I'm late by a few years with this one, but it wasn't until recently that I finally was able to start it. If you have read my entry on backlogs then you are more than familiar as to why it took me so long. I ended up playing the PSP version of Final Fantasy II seeing as I could play it on the go and at work when I had downtime. To show just how bad my backlog had gotten it still remained in the wrapping. I bought it a year ago during Gamestop's game days sale they have once a year. Most of my PSP games were still wrapped up until I got around to beating them some months ago.
After having just beaten Final Fantasy 1 I was more than ready to conquer the next game in the series. Never in a million years did I ever think I could hate a game as much as I did this one. How anyone was able to put up with this ridiculous excuse for an RPG is beyond me. Below are a list of reasons why this game almost made me throw my PSP threw a window:
Level up? That's for suckers!
Square-Enix(back then known as Squaresoft) decided to mix up the traditional style Final Fantasy 1 invoked by removing the need to gain EXP to level up. Instead, the more times you use a black magic spell like Thunder, for example, it levels up and gets more powerful. This goes for gaining health, magic, and pretty much every stat conceivable. Even weapons level up so they can get potentially stronger. So in order for me to get a Thundaga like spell I have to spend hours spamming that spell? Why is Ultima, the most powerful spell in Final Fantasy lore, dealing less than a thousand damage? And why do I have to level it up? Shouldn't it already be at a high level since its, you know, the ULTIMATE spell? Also you better level up every elemental spell in the game otherwise you'll be SOL come time you fight a boss with an elemental weakness.
Hey a new character! Wait….
So you just got a new character to join your party of rebel fighters? Awesome! Time to level up his/her magic, weapons, and all of his/her stats so the next dungeon is a cake walk right? Wrong! That character will probably only be available to you for a dungeon or two before they leave or something happens to them where they are no longer useable. Well then just don't level them up right? Nope nice try but then he/she will consistently die and just be a nuisance to the team. The worst possible part about this is when at the end of the game they decide to give you a character that actually stays, but he's so incredibly weak! Its the end of the game! They should be at the same power range as my other characters! Why the hell should I spend all this excess time leveling their stats up when I should be going through the final dungeon?! Bullshit.
Random encounters are hell.
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Final Fantasy II is the random encounters. Of course with it being an old school game the encounter rate is fairly high, but I wasn't bothered by that until it got to a point where I was dying every time I got into a battle. Dying in a battle isn't uncommon. What is uncommon is having the enemies be harder than the bosses. Why in the holy hell is a Death Knight doing upwards of 3k damage to me when the giant boss I just bested did only 1k damage? I have to fight these knights throughout the dungeon. They weren't mini-bosses or anything thing of the sort, they were just plain old enemies. What the fuck is wrong with this game! Were they so bent on making it difficult that they forgot to add any sort of balancing to the enemies and bosses? How was I able to beat the last boss I fought so easily when the enemies I had to fight in the dungeon were so much harder?
In all the games I've played I have never been more frustrated. The game is stupid broken, resulting in numerous times when I wanted to pummel every last developer that worked on this abomination. If anyone tries to make me place this game again I just might cry tears of frustration and shame.