Worth a play, but don't get too excited.
I had never played a Breath of Fire game before, but being one who enjoys a spot of an RPG now and again, I thought I'd start at the start and play through the first one.
When you first stick the game in, you get a bit of story about how your Sister has been kidnapped and your village is in ruin and all this terrible stuff. You decide to be a hero and go and stop the Dark Dragons who are responsible for this trial of terror. And there ends the story untill basically the end of the game.
That's the main problem I had with the game, there is really very little plot to keep you going, you just feel like you are performing totally pointless tasks the whole way, there is no plot development! Aaargh, how boring is that! It just feels as though you're working your way, slowly as hell, around the world map, solving meaningless puzzles in order to get to the next wee village a few steps along and solve yet more meaningless puzzles. Urgh. There isn't any real character development, either. You don't get to know Ryu or any of his pals throughout the game, except maybe that the fish dude, Gobi, is a greedy bastard and Ox's wife is pregnant.
So, good points about the game. Well, there's quite a lot of unusual humour going on, like towns full of mad people who spin on the spot and shout "hey! hey! hey!", or having to give maniac monster-women fruit to make them nice to you which makes the game quite fun and pleasent to play at times. It can raise you a smile, you know it's true! The battle system is nice and simple as well, although I suppose it could be seen as boring. It's good for leveling up, though, because all you need to do is select Auto Battle and the game does all the work for you. Easy!
The bosses aren't too hard, but they do provide a bit of challenge, which is quite good. I hate it when the odds are totally stacked against you and you have to spent two out of three moves healing. That doesn't happen in this game. On the other hand, though, most boss fights just turn into hit for hit square gos. you hit the bad guy, the bad guy hits you back, repeat. It's all down to whether you have enough herbs to be able to revive some life a couple of times through the battle and survive longer. This might sound a bit, "duh, that's what a fight is!", but what I mean is that there are no tactics, you don't need to use your brain at all in fighting, you could quite easily just Auto Battle your way through every bad dude in the game. Takes away from a lot of the enjoyment of an RPG, it does!
And so, you play the game for hours. You solve every little sidequest and perform every meaningless task asked of you. There is not a town in the land under siege from a stone robot, or in a perpetual state of winter thanks to your endless battling, and you are rewarded, in the last 20 minutes of so, with some storyline! Wowee! The game has a nice ending, if you care to remember back 17 hours or so to what the happened in the little bit at the start of the game. Better put your memory hats on!
All in all, I'd say it's a worthwhile game to get your teeth onto for a few hours, but only just. Play it if you like RPGs and want to waste some hours on something, but otherwise, there are better games out there to play. I'll probably try the sequel some time soon and see how much better it fares. A lot, I hope! I've heard good things about BoF, but this game was a bit disappointing. It was fine, okay, a good wee play, but nothing fire-setting. I was not torn down with joy while playing this game.