Have I ever told you folks how much I liked SaGa 2 (Final Fantasy Legend II) for the original GameBoy?
Have I ever told you that it was getting a remake?
... Have I ever told you that the remake was finished and the finished product looks pretty damn amazing?
My only gripes so far, lie in the character design and the music.
I've already taken a listen to the official soundtrack, and it sounds like a decent remix, with a few new tracks. Most of the tracks are easy to recognize, though some you'll have to wait until the main tune kicks in. Otherwise, most of the original tracks have been "updated" with actual instruments instead of chiptunes, bringing the BGM up to date. However, I don't know if it's because I've held the BGM for the original SaGa 2 (or Final Fantasy Legend II if you perfer) in high regard since I've first played it back in the 90's, or something else, but there's something missing from the soundtrack. I'll admit, I was thoroughly impressed when I first heard it, but after listening to it for a while (and as I'm writing this) I've found that it lacks a certain kick that the original BGM had. (The exception is the victory music "Eat the meat". I find this version of the track horrible, since it doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the soundtrack, let alone after any of the battle themes.) But all in all, it's a pretty decent update even if it doesn't my personal expectations (after 20 something years-ish).
Character design wise, all of the character designs from the GameBoy version are out the window. All of the major cast (playable characters, NPC's that join your party, and "the New Gods") have recieved a facelift. In truth, I actually like some of the new designs. But of the designs I didn't like, they mostly belong to the main characters that make up your party. Unfortunately, those guys are the people you'll be seeing for most of the game. I don't really dig the designs of the male Esper, or the Robot. In regards to the Robot, the alternate designs aren't very varied, and I don't exactly dig the rounded look. I want a mar machine, not a roly poly tank, y'know. In regards to the male Esper, I'm none to fond of the Phantasy Star outfit that all of the variants seem to sport. Plus some of the designs don't really strike me as cool, compared to the designs for the Humans and the Female Esper. And on a personal note, I really wish the Human female had a variant had long hair. Just 'cause.
On the other hand, all of the NPC's that join your party (Ki/Kai, Lynn/Rin, Taro/Ronin, etc.) look pretty sweet. As do the "New Gods". The only redesign I'm honestly disappointed with, is the Dad's. WHERE THE HELL DID DAD'S HAT GO?! This injustice is almost as bad as taking away Indiana Jones' hat, or the scissors on top of CutMan's head. He's not Dad unless he's the hat guy! (Anyone who's played SaGa 2 on the GameBoy can attest to how important this is, both storyline-wise and nostalgically.)
But in the end, they're only minor nuances. Sure, the soundtrack isn't as epic as I'd expected of one of my favorite games, and there's no Human female with long hair, but those are far outweighed by how awesome the rest of the game looks. I wouldn't even care if they left in the "limited weapon usage" from the original. I'm learning how to work past that. =)
Bottom line, I really want to play this game.
Side-note: Is it me, or does the Esper female (shown here) look a lot like Mycella from Musashiden II/Musashi: Samurai Legend?