The Review: Is Final Fantasy II – Anniversary Edition Worthy of Its Legacy?
This was the other remake I completed on my PSP and I have to say, it’s just as good, even better than the first. I must admit, I haven’t played this one in its original edition so I have nothing to compare it against except various reviews of the original by other people. Again we have the beautiful high resolution (for the PSP screen) 2D graphics, the recognizable Final Fantasy music and the good old Square style which seems lost on the newer games. Again, not much has changed from the original, other than the addition of the optional dungeons. Again, we have the pure retro RPG experience.
So why is it better then? Because the original Final Fantasy II was better than the original Final Fantasy I. It had a more complex story, a more complex level up system and many of the “rookie” mistakes of the first game were fixed. This time, there are no levels and no experience.
Whatever it is that you use in battle is what increases after it. Use sword attacks? Your sword skill and offensive physical attributes increase. Get hit by spells? Your spell resistance goes up. Use a spell? Its level will increase. This is a system that is extremely simple to use and understand, but that at the same times creates a huge complexity in your choices. There is also no limit to it. If you use your characters in a certain way, you will get your tanks, mages, healers, and other typical roles, but there is nothing stopping you from doing some grinding and building up characters.
As I understand from other people, this system was also a bit of an issue in the original game. You could abuse the system by attacking your own party members, which would always give a more sizable increase compared to regular enemies. You were even encouraged to do so to go past the pretty high difficulty level the original game was known for. I don’t know if they really changed this, but throughout my playthrough of the remake, I never once felt the need to do this. At a few points, the difficulty of the game would increase quite a bit, but with a bit of smart spell use, my characters would quickly catch up.
To conclude, Final Fantasy II – Anniversary Edition is true to its roots and a great Final Fantasy game. It gets an absolute recommendation from me.