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Lufia 2: Rise of the Sentinals

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Reviewed by Philip Daniel This game is sort of weird. The title says Lufia 2, but in fact, it takes before Lufia and the Fortress of Doom. Confused? Well this game is the prologue of the Lufia. It starts off as young Maxim goes and talks to a girl, Tia, and from how they talk, their childhood friends. Maxim is a monster hunter and Tia is a shop owner. Maxim kills monsters for money, and Tia buys them. From their, you leave the shop after a disgusting dinner (phantom fish, a bad tasting fish). Then, you find out that a key has been stolen. So your adventure begins. You leave the village, but not before a man asks you to go to his beginner cave. If you want, you could go their. If I were you, I would go their. You learn moves and how to solve certain puzzles in the game. The game's layout is like this; The monsters in caves, castles, towers are visible, and you can see them. You can use your tools to stun them and run around them. Monsters in the world view are invisible and random. You use tools to solve puzzles, hit switches, swing across, blow up walls, and to stun enemies. You can also swing your sword to cut grass and hit switches, but at only a short distance. The sword can't stun enemies. I don't wanna spoil anything, but the cool features in this game are; monsters for party members (9 in all, neutral, fire, water, earth, grass, light, dark, lit, wind), "upgrading" these monsters by feeding them weapons they crave, HARD puzzles, and much more.

Graphics 4 out of 5

BEAUTIFUL GRAPHICS. The color of this game pushes the Super NES limits to the max. Its so beautiful, so colorful, its like looking at a picture. Of course, their are some bad things. The monsters, are very evil looking.... but some seem happy. Some monsters, like skeletons, who have different types of them, are just recolored. They should add some different features, not just color. But anyway, its still nice. The fights are from a back view, in which you see your characters back's and the monster's faces. The monsters, of course, are 10 times bigger then the humans, even for spiders. But still, it looks better. The masterts and the 4 sentinels are huge, ugly, and evil looking, just like every boss should be.

Music and Sound 2.5 out of 5

The music isn't really that good. This game's music is bland, not even fun to listen to. But it still beats some other game's music. The music can sometimes get downright annoying. The only music that is good are some towns (port towns and castles) and leader battles (sentinels, other bosses). The boss battles are the same thing, and their are many leader's in this game. The battle music is downright annoying. You get into fight's often cause it's hard to dodge enemies. I got to one point of pushing mute and listening to the radio. So if you like the music, then listen to it. But for me, I trust my radio.

Game Challenge 4 out of 5

The game is HARD. Lets talk about the hardest things in the game; THE PUZZLES. This is the only RPG that I had to buy a strategy guide to. The puzzles are so challenging that you'll need LOTS of free time to solve. One of the harder puzzles is the grass puzzle. You have to use your fire arrows/sword to cut down a series of grass that grow with every step you take. If you take to many steps, the puzzle is ruined. It took me 40 minutes to complete this one. Then I went and bought the guide. No more troubles for me. The hardest puzzle in this game is the "World's Most Difficult Trick" DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT TRY THIS TRICK WITHOUT A GUIDE. It is too hard, too long and too frustrating to do. It is like those number puzzles in which you have to make them go from 1-15, but its not that simple. The cubes are different sizes and the trick is to make the biggest piece in the back come all the way to the front. It's MUCH harder then it sounds. Now to the easiest things in this game, THE ENEMIES. It is SOO easy to beat the game. The leaders are easy, cause each of them have a weak point. If its a spider, the weakness is fire. If its a ice jasper, its weakness is fire. The bosses and normal enemies are easy. The only problem are the puzzles.

Game Play-Fun 3.5 out of 5

I'd give it a 4.5 if your a TRUE RPG fan, but its not that simple. The game itself is a joy to play. The puzzles keep you busy. The enemies will make you laugh. The cockiness of Dekar will make you laugh. The :cough: of Maxim and Selan will make you wonder. The whole game is good, easy, but good. The BEST part of the game is the ancient cave. Its a cave with 99 floors. Sounds easy if your level 99 right? But its not like that. You go in their, WITH NOTHING!!! No items (10 potions that's it), no weapons, NOTHING! You have to open treasure chests to get them. Their are some goals however. If you make it to the 99th floor, you fight a GIANT Slime. If you beat him, you get 3 AWESOME treasures. Their are also Iris Treasures, in which you have to find certain treasures (i.e. Iris Sword, Iris Pot). You can't equip them or anything, its just for fun. Then theirs the blue chests. In every blue chest, their is a weapon or armor. The weapons ARE Powerful, some of the most powerful weapons in the game. But what's the use if you can't use them again? Blue Chests are the only items you can take in and out of the cave. They are VERY useful, so spend HOURS looking for as many blue chest as you can. Their is also no up staircases. So their is no way out, unless you get a certain item. I forgot the name of it, but its like a feather.

Frustration

The puzzles. The hardest part of the game. Buy a guide, stick to it, and guard it with your life. A note of the hardest puzzles; "Move 2 yellow and 1 red to make them all yellow". In this puzzle, you use the blocks to make them all yellow. If their is a red between a yellow and you drop a yellow, it will be yellow. MUCH harder then it sounds. Another hard puzzle I said was the grass burning puzzle. Their is also a puzzle in which you lay bombs on a floor so you can make that floor a pattern. The bombs explode in a cross pattern. All I have to say is USE a guide or print one on-line.

Replayability 4 out of 5

Once you beat the game, you can start a new one under the name "Replay" In this mode, you get 4x the gold and 4x the exp. So the game will be a breeze. This mode is MUCH easier then before and since you know how to do the puzzles, its a breeze. It took me only 9 hours to finish it this way. It was the easiest RPG ever. Then after you beat it that way, you enter Gift Mode. In Gift Mode, you are in the ancient cave and you pick who you want to be in your group. So Its a good thing to do if you bought the game. I don't know what happens if you beat the game in Gift Mode. You can't do lots of things in a 5 day rental with a broken leg.

Game Value 3 out of 5

The puzzles and the ancient cave will make you go back for more. If you see it at a bargain bin, buy it. If not, don't waste 50 bucks on this. Rent it if you can. But don't spend 50 bucks. The value is a classic, but since it is easy, don't spend you money. Its not worth the risk.

Overall 3.5 out of 5

If your a die hard RPG fan, get the game. If not, don't play it. Their are better RPG's out there to buy like Final Fantasy 3. The puzzles, like I said, are the best thing about this game. The graphics are beautiful, the sound is frustrating, and the puzzles will make your blood pressure rise so high you'll need to calm down a bit. Print out a guide if you have to.

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