acknowledge this game as part of the Final Fantasy series and that's a crime. This is a great playing adventure, light on RPG styling, and just concentrates on all-out action. Fans of the Zelda series will be especially pleased with this one, and there's nothing to be ashamed of for Final Fantasy fans. They should spend their time complaining about Mystic Quest.


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Last updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 09:03 AM