With the release of the Game Boy Advance also came re-releases of NES and SNES games. Final Fight, Super Mario Bros, and the first Breath of Fire are among some of these remakes made specifically for the GBA, adding numerous upgrades to the sound and graphics. And now the 2nd Breath of Fire joins the list. But is it worth the money?
Can't really fault it here. Breath of Fire 2 had good graphics back in the era of the SNES, and the GBA has actually improved on that. Character sprites are large and well detailed, especially during the battles, and the enemies are well animated. Spell effects are suitably impressive, especially the Dragon summons.
Eh... It's not that the sounds are bad; it's just that they're not all that good. Sound effects are used fairly well, but the music itself lacks the factors that make them memorable. Also, some themes are used too often, becoming too repetitive.
Not exactly rocket science; they're simple and easy to use. The only real annoyance for me is that they seem too touchy during fishing.
Again, don't get me wrong, the gameplay itself has no major problems, but a number of factors really drag it down. For one thing, the game can use some added balancing. I've had instances where I leveled my characters 5 levels in the same place before going on with the story, yet still found some of the enemies and bosses to be incredibly tough. Battles also occur far too often for my liking. You'll be buying quite a bit of Smoke to reduce the number of your encounters later in the game. In some cases, the characters, while fairly expressive, could also use some balancing in some cases. You'll find yourself sticking with a few characters consistently while using the others only when you have to. Then we come to fishing. While I'm well aware that fishing is one of the well-known trademarks of the series, the manual doesn't describe it very well and it can get really frustrating at times. Personally, I gave it up early in the game and never touched the rod again. There are also a few translation errors, but they're fairly minor.
In the end though, Breath of Fire 2 is a good old-school RPG. Players who missed the original on the SNES may want to give it a shot. For those who played only the first game, you'll even get to see some familiar faces. Overall, it's an excellent remake and I'd recommend it to any RPG players.
Platform: Game Boy Advance