Who knew the re-imagining of a cult classic would be so good?
The story focuses on pretty much the same story as Lufia II but it's more condensed, yet this may seem bad, but in all honesty it's not. The original Lufia II was filled with fetch quests, while they are in the re-imagining they are not as prominent. In Lufia II they were mostly filler to get to the next plot point. In the re-imagining they are pretty much there and you will get all the characters by the half way mark. Though most of them are introduced fairly early on, and it's a good thing they are, because some are a blast to play as.
The story also seems to of handled character development rather well this time around. Sure I loved the cast of the original Lufia II but the cast this time around seems more fleshed out, and the villains also seem to be that same way as well. They are not generic bad guys that I felt they were in the earlier games, but the main antagonists actually sound rather creepy this time around. All and all the story is still great, but it's a bit more condensed, but that's not really a bad thing because it really introduces a lot without all the filler.
The graphics are fantastic. Fully 3D models with a full 3D environment. The engine seems a bit similar to Final Fantasy IV's but with realistic proportioned characters, which is how I felt FFIVDS should of been. The effects are great as well and everything is fluid. Unfortunately there is a bit of slow down but it's not that bad and over almost as soon as it begins. Most likely due to the limitations of the DS though I may make a statement, that statement is this is the best looking DS game.
The sound is hit and miss. The soundtrack is fantastic and just as great as it was on the original. The bad part is the voice acting is laughably bad. Seriously, turn voice acting off. Thankfully you can do that in this game. I listened to it once and shut it off. It though is good for a great laugh though. Though the sound effects are good and as I stated, the revamped soundtrack is wonderful.
The gameplay. The biggest change to the original is how it plays. It's an action RPG. While at first it does seem a bit bland but once you unlock the characters and you'll find one that suits you the best, you can find that it's quite fun actually. The combat is a just right difficulty. While it may seem difficult, it has a way to avoid leveling and grinding by a feature that lets you add five levels every time all the characters die. I used it a few times and found even with that, the game could still be a bit challenging, but not too hard. The bosses are fun, and intense. It was a little disappointing that some of the great bosses from Lufia II didn't make it in the remake but that's a rather small complaint.
The puzzels are mostly nixed in the re-imagining. They are there but they are not as hard as they were in the original. Which I find is a good thing because the original's puzzles were probably the hardest puzzles in a RPG ever. Which is either hit or miss. There are a few that are rather tricky but nothing to the extent of the original.
Final thoughts? A wonderful return to a great RPG. This time things are different but it's not a bad thing. It makes it feel fresh and I find it was a great decision. It proves that not all remakes have to be exactly the same as their original. Change can be good sometimes and this time it was.
Final Score: 8.5/10