I want to add “for a Super Famicom era game" to this post's title, but as I find myself pressing select in Final Fantasy 9 to back out of deep sub-menus — and failing —, I have to realize how often these twelve or so buttons buttons we have are not utilized. Breath of Fire makes a few mistakes here and there, but I am constantly being surprised by how well they handled all of this. The main point is that X, Y, L and R can be set to any of the sub-menus. Even having them hard-locked to something would have been nice, but they are completely customizable. With a tap of R I can select spells to cast. L gets me to my equipment and X to my items. If I just want to see my character’s stats I can tap select. From there I can press A to see the remaining menus.
But those details were rarely found in the games of its day, so I have to applaud Breath of Fire for doing everything else that it did. Navigating RPG menus is rarely as nice as and fast as it was in the original BoF. Capcom had some great ideas here. Unfortunately, it seems like they fucked up Breath of Fire 2.
To be continued...?