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Far East of Eden II [import] review

A classic Japanese RPG hits handhelds 18 years later


  • Fast walking/fighting
  • All the gameplay/cutscenes of original
  • Very old-school


  • Perhaps too simple
  • New stylus controls are weak
  • Very very old-school

You%26rsquo;re thinking: Far East of what? Japan%26rsquo;s thinking: something in Japanese that translates as %26ldquo;Oh, that 2 million selling RPG, which brought proper cutscenes and CD-quality music to the genre via the PC Engine in 1989 and provided admirably stiff competition for yer Final Fantasys and yer Dragon Quests.%26rdquo;

In other words: this remake of Far East of Eden II is big news to those in the know. It%26rsquo;s traditional, all right - village boy sets off for take-turn battles to rescue Japan from demons etc, etc. But what makes this faithful re-release a cut above your average simplistic two-decade-old RPG is, perversely, the simplicity. There%26rsquo;s little to do except walk across a few squares of map and kill the next floating specter with incomprehensible kanji, but it%26rsquo;s all so unexpectedly quick - you walk and fight at super quick speeds - that it%26rsquo;s one of the most mesmerizing things we%26rsquo;ve ever played. Plus, every minute of those anime mini-movies that wowed your (Japanese) dad in %26rsquo;89 has been crowbarred onto a cart the size of an airmail sticker.

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DescriptionPerhaps this is a game that would really be more at home as a $5 Virtual Console download. But as far as cute, cheerful retro RPGs go, it's certainly worth heading Far East for.
Available platforms:DS
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