|(Source: Geek Vintage)|
1) 1 - Character Advancement:
2) 1 - Combat:
3) 2 - Items and Equipment:
4) 2 - Story: main story at the forefront; world full of hints and lore;
5) 1 - Exploration: open world from the beginning, visited locations remain open
6) 1 - Quests and Puzzles:
Neutopia, the TurboGrafx version of The Legend of Zelda stays true to its model, and thus doesn't get included in this quest. This sequel is a fun little fantasy adventure game, but it doesn't add much to the formula solidified in the original. This time the player takes on the role of the Jazeta's son to save the land from evil. I haven't played through the game, so let me know if there are any areas I may have missed.
There aren't any character levels or advancement options. Max life increases, but defensive and offensive bonuses only come in the form of upgraded weapons and armor. Combat prowess is derived from that equipment. There are some magic items that are helpful to defeat enemies, but their power depends on the hero's current life total. Equipment is always an upgrade, so there's no balancing to be done.
The positive aspects come from the story and expansive world. Unlike the first game, this one is a bit more open. There are plenty of secrets and puzzles, but most revolve around navigating the world map or dungeons.
Action-adventure games share many of the same aspects of RPGs, but are generally disregarded due to the lack of control over character strength. In most games that fall into this genre the player's skill is what tends to restrict or grant progress, and there's little option to increase the character's ability until the player meets the skill level required. Now, finally, on to Phantasy Star III.