I have the Final Fantasy Origins compilation for Playstation 1, which contain the first two games in the Final Fantasy series. I recently was able to beat the first one, which as far as I can recall, is one of the first RPG's I've seen through to the end. Being that it's a real early RPG, there was a heavy amount of grinding involved. Grinding means to repeatedly engage in repetitive tasks in order to get further into the game, in the case of RPG's, this usually means getting into endless battles with groups of monsters to raise your levels, enabling your characters to become stronger and progress further into the game. This was really a challenge, especially as the story is very bare-bones, not providing much of an incentive for one to continue. But thankfully, I'm very tenacious.
Anyway, I started playing Final Fantasy II last night. I really like it so far. Some think it's the worst in the series, which I don't see at all yet. The system is pretty different from the first. It doesn't look like you level up anymore, but your strength, intelligence and other ratings rise as you battle monsters. Also, an interesting feature is that your skill with a weapon increases. This is interesting because I switched one of my members' weapons from a bow to a broadsword, since I saw that it was a more effective weapon for her to use. But alas, it takes quite a long time to become adapt at it. She kept missing and missing her targets, so I had to switch her back to the bow.
The story, while having no comparsion to the deepness and complexity of later entries in the series (especially from VII onward), just blows away the first one. I've gotten more meaningful dialogue and clues from the people I talk with, just in one town, than in the entire first game. These are just my first impressions, my opinion might change as I go on. But so far, I'm liking it much better than I did "Perfect Dark."
Good news: My boss is camping, so I might be able to blog from work today, so you'll get more entires from me :)