I finished this game yesterday. I really can’t recommend it however… I only finished it off because I’m trying to polish off all my GBA and GC games this year.
If you are foolish enough to play this game however, here’s a few things to remember.
Use a guide when building your city and recruiting people. You’re given a choice on what kind of house to build, but the game doesn’t tell you what benefits each kind of house gives you. One gives you an item alchemy system that can be gamebreakingly useful, but only if you recruit the right people for your town. The others do things like telling you how long you’ve been playing the game. This is a major annoyance for me, as this should be a feature that every RPG has right in the menu, and yet, they lock it away in this game so that you have to sacrifice a much more useful feature to get it. Terrible design.
Once you pick the house that lets you do alchemy, you need to recruit people for it that give you the items to alchemize. The problem is, you have 6 houses you can fill, and there’s tons of people to recruit in the world, and you can’t get rid of someone once you recruit them and figure out that they’re completely useless. Use a guide to find the person who has the GOOD armory, the person who sells fish, etc. I ended up with a house full of cats because I had no idea they were recruit-able, and a useless armory, etc…
Next is the battle system. there’s usually no strategy at all to it, and for most enemies in the game the optimal strategy is just to hit the auto-battle button, and stop it if anyone gets too low on health. Battles are irritatingly frequent as well, happening every 5-6 steps often. You’ll want to keep a walkthrough up and highlight the sentence in the walkthrough you’re currently doing so that you can remember the goal you’re working towards as you’re interrupted 5-6 times while finishing it. The boss battles have a little more strategy, but it usually boils down to staying alive while restoring Ryu’s AP so he can do another 999 damage dragon attack.
The storyline? It’s a bit better than BoF1, but that isn’t saying too much. You can tell that they improved a lot by the time they did BoF3 however… Each game in the series gets just a bit better.
In any case, recommendation on this one: Pass.