Excerpt: Nearly two decades ago, a young Japanese video game company, Squaresoft, released the two introductory titles to what eventually became their flagship RPG series: Final Fantasy . Final Fantasy was then unleashed on North American shores to a very warm welcome, whilst Final Fantasy II remained in Japan. Years later, the two games were overhauled and remade for the handheld system, Wonderswan Color, which was never released outside of Japan.
Excerpt: First remade for the Japanese-produced Bandai WonderSwan Color handheld, Final Fantasy I and II both also enjoyed a combined showing on the PlayStation as Final Fantasy Origins. Now, the same versions of these games have finally made their ways onto Nintendo's Game Boy Advance, with the subtitle Dawn of Souls.
Pros: Two lengthy RPGs for the price of one, Bonus content, Ability to save anywhere
Cons: Old-school RPG mechanics, Frequent random battles, Port of a port of a port that’s showing its age
Excerpt: To quote the old song, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. With release dates firing off so fast it’d make anyone dizzy, it’s easy to get lost. If you’re looking for a good handheld to bolster the collection though, you can do a lot worse than Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls . Like your favorite coat, there’s a comfortable familiarity to Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls graphics.
Excerpt: The Gameboy Advance has been a safe haven for remakes and re-releases of many roleplaying titles from the 16-bit days. Someone's apparently forgotten to tell Square-Enix which titles to re-release, as following 2003's Sword of Mana is Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls, another spawn of NES titles. That's not to say that Dawn of Souls is a complete rehash, however; the game holds a completely redone visual interface as well as additional dungeons for each of the games.
Excerpt: If you were to ask me, I'd be among the first to admit that I am a fan of old-school turn-based RPGs. Newer ones that convey the old-school feel and relative simplicity of the older ones, such as the Golden Sun series, I also enjoy, but sometimes it is nice to be able to go back and to play actual RPGs from the period when they were just beginning to come into their own.
Conclusion: “Save the world!” I’ll get right on that. How about a hint as to where I should start. Having no map to consult or even a quest log to look at is a big misstep, especially if the purpose of this 2-in-1 cart was to get me interested in the rest of the Final Fantasy series. Without some more obvious direction, Dawn of Souls descends into random monster fights, leveling up endlessly, and buying better equipment at towns (when you can find them).
Excerpt: The first two Final Fantasy games might just be the most remade games of all time. First came the WonderSwan Color version, then the Final Fantasy Origins iteration, and now we are at the set’s Game Boy Advance outing in Final Fantasy I&II: Dawn of Souls . Is it really worth it the fourth time through? It’s the original Final Fantasy ! Of course it is! The first game in the set is arguably the more popular one.