Games I beat in 2015: #10 -
Breath of Fire 2
Movie sequels tend to not be as good as their predecessors, but games don't suffer from that stigma. There is the phenomenon of Famicom era sequels being the black sheep of the series (See: Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, and so on) but it's easy to point this to the desire to not be so similar as to make customers wonder why they should buy the game at all. Breath of Fire 2 manages to be worse than its predecessor in some key ways, despite its attempts to make a more complex RPG.
The over-ambition of BoF2 can be seen right from the first town. Doors require a press of a button to open and every single bathroom in the game has a sink with a running faucet. The realism of having to exert oneself to open a door and the beauty of the animated water sprites show that the game's designers wanted to beef up the interaction and graphical power of the game, but they ended up making things feel weird. This is most felt in the menu system. The original game allowed unused buttons to be mapped to submenus such as Items, Equipment, or Magic, and this decreased time in menus drastically. This is gone from 2.
It still feels like Breath of Fire with its over-world interactions of fishing, hunting and turning into a giant frog to leap over short cliffs. There's a Ryu and there's a Nina and even some of the other characters from the first game make cameos. The warm fuzzy feeling does not go unappreciated.
The battle system is still fairly zippy. Characters each have their uses, although some are significantly more useful in battle. The townsfolk recruiting is interesting enough, but nothing too exciting. Which sums up exactly how I felt about the game. It was a sequel to Breath of Fire.