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Breath of Fire (Game Boy Advance)

72
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  WWWWolf (422)
Written on  :  May 12, 2004
Platform  :  Game Boy Advance
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

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Summary

Fun - if at times frustrating - fantasy ride

The Good

Graphics are pretty cool, and music is very good. The environments are beautifully drawn and the enemies are nicely detailed.

Sometimes, the whole thing gets completely Epic.

And on a personal note, there's this wolf guy as one side character and the lead character can turn into a dragon. That's *so* cool.

The Bad

As far as games go, this thing is really straightforward what comes to method of operation and plot.

The paper-thin plot goes on linearly without any surprises. I was expecting a more twisty plot, but looks like the game doesn't really get complex at any point.

Puzzles aren't very challenging, unless you forget what you was supposed to do. (Don't know how intricate they get, I'm only half-way done right now.) Gameplay is uninspiring: Random encounter after random encounter. Walk two paces, kill monsters, repeat ad nauseam.

Squaresoft did a pretty nice work translating the game and it hasn't been revised much because there was no need, but still, I would have hoped some more adjustments on GBA age. Due to the frequency of random encounters, that "Mrbl3" thing sure is useful, but some further explanation might be helpful, as I still don't know what that thing *is*....

The Bottom Line

1993: Let's see. Ultima VII came out the earlier year. And here, the wacky Japanese come up with a game that has the plot "Blue-haired guy kills the forces of the bad guy and saves the world", with tried and true game mechanics from the NES era. Please excuse me while I yawn...

...now, thank you for waiting. The game is actually rather interesting, but not really the best possible concept - not the best of its era, not the best of what has ever been released. Yet, it is very playable, and while the plot is completely unsurprising the game can still keep me playing it. The game is more about fights with random very strange creatures (yep, there sure are a lot of fights!), seeing beautiful locations, and exploration without any rewards.

You control one character at the time, the party is limited to four other characters (though up to eight can hang around with you - you need to choose which characters are active). The fights are rather typical to JRPGs (fight moves, spells, item uses, the works...). You can save in towns, and I believe an instant save feature was not present in the original (nor was the ability to swap stuff between carts using link cable).

I'd definitely recommend this to everyone who likes cartoony fantasy stories and who don't find constant fighting irritating. GBA version has been a very nice filler for longer train trips for me..