Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest review (Wii)

jaundice | 457d ago | User review
Reviewing: Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest
Square may be known for their heavy hitters like FFVI, but Mystic Quest is a diamond in the rough.
The Final Fantasy series is arguably one of the most recognizable and well-known gaming franchises out there, and they've made some seriously awesome games (FF6 - if you haven't already, go play it.), but they've also made some games that weren't too well received.

Mystic Quest was pretty much intended to be a dumbed down and westerner-friendly RPG to try and widen the appeal to Role Playing Games, which, at the time, we're essentially a niche market.

The gameplay differs from that of other standard RPGs in the sense that the random battles are done away with and replaced with visible enemy sprites - which are stationary - and "Battlefields." The overworld map is still there, but instead of free exploration, you have a grid based (think Super Mario Bros. 3) map with set destinations. Some of these destinations are the aforementioned Battlefields which allow the player to level up the main character "Benjamin" and any, if applicable, of his compatriots. They are essentially a string of battles purely there to grind for experience.

Also, character customization is gone, armor and weapons acquired are essentially permanent, with only the ability to switch which weapon you use in-battle and the various locales on the map.

Clearly, it was a pretty simplified version of a traditional RPG, and for the most part, it was well received, garnering a 7.25/10 from EGM and a 3.725/5 in Nintendo Power, but the mission of bringing the RPG genre to the mainstream wasn't accomplished with the release of Mystic Quest as was hoped, because this feat was of course later accomplished with Final Fantasy 7.

Onto the meat and bones. Mystic Quest's graphics aren't anything to really write home about, and the plot is dead simple - find a handful of crystals that control the elements in order to save the planet, kill this "Dark King" fella' and go home and sleep.

While those are some of the negative points of the game, the music is pretty damn good. It's composed by Ryuji Sasai, who also composed games like Tobal No.1, Bushido Blade 2, and others. While he may not be a big time composer like the obvious Mr. Uematsu, the composing work is very good, with a nice metal influence in pace and in sound. (Listen to the Boss Theme, and the Dark Castle theme, they're amazing.)

Let's also get another thing straight before we continue - I'm a hardcore FF player, although I detest most of the recent ones with a few exceptions, and despite my expectations from an RPG, and the difficulty therein, I was strangely pleased and satisfied with my play through of Mystic Quest. The game is extremely easy, and I mean, pants-on-head-stupid easy, but it was still a lot of fun. Beating the hell out of enemies in the battlefields was repetitive, but rewarding, pummeling bosses while thoroughly enjoying the music, and eventually decimating the Dark King with "Life" because he's undead, therefore I dealt damage to him over the in-game damage cap.

A lot of my friends and acquaintances almost entirely disregard two games in particular from even being considered a Final Fantasy game, and that's Mystic Quest and Final Fantasy 12. I always ask why they don't like Mystic Quest, and I get a lot of the above - it's too easy, too simplistic, not a real RPG, and while they're technically correct, it doesn't necessarily make it a bad game. I think that while it's easy and simple, it's still worth a play through, and the music alone makes it worthwhile, as well as the simple and enjoyable game play.
Ups
Great Music
Clean Sprites
Easy For Beginners
Downs
Too Easy For RPG Fanatics
No Real Exploration
Forced Grinding
Score
7.0
Graphics It's no Final Fantasy VI, but the graphics are bright, clean, and discernable, very much in the vein of Final Fantasy IV.
8.5
Sound The music is spectacular, with many catchy tunes that are guaranteed to get into your head. The sound effects are par, but the music is what will really keep you going.
7.0
Gameplay Again, a fairly straightforward and easy experience, but the controls are spot on, the menus are easy enough to navigate, and the battles are fluid.
8.5
Fun factor While it's easy, and there's some forced grinding, it's simplicity really makes it shine. There's enough fun segments, interesting bosses and enemies, and unique dungeons to keep you entertained.
0.0
Online Considering this is a SNES title, I'd have to give the online play a NaN out of NaN.
9.0
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
DragonKnight  +   456d ago
If they didn't change this game from way back when it was on the SNES, I really can't imagine how anyone could give it a 9 out of 10. Mystic Quest is Final Fantasy Lite. You've heard of how FFIV released with an easier difficulty in North America than in Japan? The ease of this game puts that to shame.

But given that this gen is catering to the casuals, I suppose this game is right up there alley. Not saying you're a casual, I just remember this game.
ElectricKaibutsu  +   455d ago
I played this game when I was a kid. One thing I do remember, which the article mentions, is the music. There's one part where there's a rock band playing a show and I remember really digging that song :).
jaundice  +   453d ago
Yeah, I tried to make sure to mention the fact that this game really is Final Fantasy: Diet, but still has some redeeming qualities. It's definitely good for those with time constraints - you can knock it out in a relatively short amount of time. I also tried to evaluate each aspect of the game individually, as well as a whole, so that I could come to as objective as a conclusion as possible, though I must admit, I do have some fond memories of this game, even though I'm more hardcore into jRPG's - Final Fantasy, Persona, etc.
flocker  +   453d ago
Overall 9 when everything else is below 9? Makes no sense.

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Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest

Average Score 6.5 Reviews(3)
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