There. I said it! People are bothered by the system; but I gotta tell ya, it's enthralling to take up the challenge and explore a part of the franchise that not many people have the stones to venture into. I also find that the system is actually fun and engaging. Seriously; this is a game where you are not compelled to mash A for 90% of encounters, and you can make every battle matter, even the ones with the small fries. FFII is very playable if you train your characters against each other; when making the long trek between Altair and Bafsk, for example, I'll have Guy cut down Firion to an inch of his life, and end the battle. The next battle, I'll have my white mage heal Firion, while Guy then goes to town on Maria. And so on. It may be cheating the system, but it allows for a smoother experience than a handful of random encounters that give paltry experience. Also important to know is that no character can be a mage AND a fighter. A mage needs to be casting their spells almost all the time from the beginning in order to be effective mages, and they have to be in the back row, and they cannot have any armor/weapons equipped besides cuirasses. (If they run out of MP at any point, I stick them with a bow.) It starts out confusing, but these quirks have made the game so satisfying to play, because of the forethought they require. Though I'm a huge fan of this franchise, I can never shake the feeling that it could be more dynamic. This game is exactly the answer to that issue. I swear, figuring this game out and navigating its quirks has, oddly enough, been one of the best experiences I've had, in terms of gameplay, with a Final Fantasy. FFI is like a diluted blueprint in comparison and I can barely make myself finish even the watered down iOS/GBA port. NOT TO MENTION: so much of the FF iconography started here. Chocobos, Cid, Dragoons. Heck, it was a game where the story was written first and everything was built around it. The director of this game was relegated to Final Fantasy Legend games after this, and barely anybody has played his main series installment -- yet he's responsible for so much that defines the franchise. I find that so damn cool.