Alright, take my rating with a grain of salt on this one since admittedly I didn't play very far into it. It seems that the game uses some weird programming structure where it uses the EPROM to store game data, so if you load up a save state it can glitch up the game, and it also automatically overwrites your regular save file as well ... first time through I lost an hour of gameplay to some glitch using save states, then the second time through I got to around the same part, but unthinkingly loaded a save state instead of loading my regular save (which had all my recent progress) ... long story short I would have had to start from the beginning a third time, and as much as I like the game I just wasn't up for that.

I do like the game, though. It's one of Squaresoft's little odd experimental RPGs from the SNES period. This was both the last game released for the Super Famicom in Japan, and the first RPG by St!ng, the team that would later go on to create equally quirky strategy-RPGs like Riviera and Yggdra Union. It has a decent battle engine, really nice background graphics and a soundtrack featuring longtime composing partners Hitoshi Sakamoto and Masaharu Iwata (Ogre Battle, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII among others).

The story is pretty lighthearted and stays pleasantly goofy throughout. You play as brothers Red and Blue, who live with their irresponsible father who is always running off on adventures rather than feeding and clothing them. Fortunately they have their grumpy Grandpa, who ate a clock when his wife passed to always remember her by. The plot is kind of confusing and centers around something called Ferric Falcons which Red and Blue's dad is always chasing after. But basically, you spend the game chasing this guy and trying to catch up to him while a greater plot of thwarting world destruction and evil and etc. shapes up.

The battle system is turn-based, but you move around on a grid kinda similar to strategy-RPGs such as Shining Force. Every step you take costs AP, and you spend more AP the closer you get to an enemy (designated by the different colored fields you can see in the picture). AP is also used to attack, use items and cast spells. Under the right circumstances, this allows you to attack or perform other actions multiple times per turn. The opening sequence of the game, a short adventure through a cave, serves as a tutorial mode where drunkard Grandpa and his awesome Tornado Kick gently ease you into the particulars of this battle system. You don't have too many worries, though, as from what I saw battles in this game are never really overly difficult.

Anyway, it seems pretty fun. The character sprites have that plasticy quasi-3D Donkey Kong Country thing going on, which doesn't really look all that good, but the background graphics and effects are really top quality. On the whole the game looks pretty nice. And the soundtrack is pretty great as well, echoing both Ogre Battle and FF Tactics in style and quality.

It was never officialy translated to English, but this dude named Metalhawk put together a pretty good translation a few years back. You'll find that down in the Links section. I think there's about zero chance of this making it out of Japan on the Wii, but it is noteworthy in that it is the first Square game for the system and indicates they may release more games in the future ... probably not any FF games since they're busy remaking them every year now, but maybe some Secret of Mana or even Chrono Trigger action could pop up in time.

Links :

Metalhawk's Translation Patch
Saved Games for ZSNES
Download from Game Downloads  

Videos :

Gameplay Video