This game has remained solidly at the very top of my favorite games of all time list since I first played it back in the Super NES days. That is to say, the days when Super NES was in the latest generation of consoles. Which is something to say, as I have played quite a few games since then. To give you a better idea of why I like this game so much, I think I shall write a review about it! Go:
Although this game gets extremely high ratings in every single category, its highest ratings are found in fun and replay value. As usual, these categories are hopelessly intertwined. This RPG gets rid of everything I find annoying about other RPGs. Mainly, random encounters and exceedingly long dungeons. Of course, this game does have random encounters on the overworld map, but not enough that I’ve ever been annoyed by them.
CAPSULE monsters. Those are pretty fun little things, they are. They act as a fifth, uncontrollable party member that does a variety of things depending on what kind it is. You can feed them various things like swords and helmets and tea to make them grow into more powerful forms, also. The dungeons themselves are very fun to play through, no matter how many times you do them. This is because, as I hinted earlier, they are kept reasonably short. They also have quite a few puzzles in them, such as Tetris-ish block-moving puzzles, that are required to open passages to deeper parts of the dungeons.
The story is also interesting enough to keep you entertained throughout the entire game. It involves a monster hunter named Maxim going on a quest to figure out why he’s supposed to go on a quest. But then he DOES figure it out, and there’s even more story. The interesting story combined with the short and sweet dungeons makes this game perfect for people who just like playing through games quickly and moving on with the storyline. Since the game is so entertaining, and relatively short, it is easy to replay it many, many times without becoming bored.
As an added bonus, and another reason to keep playing, there are two new modes to be unlocked upon beating the game. When you beat the game once, you unlock Replay Mode, which allows you to replay the game while earning 4x the amount of experience and gold from enemies. This allows the game to go even quicker than before, and helps you get to higher levels so you can defeat tough monsters from sidequests that you may have skipped the first time through. If you beat the game on replay mode, you unlock gift mode. Gift Mode allows you to explore the ancient cave (a 100-level optional dungeon) using any character who has joined your party at any point in the game. This allows you to use characters who may have left your party early on in the game, but are better than characters you still have at the end.
The controls are ultra-simple to figure out, and even if you can’t figure them out on your own (not likely) and don’t have a manual(!!), there is no need to worry. There is a guy who will invite you to a training dungeon and explain all of the controls to you at the very beginning of the game. If you still can’t figure the controls out, that’s really not the developer’s fault. The controls are easy and intuitive.
The music is the kind of music all RPGs should have, with town music that, when you hear it, makes you think, “Holy jeez, I’m in a town!” and battle music that gets your blood flowing. The music in this game also has a habit of getting itself stuck in your head (in the good way) so that you’ll end up downloading it and listening to it during your seven minutes of free time that isn’t filled with playing this game.
The visuals are next to perfect for Super NES games. They are completely two-dimensional, without any of those lame attempts at looking 3D (which look rather ugly, in my opinion). Everything is bright and colorful, with no drab and boring scenery or characters.
This game is really a must-have for anyone who is even slightly into RPGs. As for people who usually hate RPGs for whatever reason, this would probably be one of the only RPGs they would find themselves enjoying. It appeals to gamers of all types, casual or otherwise. You won’t have to invest 50-1000 hours into this game, as with many other RPGs these days, but you would most definitely be able to if you felt the need. Unfortunately, this game can be found basically nowhere. If you do happen to find it at some sort of gaming convention or used game store somewhere, it will most probably cost you something like 30-50 dollars. It is definitely worth the price, though. Anyway, if you can find it, play it. You won’t be disappointed.