Final Fantasy II Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 19h 43m
Steps 49366
Gil 372999
Bestiary 68% Complete

Character Levels

Firion

Fist 10
Dagger 1
Sword 6
Staff 1
Axe 1
Spear 1
Bow 1
Shield 9

Maria

Fist 10
Dagger 1
Sword 2
Staff 1
Axe 1
Spear 1
Bow 5
Shield 10

Guy

Fist 10
Dagger 1
Sword 3
Staff 1
Axe 6
Spear 1
Bow 1
Shield 9

Leon

Fist 4
Dagger 5
Sword 8
Staff 6
Axe 10
Spear 7
Bow 4
Shield 5

Final Fantasy II Review


This game has certainly been sitting on the backburner for many years. After beating the original Final Fantasy I tried to get in on the action with the sequel but I just couldn’t pull it off. The gameplay didn’t click. Well, I finally played it from start to finish and I have to say that my view hasn’t changed a whole lot. The story is the strongest part of the game even if it doesn’t touch the newer ones.

The basic plot is that the world is under attack by the Emperor. He has decided to rule over everything just because he can. The heroes are in a rough spot so the queen will now rely on a talented swordsman named Firian, a mage known as Maria, and a strong axe user named Guy. The three of them will need to travel the world and get strong enough to defeat the Emperor. Do they actually have enough strength to do so though? The Emperor has many powerful allies as well as pretty impressive tech at his disposal as well.

This is one of the first games where it took me way longer to complete than the estimated time on the “How long to beat” site. My time nearly doubled it I think at around 20 hours. It’s pretty difficult and that’s due in large part to how the level up system works. See, you don’t have straight level ups like 1, 2, 3. Instead you level up your proficiencies and stats in battle one by one.

Lets say you defeat a minion but you took a hit in the process. You have the potential to increase your max health, speed, defense, and attack power. If you used magic during the battle you may increase that as well. You passively level up your weapon skill as well depending on which kind you have equipped. You can already see how a lot of this is luck based. You increase the chance of increasing your proficiency but it’s not guaranteed. There are a lot of other factors here as well like the strength of your opponents and the duration of the match.

It’s not a very satisfying way to level up though because it’s hard to see when you’re really getting better. You also need to make sure you choose the right spells and weapons or you’ll be wasting your time leveling up something that you’ll never need. Your 4th member of the team also tends to change every other chapter so don’t get too attached. Often times when they leave they will never return so say good bye to any level ups you got.

The weapons also don’t seem very balanced to the point where I discarded them entirely by around the halfway point of the game. Instead I focused on using the barehanded techniques for the climax and honestly they seemed better than weapons anyway. I would always deal heavy damage while the weapons would falter at the worst moments. I have little doubt that the weapons would ultimately be better than bare handed but at least to the point where I was up to this did not seem to be the case.

The final boss was very difficult to defeat like this though. RNG is partially what got me through. See, his attacks were strong enough to not only finish me in a single hit but also replenish almost all of his health. Of course, that was only with physical attacks. On one of my runs I got lucky because he kept spamming magical spells which deal far less damage. I was able to buy just enough time to defeat him before he healed. Even now I think I would have a very hard time trying to defeat him again. It’s rare for things to work out in quite the same way they did here.

I don’t understand why the game went so far as to also make the equipment work against you. Wearing heavier items makes it harder to dodge but you can’t see how heavy something is without going to your character status page and leaving the item screen. Everything just did not feel very intuitive at all. Perhaps there was an easier way and I just didn’t find it. It seems like Final Fantasy II was meant to be very experimental but in this case I felt like it just back fired completely.

FF II’s spawn rate is also extremely high. Enemies are constantly attacking you every few steps. I was able to get in a lot of good reading during every dungeon. I would just keep spamming the attack button as I read through the God of High School chapters. I finished over 100 chapters as I played through this game because the battles took forever and there were so many of them. It was also uniquely useful to multi task in this game since I didn’t need spells and could just use normal attacks for every minion encounter. If I had nothing to distract myself with that would have hurt though.

Final Fantasy II also suffers from being unclear at times. You just don’t know where to go or what to do in order to advance the plot. The worst is when you’re supposed to talk to someone again and forgot to do so. So you go to the next temple but it’s still closed so you have to travel the world again in order to open it. You don’t get to fly until the very end of the game so prepare for a ton of walking. The game doesn’t give you any real shortcuts either so you really feel like an explorer. Just not in a fun way this time.

I could go on, but as you can tell pretty much none of the gameplay elements worked for me. It’s just a title that offered no qualify of life features. The graphics are good though. The character portraits are on point and I did like the minion designs. The game has a very retro sprite look which works well enough. The soundtrack is also very classic Final Fantasy with how each tune sounds. It’s all got a lot of energy and works really well.

As for replay value, by beating the game it seems like you do unlock some kind of new game+. I’m sure that will take you quite a while. Considering that the game is 20 hours long to defeat once, this is probably a 40 hour game or so. I’m not sure what the price is nowadays but it was pretty cheap before so I doubt it would set you back all that much.

Overall, Final Fantasy II is one of the weakest Final Fantasy games for me. In fact, I would have to say it loses to Final Fantasy VII and is my least favorite title. VII has the better gameplay, characters, and stories so II loses around the board to me. Don’t get me wrong, the story is fun and all but it just doesn’t make up for the game’s weaknesses. I don’t really see myself recommending this title to others as well. I’m glad that it helped continue the franchise into its current state but this is an entry you can skip.

Overall 5/10

Taito Legends Power-Up Stats and Records

Stats time!

High Scores

Space Invaders Part II 5000
Space Chaser 15000
Crazy Balloon 0
Balloon Bomber 0
Lunar Rescue 5000
Phoenix 2260
Qix 30000
Space Dungeon 39540
Alpine Ski 7283
Elevator Action 10000
Chack’n Pop 30000
The Legend of Kage 200000
The Fairyland Story 50220
Return of the Invaders 20000
Ki Ki Kai Kai 49000
Rastan Saga 273100
Kuri Kinton 90720
The NewZealand Story 49000
Raimais 50000
Cameltry 15000
Space Invaders 960

Taito Legends Power-Up Review


This is a game that I sort of got out of the blue because I wanted to finally check out the original Legend of Kage. Not only did this collection have the original but it also had the remade version that had a more 3D look to it. There’s a pretty solid collection of games here as well so it’s got some pretty decent value. At the end of the day it’s hard to really deny that this title has a lot of replay value. Surely you should be able to enjoy most if not all of the titles here.

None of the games really have much of a story mode of course since these are really arcade titles. Mainly the point of the game is to play all of these titles out and get your high scores in there. You’ve got sci-fi games, ninja titles, and even a game that’s sort of like Monkey Ball. The amount of variety here is impressive and while you may not put these games up against the true classics like Mario and Pac-Man, they hold up well enough.

Super old games are usually not really my thing since I can only play them so long before I need a break. That being said, I’ll still have fun while I’m along for the ride. Since Legend of Kage is the reason I was buying the game in the first place lets lead off with that. The game involves you throwing stars and slashing away at the enemies. The goal is to make it to the end of the game before they take you down. It’s a rather difficult game but with enough tries you should be able to conquer it. When you lose you can restart as many times as needed so you don’t need to worry about getting a game over. That would have definitely hurt the momentum.

You’ve got games that feature skiing, monkey ball, a bunch of sci-fi shooters, and a game that works a lot like Pac-Man. Basically you have to race around the stage and get all of the pellets before these opposing airships tag you. It’s very difficult because they are much faster than you. I don’t want to say that the game is luck based…but it sure feels that way at times. Escaping these guys is really hard to be sure.

As a collection Taito Legends accomplished what it set out to do. None of the games may stand out on their own but when together they make for a decent game. The graphics are pretty solid here so the quality of the old sprites is on point. The soundtracks are good too. I wouldn’t say they are particularly notable but they do have a lot of energy so they fit right in while you’re playing through the game. You probably won’t even notice the tracks a lot of the time. Maybe if there was some extra rock or something.

Since a few of the games have the original version as well as the enhanced remake it’ll be interesting to see if any of the originals can beat their powered up versions. I find it is usually very difficult to beat a newer version but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Sometimes the new version may try too hard in trying to be better and miss something that gave the original its charm. This title allows you to try both versions back to back to see how it really stands up.

There isn’t a whole lot more to say about the collection due to the nature of the game. Really this will either be your style or it won’t be but you should know right away based on the kinds of games you enjoy. That is really the deciding factor here. I’m not sure I would buy a future Taito collection but if they ever decided to bundle up a lot of very new games that could have a lot of potential.

Overall, Taito Legends Power-Up is a good game. I’d recommend checking it out if you like playing the classic Arcade Games. Naturally you would want to skip it if you’re more into the modern titles with story and cinematics. That’s mainly where I’m at but at the same time it can be fun to relive how the games used to be. After all, for their time I’m sure these were considered to be top notch.

Overall 6/10

Star Ocean: Second Evolution Review


This game has been on the backburner for quite a while. It’s one of the last PSP games I hadn’t played yet so this was cool to knock out. Mixing the classic RPG setup with some Sci-Fi is always fun. The game has a good story and the fact that all of your partners are basically optional is pretty interesting. Apparently the game has over 80 variations of endings depending on how you use your team which is also cool. The game gets pretty difficult towards the end and there’s even a trick you can do to make the final boss even more difficult. You must be a master of the game to even attempt that I would imagine because otherwise that sounds pretty crazy. I was in the mid 80s for my level when I beat the game and while the last two bosses were quite easy thanks to this, taking down some of the earlier Wisemen was brutal with how they would petrify each member.

The game starts off with Claude and his father working on a spaceship. Claude has always wanted to follow in his Dad’s footsteps by becoming a pilot himself one day but unfortunately this isn’t to be. On one of their expeditions he gets a little too close to an artifact and is teleported to a primitive planet on another star system. He now has no way of getting back home. He decides to pretend he is around there. Claude meets a girl named Rena who explains that he is likely the fabled Hero of Light here to save them all. Calamity is approaching after all. More and more monsters have been appearing in the land and nobody is able to stand up to them. Well, Claude will do his best to help out until the crew can find him but does he even want to go back now?

The monsters are the main plot for most of the game but then towards the end we get a full villain group known as the Ten Wise Men. These guys are interesting because the game is definitely trying to go for something with their names here. You’ve got Zadkiel, Lucifer, Michael, and Gabriel all on the same team. Effectively the Angels and Demons have all decided to team up to destroy the universe. Why? Well, to be honest while usually I’d say I couldn’t tell you for spoiler reasons, they don’t really have any reason in particular. They want to either rule the universe or destroy it just because they can. They make for a pretty fun group I have to say. Their inclusion was a little last second but it definitely did help to increase the stakes here. I also tend to like villain groups in general.

As for the main characters, Claude is decent but not quite as good as the average RPG main character. He gets really jealous whenever Rena talks to her old friend Diaz which can get a little iffy. This often makes Claude act rather petty around her which isn’t a good look. I also think he should have come clean with the group about being from another star system a lot earlier in the game. It would have helped a lot particularly since he knew that the aliens were using high tech items as well. A little heads up could have gone a long way to saving more lives.

The death count in this game is absolutely massive. The villains just have more abilities and tech than the heroes so stopping them is really a difficult task. In any head to head confrontation you can really assume that the heroes are about to get wrecked. There are quite a number of fights in the game that you have to lose in order to progress the story. It’s a fun concept for sure but the only dicey thing is you may end up wasting a lot of potions and revives in this fight since you think you have a shot here.

Star Ocean ends rather abruptly without much of an after-ending so don’t expect a lot of closure for the characters. In particular I was expecting one of the old characters to show up again but I guess their premonition that they would never see him again was correct. You get the feeling that this game was left rather open ended for a sequel at some point. You could end the series with this game and it still works but there is definitely enough material for that third game. It’s definitely a satisfying story. I liked the way things turned out and the end of the game got to give Claude a good rage mode so he was more intense at the climax than he was for most of the game. You like to see it because he needed some more intensity the whole time.

As for Rena, she’s a solid heroine. Rena has her own story in the game and I’m sure that would give her even more backstory and personality like exploring her scenes with Diaz and all. She does well and keeps up with Claude the whole time. They have their share of disagreements but Rena is always reasonable about the whole thing. She’s a fun character to have around and has more of a presence than the other characters. Due to the optional nature of the rest of the party they don’t appear in any of the animated cutscenes. Even in the text ones their characters can be interchangeable. For example, I lost one fight with the Wisemen a lot to I had to keep seeing the cutscene over and over again and the side characters would take turns on who would talk to him but with the same dialogue each time. It was pretty interesting to see.

The best of the side characters would definitely be the travelling thief though. Her backstory got more time to shine than the others and since she was with the team near the beginning we at least got to see a lot of her. Some of the guys near the end came in rather late to the point where I intentionally left one of the kids back at base since he would just slow us down. I did like the rival Diaz quite a lot though. His skill with the sword was really impressive. Even by the end it’s hard to say if Claude had truly surpassed him or not. The tournament was a nice little event to show the gap in their abilities.

Not surprisingly the graphics here are really good. The fact that there are cutscenes which are completely animated at different points in the game was also very impressive. You definitely don’t see that every day I can tell you that much. The in game graphics are also on point. Not totally graphics related but I do think the game could have made the animations a little shorter though. Whenever the characters use a super attack there is a long unskippable cutscene that draws out the battles just a bit. Considering that you are going to need to grind out a lot of battles this can add up quite a lot.

As for the soundtrack, that was pretty good. It’s not quite at Tales of tier where each game has a super standout track but it still works out pretty well. There’s a lot of depth to the game so in addition to the 25-30 hours it takes to beat the game you’ve got a ton of replay value. You can beat the game again as Rena or work to get all of the other endings. It’ll definitely take a lot of time to do this so this game will last you an extremely long amount of time. It’s part of why RPGs tend to be some of the best games, you’ll almost always be very attached to what is going on by the end.

Overall, Star Ocean: Second Evolution is a great game. The plot is excellent and the characters are fun to root for. The anime cutscenes help to make this game feel high budget and the whole climax with the Ten Wise Men showing up was really good and kept a high energy approach the whole time. I liked the way you could allocate your abilities into skills as you leveled up since it made you have to decide on what to upgrade first. Strategy plays a huge role in this game. Star Ocean the series is off to a good start so I look forward to checking out more games in the series at some point. Either way if you have a PSP then I highly recommend picking this game up.

Overall 8/10

Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice Review


It’s time to look at the sequel to the first Pursuit Force! I definitely enjoyed the first game and I’m happy to report that the sequel even improves upon it in pretty much every way. This time we have more of an actual story and the car gameplay is really smooth. The only area where the first game wins is in the gameplay when you’re on the ground. For some reason this one is a lot clunkier but beyond that this is a sequel that improves in every way which is always important.

The game starts with the commander about to get married to the heroine of the first game. Unfortunately their wedding is crashed by a few gangs. Pursuit Force fights them off, but the heroine ends up getting murdered in the crossfire. The Commander decides to avenge her so Pursuit Force goes a little harder on crime than usual. Let’s just say that they aren’t taking any prisoners in this game. There are a lot of gangs on the loose right now including a Russian organization. The heroes have some backup in a new group called Viper but these guys are pretty arrogant and don’t seem to like the Force. Can we really stop all of the villains and is something else happening behind the scenes?

As with the first game there are exactly 30 levels in this game. Each level is around 10 minutes long so they’re definitely longer than the first game. This one should take you around 6-7 hours if you factor in the cutscenes. The difficulty level is considerably lower than the first title but that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park. You are still going to need to apply yourself if you’re going to get out of these levels in one piece. There’s a good amount of replay value outside of the main campaign though. There are challenges and unlockables to try and earn. There looked to be quite a lot of them to go through so I think that’ll end up buying you quite a lot of time for sure.

For the gameplay, there are 3 main styles here. First is the combat racing. Your goal in these is to either eliminate all of the enemy cars or make it to a destination in time. You have your main handgun at all times but you can take over enemy cars to steal their weapons. It’s a pretty nice gameplay mechanic and definitely one that you don’t see very often. I found it to be pretty fun at least. This is definitely the best gameplay style and most of the levels use this so I imagine that a good amount of work was put into it. It’s really what the series is known for. Next are the first person shooter levels. In these you are typically manning the gun on a car or helicopter. Your goal is to protect your allies or blast away at a bunch of enemies who are trying to get somewhere. These levels are pretty solid as well but I’ve always preferred the third person view which is why the other two styles win.

Finally you have the levels where you are on the ground and ready to roll. These have you running around and blasting people or handcuffing them if you get close. The first game treated these levels more like the arcade so it was simple and precise. This one puts more emphasis on having proper aim so you usually have to stop moving in order to fire. I feel like it breaks up the rhythm which is why I prefer how it was handled in the first game. If you ask me the first game had the ideal setup with regard to how it was operated. Still, I wouldn’t say that the gameplay was bad either.

One thing to note is that you have a justice system. It gets a boost every time you defeat an enemy or bump into them. When it’s filled all of your attacks do more damage. You can also spend your meter to heal yourself and your car. Finally in the first person levels you can use up the meter to fire a volley of rockets which is pretty handy as well. Knowing when to use your meter will often be the difference between victory and defeat so keep that in mind when playing. It’s very likely going to be the most important thing to remember in the game.

The graphics are definitely solid and there is a noticeable improvement from the first game. We’ve got fully rendered cutscenes in this one which gives the game more of a cinematic feel. The stakes are higher and everything feels more advanced. Then you’ve got the soundtrack which is pretty reasonable. It’s also going for a thriller kind of feel but with mostly public domain type music. None of the themes are all that unique but they’re not bad. I don’t think you’ll be very focused on that aspect anyway while running through the levels.

The story itself is also pretty good with a lot of twists and turns. You may see most of them coming but I do appreciate that this wasn’t super basic. The game can be quite tragic though from start to finish. It’s not the best of days for the squad, that’s for sure. I think there’s definitely enough material here to make a third game someday. With nostalgia being all the rage I feel like a PS5 title would sell quite well. As I mentioned, the gameplay here is pretty unique and I believe a lot of people would enjoy it. I certainly did.

Overall, Extreme Justice lives up to its name. The whole premise of the game is that the heroes are being quite extreme here. While some of the bosses’ deaths may be accidental, some seem quite intentional. Even the ending was pretty surprising in that regard. The main characters maybe can’t even be called heroes by the end as they become more like vigilantes (aka the Punisher) with their emotions running high. Still, the perspective of being on the law at least officially is a nice change of pace since a lot of racing games have you playing as the bad guy. If you’ve got a PSP then this is definitely a solid game to get. You don’t even really need to worry about the first game since it didn’t really have much of a story. Everything really starts with this one.

Overall 7/10

Pursuit Force Review


It’s time to look at a pretty exciting PSP game. This is definitely not a title that I had known about until I received the second game as a gift. Naturally this meant I needed to hunt down the first title. It’s sort of like Need For Speed only this time you’re actually on the side of the law. We also have quite a few different gameplay styles which is interesting. It’s a fun game, but one that is relentlessly difficult. Completing the final levels will likely prove to be some of the toughest racing you’ll have to do and should give you F-Zero GX flashbacks. It’s definitely a game I’d recommend checking out.

There isn’t much of a story here. There are 5 different chapters with each chapter having 6 levels. Completing them all lets you see a quick cutscene as you put the boss away. The main character never talks or anything so you have to sort of think about what the guy’s character is really like. His boss does all of the talking as he takes constant shots at you and always threatens to fire you when you lose. The gangs range from the Mafia to Ninjas, to Jewel Thieves so there is a good amount of variety here. With 30 levels there’s a decent amount of content to get around here but the game shouldn’t take you a super long time. You’ll have it done in under 10 hours for sure and then I suppose you can work on getting higher scores. Unfortunately there isn’t really anything in the way of replay value so the main campaign needs to be what hooks you.

Let’s take a look at the gameplay. The main style is the car sections of course which makes sense. Usually these missions are about blowing up all of the enemy cars or recovering an artifact. The idea is you drive after the cars and start blasting at them with your gun. There is a strategy aspect to this as well though. You can choose to finish them off from your car or jump over and take control of it by taking out the drivers. Usually it’s better to take over the cars but near the end of the game you have to be careful about it. You have two different health bars, one for the car and one for the pilot. If you just finished blasting the enemy car to near death and then jump over, you’re about to take over a car that is severely weakened. Additionally, their guns pack a punch and when you leave your car you are pretty defenseless.

Sometimes it’s better to avoid a confrontation a bit so you can get some health back since it regenerates over time. You also want to build up justice meter as fast as possible since it recovers all of your health and is really good to have when you’re in a jam. Trust me, this will help you out of a whole lot of sticky situations. The time limit will be your biggest enemy in the boss fights though. In those levels you have to beat the boss before he/she escapes so you’ll have to adopt more of a risky style here. I haven’t played combat racing games quite like this one so it was a lot of fun. I could see Need For Speed borrowing some ideas from this someday.

Then you have the first person shooter levels where you are riding in a helicopter and have to blast away at the boats and cars that the villains are using. These levels don’t show up often so they were a fun change of pace. I would say that the car levels were still better of course, but I’ll give the game some props for deciding to switch it up like this. Finally you also have the levels on the ground where you have to strike your enemies down. These are pretty fun even if it feels like not a lot of time went into them. The controls are not quite as smooth as in the other two areas but it does give this more of an arcade kind of feel. You basically run around blasting everyone. If you get close to someone you can also activate a quick cutscene where you knock them out and put on the handcuffs. That’s always pretty satisfying and I actually had the most fun in this mode. I just love a good third person shooter gameplay and you just don’t see a whole lot of those anymore.

As for the graphics, those are pretty good. The PSP always was pretty ahead of its time in terms of the graphics it had. I’d make the case it can hold its own with the 3DS despite that console being a lot newer. As a result you definitely won’t be disappointed at the visuals here. They’re all on point for sure. The soundtrack is a bit more limited since each world seems to only have one main theme but they’re still solid. My favorite theme is probably the one that plays all throughout the Vixens chapter. It’s very fast paced and really gets you ready for the high speed race that’s about to start. For any game it’s important to have a good soundtrack, but especially for a racing/battle title because you need quick tunes to stay in rhythm.

Overall, Pursuit Force is a pretty solid action game. It’s a little on the short side but the difficulty level helps to ensure you won’t beat it so easily. You really have to master each level so some may take you quite a few tries. No worries though, you’ll get the hang of it the more you play. The gameplay is pretty tight and the music themes are also good. There’s not a whole lot more to ask for here. I’m looking forward to playing the sequel shortly and we’ll see if it’s able to match up to the first. I like to think that a sequel should always be better than the original so I’m expecting some big things here.

Overall 7/10

Pursuit Force Stats and Records

Stats time!

Stage Stats (Rank)

Capelli Family

Stage 1 B
Stage 2 C
Stage 3 C
Stage 4 A
Stage 5 A
Stage 6 C

Warlords

Stage 1C
Stage 2 B
Stage 3 A
Stage 4 A
Stage 5 A
Stage 6 A

Convicts

Stage 1 A
Stage 2 B
Stage 3 B
Stage 4 C
Stage 5 B
Stage 6 A

Vixens

Stage 1 A
Stage 2 A
Stage 3 A
Stage 4 C
Stage 5 B
Stage 6 C

Killer66

Stage 1 C
Stage 2 B
Stage 3 B
Stage 4 A
Stage 5 C
Stage 6 C