To all those retro gamers, this collection is one favoured by many. Revisiting the original GameBoy title, this game has brought back many nostalgic memories for players. Due to now being released on switch, a new approach to controls is introduced. The game can be played via joycon – but if you fancy a more hands on approach, controllers can be removed and touchscreen controls are implemented. If you really want to take it back to 1989, you can hold your switch vertically to mimic the GameBoy and enjoy this game as it was intended.
From the opening screen, you can choose from three different titles. Final Fantasy Legend, Final Fantasy Legend II and Final Fantasy Legend III. To anyone who played these games before, it’s a nice trip down memory lane. But to many who are unlikely to have experienced these before, they can be a little tricky to pick up.
A breakdown of titles
Beginning with Final Fantasy Legend, as soon as you start, RPG instincts kick in. You will find yourself desperately running round to talk to NPC’s to uncover the next steps. Unfortunately the game lacks in detail and from time to time you find yourself feeling a little lost. Once again talking to those who haven’t played these games before, you aren’t really told why things happen. Why do you eat monster meat after it’s dropped? Why does nothing happen? What does each class mean when you choose from a big list at the beginning? Just a forewarning, these questions will probably remain unanswered. When you get into the groove of things, you’ll begin to piece things together.
Final Fantasy Legend II follows a more rounded narrative and presents more information from the get go. You chose from a list of races again, but you’re given a party from the beginning. As a whole it seems far more streamlined and feels more accessible. Since I had no prior experience with this collection, I’d argue Final Fantasy Legend II was my favourite of the trilogy. Although it also triggers RPG instincts and you need to run around harassing townsfolk to see where you need to go.
Since Final Fantasy Legend III is the most recent release in this trilogy, it shows the most development. After playing the first two games, this change does seem a little jarring. It introduces the concept of time travel and strays from the comfortable storyline you’ve just settled into. You’re also able to jump, which makes dungeon exploration just that little bit more exciting. It’s also a little longer than the other two titles – so as a GameBoy game it’s definitely considered pretty revolutionary.
The soundtrack for each title is notably wonderful and definitely brings the same joy as it would to a first time GameBoy player. Battles are tense and towns feel like home, no matter where you are the bubbly soundtrack feels like a memory. Even though this is a Gameboy adaptation for the switch, it is executed remarkably well. However when using joycons, the controls occasionally feel a little sticky. On more than one occasion I overstepped a location by about a square and ended up back in the main map. After a few hours of gameplay this becomes less obnoxious and you definitely take it into account every time you move.
As a whole, this collection is definitely one worth picking up if you want a comforting trip down memory lane. I’d recommend it highly to anyone who played these games when they were released on GameBoy. To new players, maybe give it a thought since they can be considerably difficult to understand, but if you’re up for the challenge – what’s stopping you?