RPG Review #105: Final Fantasy Adventure

NuMetalManiak So soon? Already? Been just three days! But yes, I finished yet another game in such a short amount of time. And to think it the number ends in a five therefore I play a Final Fantasy game, or so you think. See, this game may have Final Fantasy in the title, but Final Fantasy Adventure is a bit special. For one, I've technically already played this game already. It was back in review #14 where I played a game called Sword of Mana. Final Fantasy Adventure is the ORIGINAL game, and luckily for me, the first one in the Mana series. So how does this compare to its remake?

Gameplay: Taking a look at what we see here, the navigation is very similar to the original NES Legend of Zelda with square areas that scroll. There's also a shield which you already have (although you can equip better ones) along with equippable armor, helms, and weapons. And the weapons are all different too, the sword is much like Zelda games, but the others have their different uses besides damaging foes. Like the sickle can cut bushes, the axes can cut trees, and the morning star can break stuff. Enemies are quite interesting, have weird patterns, and some are immune to some forms of damage. Status effects are temporary, and there are "party members" except unlike in the remake you have no control over them, they wander aimlessly. But fortunately they don't get targeted by enemies.

Of course, there's HP and MP counts, and also a meter at the bottom that when full, can allow for a stronger weapon attack, although any action can deplete the bar. These are things that definitely carry over into the remake. And to make it an action RPG, there's a level up system. Even for this Game Boy game, there's the choice of which stat to offer bonuses to, although here there's no character classes and definitely not a load of sidequests. The magic spells are different too, the basic healing ones can be used on the double, the elemental ones have different abilities. One hassle for the game is how primitive the equip menu is, you can equip weapons and armor with one menu, but the items and magic share a slot which means a lot of switching, that and the immunities of some enemies is a factor. For all these things, as well as how clunky the thing plays overall, Sword of Mana will always be a much more fun RPG. Grade: C

Characters: As I said before, the additional party members do nothing but aimlessly wander, and sometimes they have attacks or other things. The ASK command lets you do something which depends on the party member, like if you have the Chocobo, you can ride around without fighting enemies. All things considered though, you only control one character, and that's about it. You can name him as well as the female character, this time she isn't playable though. There's quite a lot of personality in these two characters, but they were better done in the remake. There's still some familiar faces who join up at times, including Amanda, Lester, Bogard, and Marcie (Marshall in the remake). Grade: C

Plot: Guess what, the plot of this game is definitely similar to Sword of Mana most of the time. One major difference is that in the beginning after your gladitorial fight, your prisonmate Willy actually dies, whereas in the remake he stays alive throughout. The plot basically follows the main hero's plot in Sword of Mana, which I certainly was familiar with. Gladiator decides to escape prison, gets thrown down a waterfall by Julius and Dark Lord, ends up in Topple, helping the main heroine go somewhere. She gets kidnapped a lot though. Julius in disguise is of course a descendant who wants to have the Vandole Empire reborn, needing the heroine to do so. Much of the plot is basically similar to the remake, you meet Amanda again, fight Medusa, forced to kill Amanda to get her tears, find Lester and defeat Davias (known as Devias in the remake), defeat Dark Lord, land in the town of Ish (Ishe), find the Excalibur (which IS the Sword of Mana, mind you), find Dime Tower, have Marcie help you out before its sacrifice, then finally confront and defeat Julius, and the heroine becomes the new Mana Tree. See? Quite similar. Not much to really say besides the fact that the plots are quite similar. No wonder Sword of Mana was better at this. Grade: same as the one for Sword of Mana's plot, so B.

Music: And did you really think the music was gonna be too different? Yeah, I remember many tracks from the remake but they originated here, and they still aren't half bad! The overworld themes and dungeon themes I remember, and they are a little cuter on the Game Boy. Game Boy Advance sounds are pretty strange to me at times. That's just my opinion though. Grade: B-

Overall Grade: C+

Not much to really say. The remake gives a TON in comparison to this game, but I'm rather glad with how quickly this was to do. Simple and that's neat.