|Publisher: Squaresoft&Hudson||Developer: Square|
|Reviewer: Patrick Gann||Released: 1991|
|Gameplay: 90%||Control: 95%|
|Graphics: 80%||Sound/Music: 98%|
|Story: 85%||Overall: 92%|
Where can I begin? Oh yes, I know! First of all, this game needs to be ruled out of the Final Fantasy category before I can begin to judge it. Square just stuck the Final Fantasy name on this game to get it some popularity in America. In truth, this game is Seiken Densetsu 1, the prequel to the hit SNES game "Secret of Mana". Now that that's out of the way, I may begin my review.
Let's start with gameplay, eh? The gameplay of this game, being an Action RPG, is very fun. The game plays in a format similar to the first NES Zelda game: control one character that is seen from an arial perspective, and hit one button to slash his weapon. However, it's more complex than that. This game does have stores in which you can buy a multitude of weapons: axes, swords, spears, whips, flails, etc. A lot of special items also end up being weapons. You also get helmets, armor, shields, and MAGIC. The magic is especially fun to play with. There are over a dozen spells in the game, and they're all loads of fun.
The game also has loads of puzzles, REALLY HARD puzzles. Some dungeons have incredibly hard puzzles, and some puzzles are created just to enter the dungeon (need I cite the infamous "figure-8 around the palm trees" puzzle?). Along with this, sometimes a 2nd character follows you. That character often comes in handy. There is a command in the menu called "Ask" which makes the character perform a special action on you. Some characters will fight with you or cast magic for you. Others will heal you or rid you of any poison. Through dungeons, these characters become incredibly beneficial.
Next up is graphics. What all can you say about a gameboy game's graphics? They're standard; not bad, not exceptional, but good. Considering the time this game was created, there are little things that stand out. The waterfall that does some cool stuff throughout the game is a nice touch, and everything looks right (it's not like the sword is so ugly that it could be mistaken for his hand or something). I really don't know what else to say on this one.
On to storyline. For a game like this (a fairly short one...7 hours) the story is pretty darn good. There really isn't any character development, no attachment or feeling towards the characters. But there is a definite strong plot. The bad guys have ambitions, the girl you constantly save is running for her life, you lost your best friend because you once battled in an arena for sport (enslaved by the bad guys). There are motives and there is a definite storyline. If nothing else, this one sets up for a good storyline in Secret of Mana. I definitely liked some of the story near the end, with all of the ancient ruins and everything. Cool stuff!
Control: It's really good. There's no problem with controlling, and the buttons can be set up to make nice attacks with the weapons and magic while also being able to go into menu during battles to get help from friends and use items. I had no problems with control, and it was cool. 95% is fine on this one.
Now for the craziest thing you may ever see during your existence, my music grade on this, a GAMEBOY game. Yes, I realize what I put up there. A 98%. Why, you ask? This music has got to be some of the most ADDICTIVE music ever written. It may be lower than MIDI quality, but the music written for it is pure genius. The original music was used to make some arranged tracks that sell with the OST of this game, 7 tracks that compete with the likes of Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite. The melodies are haunting and unforgettable. The overworld theme, the title music, the dungeons...Ahh, listening to it makes me feel all good inside. This does not excuse the sound, however. Luckily, sound effects were just fine for a gameboy. The sword sounded like a sword, the burning fire magic sounded somewhat like a burning fire. Thus, 98%. You'll never find another gameboy game with better music, I can guarantee it right now.
Now for my overall grade. This game was possibly the best thing that ever happened to Gameboy. Some contend that the Zelda gameboy game was better...No. It may have been more fun, but it lacked things that FF Adventure was full of. Others say Pokemon is the choice for Gameboy RPGFans. Don't think so. Pokemon is way too easy and doesn't have enough depth. In the end, this game is the bomb and don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise.