|A small world marked with a single tower. It is said that within this tower is the land of Paradise. A wonderful, carefree place where you can live out your life in sublime happiness. But it has been a long time since the Tower has been opened. After time, the fact became story, became, legend, became myth. Now a group of adventurers wish to see if this place really exists. They set off from the base of the tower to find the means of opening the tower, and uncovering the secrets held inside.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, there was a lot of mis-titling of Square's games. And it began here. Final Fantasy Legend is actually the first SaGa title released. However, outside of Final Fantasy (NES), there had been no releases from Squaresoft in the USA that had a great impact. It was then decided to name it Final Fantasy Legend. This, according to them, would attract all of the folks who enjoyed the original Final Fantasy. And they were correct. It was quite a success on the Gameboy. It would later spawn 3 more titles under the "Legend" banner in the US. But this was indeed the first portable RPG from Square, that brought a whole new group into the fold of Final Fantasy love. But this is the very beginning of the confusion of titles that would last until the release of Final Fantasy VII in 1997.
Ok, now that we have that sorted out, let's get to the actual game itself. Now, even for a old school GB game, this one is fun. And more than that...it can get quite addictive for some reason. Well, a few reasons actually. First one being the innovation of character choices. You can havev a party of 4 chosen fro up to 14 characters. Male and female humans and mutants, and a host of monsters to choose from. And with the guild in the base town, you have the ability to change them out as you see fit. This is enough right here to bring the gameplay elements up a few notches from what we were accustomed to.
Another interesting thing is how leveling up was managed. Humans were leveled using purchased items. Mutants leveled after battles, and were proficient with magic. Monsters leveled up only by eating the meat of other more powerful enemies. These twists in the leveling system were pretty interesting, and added a great deal of fun as well. Not to mention forcing a more thoughtful means of strategy for the player.
The story started out pretty good for the standards of the time. Pretty darn good. But once you enter the tower, it seems as though the story gets lost. Things you think you should be told about are kind of skipped over, and or left out. Leaves a bit of emptiness to the remainder of the game. It could have been an even better story than that of Final Fantasy...if it did not stumble so badly from the Tower on.
That being said, graphics were actually very impressive for the first time out the door on the hand held devices. Though maps and dungeons had very simple graphics, the characters and especially enemy/bosses were nicely detailed for the time. And the Bosses disolve is still pretty awesome considering the system it is on.
Sound quality is not so great. And that also has a little bit to do with the systems lousy sound ability. But the music is properly mooded...though a bit repetitive. Sounds are all over the place from weapons being used, to magic being cast on you or the enemies. Not great, but certainly a great push for the hand held.
Overall, this is indeed a great game to play. The replay value alone with the many different party choices just makes it fun. Add a slew of weapons and spells to use, and you got more than enough hours of play time to keep you satisfied. If you can find this title for the GB (GBA if you have one), you need to get it. Trust me when I say this is a fantastic little gem of old school RPG classics.