That fucking final boss fight, man. So I have been trying to beat the final boss fight in Cyber Knight 2 today, and even after consulting a guide and watching a video walkthrough of the fight to trigger the next part, for whatever sinister reason, the game doesn't want me to actually move on to the last phase of the fight. The boss in question has three forms, and the first two are easy enough to deal with. However, there's a trick with the third form to not actually attack it, but position one of your party members near a mural and have the boss at a certain spot on the battlefield so that when you're facing the mural and select an action to use on the boss, it triggers a scene and the actual final boss form comes out.
Despite doing what a guide suggested (equip all members with any gun type, don't actually attack the final boss fight) and trying to reproduce what a walkthrough had (using the exact same modules, same party members, and generally same strategy), I've had zero luck in actually progressing the fight to the actual last phase and I'll be honest, it's poor game design and highlights the problems with the game's battle system. Which, FWIW aren't issues up to the final boss fight, but boy does it exacerbate the issues. Namely, you cannot share inventory items with party members (did I forget to say this is a JRPG?) and you can't equip healing items, either. Fights up to this point are either generally easy or have challenge but are short enough to not cause too much a fuss if you lose a party member, since as long as they aren't the commander you can treat party members and repair their modules outside of battle.
The fact the final boss fight in this game just haphazardly throws a wonky puzzle element into the mix, one that involves the environment no less, when any similar things in previous boss fights either had multiple options the player can choose or felt like they naturally built upon the playability of the battle system as it is, just screws the whole thing up, and I've found myself restarting it multiple times (probably 2+ hours at this point) despite having the first two phases down pat (since they aren't particularly hard to do). The tips suggested between the guide and video walkthroughs don't even agree with each other in terms of if I need to do specific attacks on the earlier forms or not. Overall it is just a very shallow and clunky way to add challenge to a final encounter in a JRPG.
I would not recommend this game for other additional reasons, too. For one, the majority of the dungeons aren't even really dungeons, as they have no design narrative to them. The complexity of most of them amounts to nothing more than a jumbling of corridors with many dead ends as you try finding the correct path. Less than a handful of the dungeons in the game have any real meat to them and the most impressive of the bunch isn't until the final one at the end which, sadly, is let down by the aforementioned poorly designed final boss fight. Towns don't have many explorable buildings other than ones you have to go into anyway if it facilitates as a dungeon or to move the plot forward, and you won't be doing much exploring to find items outside of battles since there are no shops in the traditional sense, or explorable homes with chests (or more befitting this game, space crates) to get loot from.
Nothing really stands out with the visuals or the music, and the characters are serviceable at most, most of them fitting neatly into genre archetypes and tropes that are nary deviated from. There are some interesting elements in the plot itself, but not enough to make the story stand out from better offerings on the SNES, especially if we're talking English-patched JRPGs. In fact, while Lodoss-Tou Senki is another somewhat budget-tier JRPG release, at least it has the Record of Lodoss War IP going for it, a more interesting batch of characters, dungeons that actually feel more like dungeons, genre conveniences/staples that should always be present (like sharing of equipped items among party members), and a final boss fight that is not only more challenging than this game's, but more fun and provides a challenge that doesn't involve sloppy puzzle gimmicks, not to mention feeling satisfying to play through.
Sci-fi mecha-themed JRPGs in the 16-bit era were rare, obviously rarer than even sci-fi themed ones, but overall I don't think I can recommend people feeling nostalgic to play Cyber Knight 2, and I say that as someone who's practically done with the game minus that BS final boss fight. Getting upgradable parts from certain enemies is nice, as are some features of the ship your party travels in (i.e a training facility to hone battle skills & strategies, a lab for researching scrap from enemies to be applied to your party's mechs as upgrades, getting EXP from completion of missions in addition to the regular EXP gain from defeating enemies in battles, having active and backup troop groups, etc.). I'd also say if you're looking for a sci-fi JRPG throwback that's of the generally easier variety (outside of some difficulty spikes late into the game and the somewhat higher-than-normal (relative to most of the rest of the game) starting difficulty due to being very low-leveled and unable to escape a lot of early battles), this game might be to your liking. It's not particularly long (20-25 hours more or less for a full playthrough), either, and there's enough excitement in the plot to keep you engaged...
That all said, there are plenty of other 16-bit sci-fi themed JRPGs of overall better quality you can sink that free time into. I picked up this one to play since I wanted a palette cleanser after beating Lodoss-Tou Senki, but I think I'll be looking to a more high fantasy-driven JRPG for my next playthrough (whether it's a 4th-gen or 5th-gen, or 6th-gen game I dunno yet). If you're aware of the faults I mentioned above and still interested in playing Cyber Knight 2, I should advise you that it's technically a sequel (part of the title might give that away). However, you needn't play the first game to understand anything in this sequel, and whatever connections the story in the sequel makes to the first are concise enough to not require digging further back.
I'd like to start posting more in-depth reviews here for these games after playing them, but if any of that type were to come first it'd be Lodoss-Tou Senki. While it's technically not a JRPG, I'm pretty much in the last leg of Moon: RPG Remix, though that game has its own issues that've made me put it aside for a bit. Could probably also do something for Tomba! having played through that again a little while back (and looking towards playing Tomba! 2 again in the near future). But yeah, this was very impromptu, I HAD to vent about this game after dealing with the final boss BS for the past couple hours .