Breath of Fire - GBA

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Also for: SNES
Viewed: 2D Top-down, Multi-way scrolling Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Capcom Soft. Co.: Capcom
Publishers: Ubisoft (GB)
Capcom (US)
Released: 14 Dec 2001 (GB)
2001 (US)
Ratings: 3+, ESRB Everyone
Connectivity: Link Cable


Capcom, most infamous for its legendary foray into the beat-em-up genre, is also responsible for one of the greatest role-playing series ever created. Breath of Fire saw its first release back in 1993 on the SNES and was soon followed by three sequels spawned again on SNES and then on PlayStation. With Nintendo’s new handheld seeing the revival of many 16-bit classics, Capcom has joined forces with Ubi Soft to release the original Breath of Fire for Game Boy Advance.

The Japan originating Breath of Fire is similar in many respects to Squaresoft’s earlier Final Fantasy games and reveals itself to be a classic old school role-playing game.

Complete with a traditional and now completely unoriginal but compelling story line, the game Breath of Fire takes place in three different gaming environments. The field section of the game sees players assuming the role of the lead character, investigating towns and interacting with numerous playable and non-playable characters. Here, most of your time will be spent unfolding Breath of Fire’s plot and acquiring clues as to your next possible course of action.

The World Map section is more or less a means of separating one location from the next, but it is here that you will encounter the game’s third and most recognised area of the game – the random battle. Travelling form one place to the next, you will quite often and without warning be swept into a battle ‘arena’ in which you must fight to the death with a variety of hostile creatures. Some will attack with brute strength while others will use status attacks that can confuse, paralyse or instantly kill one of your team members. Victoriously fought battles will lead to bonus experience points and money which can then be used to acquire new spells and many new weapons and armour. This method of progression is retained throughout the entire game, which could take as long as 50 hours if not more. The truth is, role-playing fans love random battles. If they didn’t, these games wouldn’t exist.

If you’re looking for a brand new role-playing experience, you’re quite simply not going to find it. But if you’re after the old school role-playing style helped the genre become mainstream across all major gaming territories, Breath of Fire is simply perfect. It’s a portable epic well worth owning.