Breath of Fire II
  • Genre:
    • RPG
  • Platform:
    • SNES
  • Developer:
    • Capcom
  • Publisher:
    • Capcom
  • Released:
    • JP 12/02/1994
    • US 12/10/1995
    • UK 04/25/1996
Score: 75%

This review was published on 10/06/2007.

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Having learned the ropes of the RPG genre, the people at Capcom decided to create a sequel to Breath of Fire, the game ushered only in stories shared around campfires due to its horrible nature. This time around they seem to have gained some confidence. Enough confidence to publish the game themselves, at least. So how does this one stack up to the dreaded Breath of Fire? You're about to find out.

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The first Breath of Fire featured some great graphics. The sequel, however, completely blows it out of the water. Improvements have been made all around, but the battle graphics received the largest boost. Sprites are much larger, more detailed and better animated. The art is great, especially the character art. As far as the music is concerned, it continues to sound like something you'd hear in the Mega Man X series, perhaps more so this time around. And as startling as it may be, the plot has had a nice lift as well. It's too bad the localization hasn't gotten much better, as it really ruins what could've been a more sophisticated, "riskier" story. Why did I use such a terminology? It is because the story actually takes a stab at a popular religion, somewhat. As bad as the dialogue is, it doesn't do that great of a job at "censoring" the religious bits, which is strange, considering that this was a popular videogame released in the mid 1990s. I guess only a select few played far enough to notice, or maybe no one cared.

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As previously mentioned, the terrible localization was one of the things they didn't improve much at all here. It's still almost as bad as Breath of Fire. Something else that isn't very appeasing: random encounters. The frequency is just so...high. You'll get into a fight every few steps. Some of the regular fights can be difficult as well, so this also adds to the frustration. Then again, the game itself is enjoyable enough that you may be able to look past these hurdles.

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As if a prayer answered by the benevolent beings at Capcom, the menus are now far less of a nuisance to navigate through. They then decide to counter this act of good will by keeping the absurdly short, difficult to decipher item names that plagued the first game. Don't be surprised if you run into the same pitfall of finding items with a purpose that may never present itself openly. I did find it somewhat less prominent this time, but that may just be because I've grown used to it.

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Later in the game, you acquire the capability to "fuse" your characters with these...mysterious shamans. Doing so often transforms them into far more powerful forms that tend to have access to new abilities. A similar concept was present in the previous Breath of Fire, but it's far more fleshed out here. It is an interesting addition.

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I'll end this by saying that Breath of Fire 2 is a step in the right direction. It's still far from anything that could hope to even approach Final Fantasy, but at least it's playable.

Word Count: 536

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