Hello everyone, welcome back to the retro corner. This week, we’re covering my favourite Gameboy Advance game, aside from the Pokémon series, and that’s Breath of Fire 2. This game originally released back on December 2, 1994 and has had subsequent re-releases over the years. It released originally on the Super Nintendo, then on the Gameboy Advance, and is now mainly available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console.
The game opens with you controlling the blue haired protagonist Ryu as a child, and you’re told by your grandfather to find your sister as she’s nowhere to be found. After finding your sister sleeping next to a lifeless dragon, you return to the village alone to discover that your grandfather and sister are both missing, and no one in the town remembers who you or your family are. After being taken in by the orphanage, you runaway with your new found friend to a cave west of town, where a monstrous demon states that you are the destined child and proceeds to knock you out. The game then fast forwards 10 years, with you and your best friend taking jobs as mercenaries for hire, having just taken a job to find a thief. This sets off a chain of events that leads your group across the continent, finding new party members and trying to solve the mysteries of your main characters past.
Much in the vein of Final Fantasy games, Breath of Fire 2 is a turn based RPG that has a party system to organize your characters. It’ll usually set the battle up on a pitched vantage point, depending on the terrain you’re fighting on or type of enemy that you’re fighting, adding a bit of immersion to the mix. As well, each character that you get in your party is completely unique, as they’ll have their own unique weapons, stats and fighting style. An example is your childhood friend Bow, who, unsurprisingly uses a crossbow in combat, and is the only one you ever get in your party that can use that weapon.
The game itself received mixed to positive reviews, ranging anywhere from a 6.3 to a 8.9 out of 10. Many of which felt that the graphics were of lower quality than the standard at the time. Myself personally found that they were fine, as it seemed like more of an art style than purely graphical.
All in all, this game was still one of my favourite games to play as a child, even if it was on one of the re-releases. If you’re looking for a turn based RPG with a large set of unique and remarkable characters, this is one I would personally recommend to any of you.