SummaryOld Skool Is In Session
The GoodThe 16-bit era was more than any other the golden age of Japanese RPGS. So many great titles. From Phantasy Star II, Final Fantasy IV, Shining Force, Lunar, and Chrono Trigger just to name a few. But for now I am to review one of the “forgotten” JRPGS of the era. Namely Breath Of Fire.
Released in 1993. Breath Of Fire, or BOF, is a turn based traditional RPG. From Capcom. And released in the west by Sqauresoft, the company now known as Square-Enix. Just how does BOF measure up in the pantheon of 16-bit JRPGS?
In Breath Of Fire, you are the blue haired hero Ryu.(Who thankfully can be renamed.-MM-) He is a member of the blue dragon clan. Who have long been at odds with the black dragon clan. When the black dragons attack his village, Ryu, is sent of a quest of vengeance, and of course to save the world.
Eventually other characters will join him on his quest. And the are quite varied and unique having both in and out of battle skills. There is Nina the winged princess. Bo who can hunt wild game. Carn is a thief who can disarm traps. And several others.
At one point in the game, Ryu, gains the ability to turn into a dragon. And cast deadly spells in battle. Which in 1993 was pretty damn cool. And this idea would be used in later BOF games, as well as other RPGS. (Including, the amazingly bland Legend Of The Dragoon , but that is another review for another day.-MM-)
The combat is turn based and pretty strait forward. With the exception of the turning into a dragon, as mentioned above. But still fun is that way that only old skool games are.
The graphics are good for the time. Very bright vibrant colors. And all the towns and dungeons you will visit look great.
What can I say? I love the music in BOF. The main theme is heroic and epic. While the world map music is pleasant. And the battle music does not make me want to kill myself. Unlike in some JRPGS I might have played.
The BadSome newer gamers will be turned off by the style of this old skool adventure. As the game has some of the staples of the time. Such as leveling or “level grinding”.
The controls are weird, but not in the way you might think. They work well, it is just that they are not pre-set. So every time you start a new game you must also set the control scheme. Which I found very odd, as this is one of the only RPGS I can think of that does this.
The Bottom LineOverall, Breath Of Fire, is a very enjoyable romp through the golden age of JRPGS. And while it may not be of the caliber of Chrono Trigger, or Phantasy Star IV, it is still a solid game. Worthy of a place in your old skool collection, or ROM collection, anyhow.