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"I'll Protect Her With My Life" – Expansion of the world of Blackmoon Prophecy

Note: This is spoiler-free review of the game's January 2014 demo.

I was really looking forward to play a sequel to Final Fantasy Blackmoon Prophecy which by Final Fantasy standards is possibly even better than some pre-2000 Final Fantasy titles (it's generally accepted among the fans that Final Fantasy games released after 2000 had quality drop). After playing the January 2014 demo for like three hours and completing it, I have an urge to see more! We get interesting characters, lively world, memorable events, and hidden tidbits.

Story
The story centers around a young man named Zephyr who enlisted an anti-Esper group known as Augurers. The demo offered nice explanation on Zephyr's decision and in this regard reminds me slightly of the protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning (for the sake of spoiler-free review I'll ommit further explanation; you're free to PM me though). Reiner also appears to have some agenda of why he enlisted the Augurers and that is superficially covered at the end of the demo. We also get to see another playable character, but this person appears only in two fights and as for now I can't say much about him/her.

The game appears to use one of possible plots which were briefly drafted at the end of the first installment which is mentioned in Godot's ending, but are possibly still other plots which this game will explore and expand. The main focus appears to be Espers' 'revolt' of sorts and from what the demo offers I can say that it is quite well directed plot, although I was wary as I wasn't sure what to expect from a sequel whose one of plots would be Espers' rebellion as tying summons to the plot requires careful planning in my opinion.

Characters
The newcomer Zephyr is a 180 degree turn from the hero of Final Fantasy Blackmoon Prophecy, Vahn. Zephyr is a carefree lad striving for fun and adventure, opposite of Vahn who is a dutiful man wishing to resolve as many things as can be peacefully, through negotiations, if possible. This make the sequel like breath of fresh air where we aren't stuck with an orderly soldier. Zephyr is full of jokes and brings laughter even to some dark moments of the game (hint: Eldritch Cave). As for Reiner my opinion is yet to be formed; there's just too little things we know about him that would let me form some opinion. Regarding the other playable character, s/he was quite of fun to hear talking and the attitude was like "I'm-the-badass-and-you're-some-spoony-bards".

Cid is a man who is just all too perfect: red hair (which is rather rare in Final Fantasy games), a cat (who doesn't like them, seriously?), and a moogle who dresses like a queen. He was one of the funniest people I encountered in the demo and the scene with food was just "laughing my fricking arse out".

Honorable mention goes to Biggs and Wedge which just keeps making laugh of and tease each other. "Spoony bards", "Mr. Thous", "sons of a submariner" are a few examples of what awaits us.

Gameplay
The battle system is pretty much the same like in the first installment, albeit characters have a new command named "Limit" which allows to use special ability if enough LG (Limit Gauge) points have been accumulated (just between you and me, I think that Zephyr's Limit Break is quite overpowered).

We get various sidequests as we progress through the game: gem collecting, card searching, and others. They pay off quite well, especially the sidequests pertaining to the Bacchus Garrison as the more people you recruit there, the more bonus gold you get from BG 'missions'. And yep, you can furnish that building to your little heart's desires, kupo.

Music
Like its predecessor, Final Fantasy Blackmoon Prophecy, Final Fantasy Blackmoon Prophecy II uses tracks from various Final Fantasy titles, but with this new istallment, the game got quite pretty original music, all composed by Brandon Griggs. My personal favourite is "Battle Song .02" which sounds like attempt of remaking "Battle Theme" of Final Fantasy VI in the style of The Black Mages and then remoxed to be nothing like the original. "Standard Boss-04" also sounds quite interesting; it has this 'tension' of sorts which is just hypnotizing.

Graphics
Final Fantasy VI tiles are very well used and the locations present in the demo are lively and doesn't seem like carbon copies as it had place in Final Fantasy Blackmoon Prophecy which used mainly Final Fantasy IV's tilesets for towns and other locations. We even get some throwbacks in certain locations with how they are mapped. Lindblum City is possibly the best example in the demo to have greatly looking design using tileset which is nearly 20 years old.

January 2014 Demo Rating:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(I decided to not rate the game from the 'Score' option as the review is pertaining to the demo which offers limited access to various game elements.)

Posts

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Good review.
Don't know if I agree with Zephyr's Limit Break being overpowered. It "feels" like a limit break...
not some crappy spell that does extra damage with no mp cost.

And Reiner's Limit Break is the "make the game a lot more fun" button for me. :3
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
6712
Reiner's limit originally restored HP too, but I felt that was a bit too much for his first limit ability.

Glad to know you really enjoyed it! Feels like I'm off to a good start, and it'll only get better from here!
Oof. I thought this review fell somewhere down to the bottom of the planet and was lost forever. ;P

Also, "I'll Protect Her With My Life" line is taken from "Yeul's Theme" from Final Fantasy XIII-2 (although in the original version it's "I'll protect you with my life"). The reason why I chose this line how Zephyr-Winter/Ezra reminds me of Lightning-Serah connection. I'd spoil a bit, but I don't want to ruin someone Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and I'm kinda sure that the thing I'd mention was an intentional one.
Just clarifying for confused people.
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