Treasure Hunter G Review
by LockeJV

LockeJV's Rank - 19/36 (behind FFT, SoM, BoF1; ahead of Skies of Arcadia, FFVII, Suikoden 1)

Overall (7/10): Final Fantasy Tactics "Lite" anyone? Released near the very end of the Super Famicom's (SNES) life cycle, Treasure Hunter G was Square's last release for the system (FFVII was went on sale only 6 months later). THG is a worthy RPG, sporting the same battle system as FFT with no class system, and a few minor differences. It's a 20 hour title with a cute linear story, and well worth the play.

Story (6/10): Dark Lord is crystallizing all the fairies, and seeks to resurrect Bone Dino...a feared dinosaur who will destroy everything. Your job is to stop him and save the world! You begin your journey chasing after your father, who is a treasure hunter, and thus begins your journey. Soon you'll find a few frozen fairies, and you need to find all of them and a bunch of OPARTS to catch up to the dreaded Dark Lord.

Characters (8/10): You play the role of Red G. and Blue G., two brothers who feel ignored by their father. Red is the older brother, the tough guy and leader of the team. Blue is the younger brother, and plays the role pretty well. He cries often, gets scared, and can never wake up on time. Red pretty much acts as a baby sitter, and their relationship adds a good amount of humor to the game. Along the way you run into Rain, a mysterious white mage, and her monkey, Ponga, who happens to be a wizard. Rain doesn't say much, except hint at the fact her real identity is a mystery. Ponga is a playful little character, who can only say "Uki!!!" (and says it a few thousand times during the game). The cast of characters was decent: Silver G. (grandfather), Brown G. (father), Mio (the cute blue witch who has a crush on Rain...which makes for an unforgettable "lesbian" scene during the teaching of the Drain spell!), Dark Lord's minions of evil (a bunch of elf-girls with different colored hair), Dr. Harrow (the world's greatest Mad Scientist) and his bird, and Samurai Turtle (some kind of wandering swordsman who makes a few cameos). Red, Blue and Ponga make for an interesting crew, and Rain keeps you guessing the entire game. Although there were only a few developed characters, they were very entertaining and memorable. It looked like they began developing a visible relationship between Red and Rain, but they stopped for time reasons.

Graphics (9/10): RPG's meet Donkey Kong Country! For an SNES RPG, this is about as good as it gets. Interactive backgrounds (WHOAH! A SAND CASTLE!), detailed towns and dungeons, an amazing overworld (even though you don't spend much time there), and decent special effects during battles make this RPG the cream of the crop. The character design isn't all that impressive (especially Red), and there could have been a few more monsters, but overall very impressive.

Music (7/10): An average soundtrack with a few standout songs. The opening title (thg30.spc) and the fairy song (thg35.spc) are both incredible. I enjoyed the battle theme and the boss themes. Some of the sound effects were taken from FFVI, which brought back some pleasant memories (Ultima!). The .spc file is worth a download from this site.

Challenge (3/10): My entire party never died, and you can't run from battles. There weren't even any close calls; the game was far too easy. You're left with gobs of money you can't spend because of a lack of weapon/equipment shops...not that you really needed them. Challenge keeps games interesting...the last few dungeons were very tedious because there were no new spells to learn and you were already strong enough to whoop anything. The last two boss battles had interesting twists, but my stash of items was more than enough to get me through them without any concern.

Battle System (9/10): As I mentioned, Final Fantasy Tactics "Lite". Turn based, and each character has an action meter that determined how many spaces it could move, how many times it could attack or cast spells. Depending on how many enemies were nearby, your action bar would be used up more quickly. I thought this was a good representation of real time. Essentially your party included a knight, a chemist, a black mage and white mage, and they each served their function. Inventory was somewhat of a pain, as each character could only hold 20 items, and you didn't have a separate equipment screen (which is why I'm not giving this a 10). The system to manage inventory was kind of fun and innovative, but became annoying after awhile. Effective magic was very expensive, so I relied mostly on Red to deal damage in regular battles. Magic would have been much more useful if not so expensive; this would have shortened normal battles considerably. I found that Ponga had a ridiculously low action bar, I didn't find any good items to equip him with to raise it. In crowded battles he could only take two actions (as opposed to 4-5 for my other characters) which left him doing nothing in plenty of battles.

Sub Quests (6/10): There were optional "Frog Casinos" in some of the towns, I guess the best way to sum them up. Frog Dodge Ball, Frog Racing, Frog whatever. Four or five different games you could play to win items using the frogs you found (or bought) as chips. Cute little side games which were somewhat fun and challenging...but not quite appealing enough to go back and play. Had the game as a whole been more challenging and the casinos offered better items, it would have been worth investing time here. I played each game once and moved on.

Gameplay (7/10): The most annoying aspect of the game was it was hard to line up your character to search a chest, or break something open. You'd slide off the item and have to go back and try to line yourself up properly 3 or 4 times before getting it right. Very annoying. Other than that flaw, the controls were excellent.

Ending (8/10): Good long presentation to end the game. The ending included a lot of development for the characters, and left you with a smile. Good resolution to everything except one person, but I guess it was fitting to keep you guessing. The ending made me beg for a sequel! I enjoyed the characters, and would aggressively pursue a second title, as there's much they could do. But I think it's safe to assume that any additional "G" adventures will only take place in an obscure fanfic somewhere, as THG is not spoken of often, if at all.

Replay Value (5/10): As there's nothing extra to do, there's no reason to replay unless you really enjoyed the game. I will probably replay from my last save to watch the ending again...just to bid farewell to an outstanding cast of RPG characters forgotten by time.

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