I finally wrapped up my time with Final Fantasy II. It feels good to get another game done on my quest to complete all the main (numbered) Final Fantasy games. FFII provided me with around 25 hours of play divided mostly into 5 to 10 minute chunks. It was great for killing a little time here and there, even if playing it that way made the game take months to complete.
I've already posted some thoughts as I was going along, but what do I think about FFII overall? Well, it's an improvement over the first game. I can tell that the designers were stretching themselves and trying new ideas which is always worthy of praise.
There is an actual story this time, something that Final Fantasy I failed at. FFI had the general knowledge that bad things were in the world and needed to be destroyed. Final Fantasy II, on the other hand, had 3 main characters that get caught up in a rebellion against an oppressive empire (I already see precursors to FFVII).
I find myself glad that my characters had names, friends, enemies, and families. It wasn't a party of Warrior, Black Mage, White Mage, and Thief. Instead, I got to explore the world with Maria, Guy, and Firion. The fourth character slot featured a series of allies that came, went, grew, and died along the way. I'm greatful this game had a cast of characters instead of a bunch of generic NPCs.
This skill advancement system must have been mind blowing when FFII was originally released. The idea that characters can only advance skills by using them is a departure from the standard "level up" system. It's amazing to me that designers are still trying to perfect it today. Just look at Skyrim, an RPG totally devoted to that system of advancement.
Final Fantasy II was another classic dungeon crawler that I enjoyed spending time on. I'm already having fun seeing the Final Fantasy series advance in small amounts. Next up, FFIII.