Breath of Fire II

Everything looks like a vagina to me.
Everything looks like a vagina to me.

Breath of Fire II is probably the sequel to Breath of Fire I.

Reviewing RPGs usually makes me feel bad, as they’re often structured with a long and boring intro; this boring intro is exactly the length of time I’ll play a game before writing it up, shaking my head at my lack of understanding of the things I’ve just seen and the buttons I’ve just mashed. Storylines are nowhere near complete and mechanics are still largely mysterious to me. Breath of Fire II doesn’t seem like an exception to this! I am quickly bored of this partially black and white introduction to my cleverly named character “?!?!,” a name designed to evoke my questioning confusion at a fantastic world. The game starts with an eyeball in a vagina harrassing me over something or other, and then my world is turned upside down as no one in my crappy little town would appear to remember good old reliable ?!?!.

?!?! wanders around town as is the style of RPGs, and at some point the game becomes colour, which is slightly more exciting than before since my rods and cones (or whichever one specifically) get an increased workout. Talking to townsfolk is about as useful as ever it’s been: no one answers my questions and people seem to regard me as a tramp. A ragamuffin, urchin, Fagan-boy. Screw them all, I’m going to hook up with a dog boy and become a thief and steal from the church.

Did I mention the mentions of God yet? This game sure talks about God a lot in the short time I’ve been playing it. The very fact that I’m wandering around in a parallel world with some terrible freak named Bow is proof enough that there is no God, but I guess everyone needs to arrive at that conclusion on their own. Some people need more wandering with a ghastly dog boy freakpants than others before making their decisions on theology. I want to euthanize Bow, but the game doesn’t present me with the option. First Mr. Peabody and now Bow. Why do I always want to hurt talking dogs? What is it about the slavering canine faces spitting forth my language with their lengthy tongues that inspires the killing rage? I resolve to mercifully kill the first dog boy I see in the real world and continue playing the game.

Wait, no I don’t. It’s an RPG. You have items and armour and weapons that make your character stronger. You gain experience points that level you up. You grow in power and have a nemesis. People join your party and maybe you fall in love with them and maybe they become your nemesis. A town might get burned down. Some monster combines with another monster and gets more powerful. You play the same game again and again, minor differences in details. A villain has an epic plan to destroy existence. He (or less likely, she) fails. The snake swallows its tail.

?!?! indeed.

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