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Final Fantasy H vs. The Drizzle
Final Fantasy H Ooh... spooky...
Fenrir-Lunaris
Download: 3.02 MB
V.S.
The Drizzle
Play Time: 7 hours and 7 minutes
Review # 1 for The Drizzle Ooh... spooky...
Them's Fightin' Words
    My review will be a little different than other people's, especially when it comes to gameplay, because I took on the challenge of playing through the game entirely with one character. Some challenge.
Graphics
    There's been a lot of ranting and raving about the graphics of this game and, though good, there were a many problems. I know that these graphics are mostly ripped, and from various sources. The ripping job was better than most and I'm no ripping Nazi. I'll let it slide, since I'm judging on the quality of graphics and not on the originality (unlike most reviewers). The graphics were very nice, especially the enemy graphics. The hero graphics and walkabouts were pretty much the only original sprites in the game, but they weren't that much worse than the ripped graphics. The hero and walkabout graphics for the Dwarven Monk I used was well below the others as far as quality goes, but Fenrir-Lunaris has acknowledged that the monk class was something of an afterthought. Generally, the rest of the heroes and walkabouts were great.

There were some problems in Paradise however. The most obvious were the maps, where the bulk of the maptiles fit together right (especially in dungeons). Dungeon maps looked especially "grid-dy". Attack graphics were also below-par, but because they were on the screen for flashes of a second, it's really not that noticeable. All in all, the graphics were a mixed bag.

 
Storyline
    I don't know too much what to say about the story. It was pretty generic Final Fantasy stuff, but, then again, it is a Final Fantasy 1 remake. Problem is, it didn't make much sense. Enemies pop up out of no where, enemies act without motive, evil just for the sake of being evil. For some reason, religion inexplicably divides people, which seems to be an attempt at added depth that didn't come off right. My biggest gripe was that the "mysteries" that were revealed were either obvious or didn't matter at all. Obvious: The fiends are the "weapons" of the planet. Don't matter: Anthros are actually Zyran... Does the name of their species completely hide the fact that they're walking wolves? No. I had no idea what a Zyran was at the point that they revealed that Anthros were Zyrans. So I didn't care at all. And even when I did find out, it had no significant impact on the story. Things like this seemed to be thrown in to add complication and complexity to the plot.

Here's something I'll address that not many others have. Final Fantasy H doesn't know whether to take itself seriously or take itself as a joke. At times it pokes fun at itself, however it does this at major plot points, not with some random NPC making an easily forgotten comment. The important enemies are a joke (Garland's constantly plagued by forest imps? Weak...). Pick a mood and stick with it.
 
Gameplay
    Whoa, boy. Here goes... There are some major gameplay issues that should've been worked out. I understand how hard it is to make a game that is balanced for multiple combinations of characters, however, I can't see this game being hard for any combination. Four clerics could likely breeze through this game in minutes.

One iffy thing was that the game couldn't decide between random battles and NPC activated battles. In the beginning, pretty much every battle occurs when you physically run into the enemy, but at the end, this technique was completely abandoned. On with the show...
 
  Battle
    While I was playing, I wondered, "Hmm, did Fenrir even bother to test the spells he'd made?" Magic attacks never hit me. Ever. Maybe once in a blue moon. And once I got armor with that absorbed elements, no dungeon was safe. Also, the majority of attacks did a damage of 1, including the ones in the very beginning. I leveled up very quickly (which is to be expected since I had one character getting the experience that was supposed to go to 4 characters).

Enemies were easy to pick apart. The first time I'd fight any battle formation, I'd have a strategy to beat them. Raise my attack power and go crazy. In short, they were boring. For bosses, I'd raise power to a good amount, then kill. And heal when necessary. Pretty straight forward, pretty simple, pretty boring.

 
  Map Design
    Map design shined. Towns were nice. The towns were pretty natural and each had it's own look. A few doors didn't work here and there, but what did I care. Dungeons: also pretty good. The size of the dungeons wasn't too large but you still managed to spend a good deal of time in each one. Dungeons had a purpose, they were interactive, they were non-linear. However, there were a lot of dead ends. There are much better ways to make a dungeon with multiple paths than to throw pointless dead ends around. Besides, who builds a long hallway that leads to nothing in the middle of their castle? On the upside of the dungeons, there were interesting aspects of pretty much every one. In the ice dungeon, you have to fall through the holes in the ground and land on another level to get to proceed. The fire level was covered in lava that harmed you (not much though, but still interesting). There's a lot more like this.

This game needed a world map. Travelling at the beginning of the game was long and tedious. The "speed increase" I was supposed to get from the Bahamut didn't even increase my speed. That was disappointing. Even if it did work, I'd already had the airship at this time, which made it somewhat pointless.
 
  Balance
    This game was INCREDIBLY EASY. I leveled up in no time flat with my single Dwarven Monk. He was uber-powerful from beginning to end. I never had to fight a single boss more than twice (with the exception of the final boss, but once I got accuracy increasing potions, it was over). I breezed through the game. If anyone ever spent 20 hours on this game I'd be very surprised (total playtime is listed at: 8-20 hours). The walkthrough helped a lot, since very little guidance was given to you as to where to go. It was a guessing game half the time.

Races were an interesting idea, though better in theory than in practice. When it gets to a certain point, whether I'm doing 10496 damage to an enemy or 9849 damage to an enemy, it matters very little.
 
Music
    I've got no idea on this one. I played this at home over spring break, far from my computer that can actually play bams.
 
Enjoyment
    I've said a lot of bad things about the game, but I'll tell you right off, the good outweighs the bad. This game was more enjoyable than you'd think, though battles get tiresome. And it was nice to play a game that actually went in a direction and finally ended. I hate playing demos that get no where and leave you feeling incredibly empty inside (much like the relationship with my first girl friend...).
 
Final Blows
    In short: Just pick the monk (no need to have more than one), put a brick on that space bar key, and sit there for seven hours (or twenty, for some, I guess). Too repetitive. But somehow... still fun? I almost gave it a B- but something about that didn't feel right to me. Though it was well above average for OHR games, the average OHR game deserves an F-.
He's not that tough. I mean come on... a 1 vs. 8 battle and I won? Sucka!

He's not that tough. I mean come on... a 1 vs. 8 battle and I won? Sucka!
Final Scores
Graphics: 8.5/10.0
Great. Other than map "blending" issues and a few big glitches, the graphics were solid. I would've liked to see some more of Fenrir's original work though.
Storyline: 3/10.0
It's typical. It's boring. It tries to be a complex plot. But it's not. Also, inconsistencies in the mood of the game completely took me out of it.
Gameplay: 3/10.0
Completely unbalanced. Pretty boring. I never got hit by magic and most attacks did 1 damage. That's a little bad. Battles are too important. Great map design though.
Music: 1/10.0
Couldn't hear it.
Enjoyment: 6/10.0
Despite obvious and annoying flaws, the game was still enjoyable. Absolutely no replay value though. I'll never touch the game again.
Overall Grade: C+
Final Thoughts
    Serious balance issues prevented this game from being fun. I beat it with one character. Just one. I forgot to mention, saving only at inns or with tents that could save ANYWHERE was a horrible idea. Horrible.  


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