Written by  :  Aapo Koivuniemi (46)
Written on  :  Jul 28, 2002
Platform  :  SNES

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Grim, sad and dark but still maintains good sense of humor

The Good

Breath of Fire starts off, when your little sister disappears again, and you go looking for her. The girl is found next to a dead (or perhaps just sleeping) dragon. After a brief cutscene, you start sleeping in the same spot. When you return to the village, no one remembers you, and your home has turned into a church...spooky. It gets even spookier in the night, when you and your thief friend go outside and confront a demon.

This game, even though it has no blood, gore, nudity or the f-word, is very mature. The religious overtone, grimness and overall sad atmosphere, combined with a few scenes that would not be out of place in a horror movie, all add to a great adventure. Oddly, it also has animal-type characters, bright colors and other "childish" stuff... maybe they did not want to explore the deepest reaches of grimness?

The game also contains a number of jokes, mostly pretty dark humor. Or is priest named father Manson really that funny? I'd say that it is hilarious.

The Bad

The audiovisual side of the game is pretty bland. The graphics are nowhere near Chrono Trigger, and music is, with a few exceptions, mostly annoying.

In certain places you absolutely need to have some character leading the party to advance. Sometimes this is very hard to figure out and can lead into a lot of frustration.

Also, the "shaman" system for a boost in stats is almost useless. If the changes made were permanent-unless-canceled, they would have been a lot better. Now the "shaman bond" gets cut if you go too low on HP or die, and due to the nature of the game, that happens often.

The Bottom Line

Pretty good early RPG, and clearly intended to mature audiences. While a bit easy, it is still long enough.