CGRundertow BREATH OF FIRE for Super Nintendo Video Game Review

Uploaded by CGRundertow on 31.07.2012

This game lies to us. It lies, like a turny-button-thing. You think the boss is finished, but it lies.
It says “Squaresoft” right there on the packaging, and even on the opening titles.
But it lies. This is a Capcom game, through and through. They just didn’t have the wherewithal
to publish the game in America, and so they farmed out said duties to a company who, truth
be told, were kinda synonymous with the genre. BUT THIS IS A CAPCOM GAME. Heck, just listen
to the battle sounds, lifted DIRECTLY from Mega Man X. It lies to you. But it’s an
awesome game nonetheless.
Remember what I said about any and every developer making RPGs back in the 16-bit era? Well,
when Capcom tried it... truth be told, they hit it out of the park. You’ve got the Light
Dragons and Dark Dragons going to war over some manipulative goddess who just wants to
watch dragons fight over her, and as the hero of the Light Dragon family... you get turned
to stone. That’s right, Princess Sara starts off by casting Breakga on the village, so
she can go mano-y-mano with the jerk what’s laying seige. Yeah. That works well in the
first five minutes of a game. So, once freed, it’s up to you to assemble your team of
heroes - including a furry, a flighty healer, and a silver golem - and go put things right.
For an early (1993) RPG, though, there’s a lot at work here. Sure, you’ve got the
usual technical limitations - Everyone’s names have to fit in just four letters, item
names are usually abbreviated to the point of incomprehensibility, and there isn’t
all that much animation to speak of. But Breath of Fire introduced some innovations that improved
the genre as a whole, like stacking identical items in a single inventory slot, having different
characters interact with environment objects in different ways, and... DUDE TURNS INTO
It’s a good game that gets its hooks in you early, and feels exceptionally balanced
throughout. I understand that the watchword for these kinds of games is often “GRIND!”
but, after hours of play, I’ve never had to farm EXP like I have in some of its contemporaries.
Perhaps that’s because the encounter rate itself is pretty alarmingly high, even though
most battles can be slept through via the auto-battle function. Boss conflicts, on the
other hand, task the player with a higher level of resource management and action economy,
while still being entirely fair. If you can’t find a Super NES copy, Breath of Fire (and
its sequel) were remade for the Game Boy Advance in the early 2000s, and might be easier to
come upon. Just be sure to give Capcom their due credit.