Final Fantasy - Mystic Quest (USA) ROM
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) ROMsGenre: Role-Playing
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Game Description & Reviews:
The planet is dying. Cold winds blow. Fires rage. Trees are withering. In other words, it's brutal out there. Only you can stop the Dark King from consuming the light from the Crystals of Earth. But don't think it'll be a walk in the park. You're up against the sleaziest of slimebags, the evilest of ecto-scum -- we're talking serious monsters here. This isn't your basic shoot-'em-into-smithereens kiddy game, either. You'll have to think your way out of some tough spots. Think you can handle that?
Arguably one of the worst in the long running final fantasy series, "Final Fantasy - Mystic Quest" (1992) is a dumbed-down, westernized version of the popular japanese role-playing game.
Intended to be a "simplified role-playing game designed for the entry-level player," Mystic Quest is a typical SNES-era turn-based JRPG. Those familiar with similar titles such as the Dragon Quest series and the other, vastly superior SNES Final Fantasy offerings will feel at home with Mystic Quest's gameplay. Battles, while not randomized like most RPGs of the time, are done in a turn-based format with the enemies enlarged and centered on the screen, displayed in a fashion that resembles the Dragon Quest or Lufia series more than its other Final Fantasy counterparts. Overworld travel is annoyingly limited to pre-destined "tracks," unfortunately removing any chance of exploration by the player. Dungeon and town traversing, however, differ than most titles in that they include minor action rpg/adventure elements such as the ability to jump and to use one's weapon to destroy obstacles. This is where the innovation ends, however.
FFMQ is riddled with many flaws, of which one of the most apparent is the menu system it incorporates. Traversing through the main menu is ugly and unintuitive, and even the simplest elements typical to the traditional RPG such as equipping/unequipping armor are done automatically. The battle prompt is equally absurd; options are overly simplified and lack any strategic choices that are common in other JRPGs, which reduces the enrichment of enemy encounters. Another personal annoyance is the fact that a character's HP counter lacks any numerical value, forcing the player to estimate their current HP by staring at a thinly segmented life bar (one segment per hit point). Graphics are another issue; FFMQ is marred by big, ugly sprites and mundane background art. Other RPGs released during this period of time boasted far superior visuals, which implies laziness on the part of the creators.
Perhaps its biggest flaw and therefore the major reason one should avoid this title is due to the plot. The story is virtually non-existent, quickly and vaguely explained within the first few lines of text that the protagonist (in true Final Fantasy fashion) must collect the four elemental crystals and save the (completely and mysteriously unnamed) world. Dialogue throughout the game is either badly translated or just plain bad and utterly unimaginative. Location names such as the forest town "Foresta" and the dungeon made of bone called... "Bone Dungeon" are appallingly uncreative.
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is too boring, ugly, and slow for the "entry-level player" and too simplified to the point of being offensively patronizing for the typical 16-bit JRPG fan. This title can only be warranted a play-through by diehard fans of all things Final Fantasy and those who wish to experience every incarnation ever created in the series. When there are so many other classic RPG gems released on the SNES, FFMQ should definitely be overlooked in favor of the numerous and far superior offerings available.
Therefore, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest gets Omega_B's "meh" of disapproval. 2/5
Omega_B: I think it's a bit unfair to rate this game by comparing it to the rest of the Final Fantasy series.
Granted, this game is not for me, either, but in reality-- it was never intended to be a game for me. This game was released to a very specialized, specific target audience. (If you are a fan of RPG's, understand how to play them and have played any more than one title-- you aren't part of that targeted audience.)
The developers never intended FFMQ to be a part of the regular Final Fantasy series. The only thing they share is the name.
Rating this game accurately is difficult.
To veteran RPG players: the game would score very low.
To novices who have never heard of or played an RPG before, and children, however: it would probably score a pretty high rating.
This was my first introduction to the Final Fantasy series. Needless to say I became an instant fan.
Normally I don't like the branch off's from the typical "Final Fantasy series", or any branch off's for that matter, but Mystic Quest was pretty decent, and very enjoyable.
The storyline lacked, I'll give it that. The basic story was to find the crystals, bash the psycho path behind all the madness and restore the world to its original state. A pretty basic, unoriginal storyline without much depth to all the characters. The gameplay, however was much better. The battle style is quite different from that of most of the final fantasy line, you'd have to see it for yourself to understand. It's basically a menu and you have the options to either fight, use an item, use magic, run or defend. But there is no active wait time meter that most of the final fantasy and some other RPG's feature. This is nice if you like to take your time and think out your strategies, but it makes battle so much easier and not quite as exciting.
I still thoroughly enjoyed this game, and although there isn't much going for it as far as re-playability goes, it deserves to be played at least once.
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