Review by Psycho Penguin

"Is the last NES game in the series the best?"

Dragon Warrior 3 was one of my favorite games on the old Nintendo Entertainment System, so after reading posistive things about Dragon Warrior 4 I decided to try it out so I purchased it (for 70 bucks!!). After several minutes of play, i absolutely loved it. It is decidedly different from the first three in the series, and is clearly the most advanced. However, I still prefer the third game in the series to the fourth game. I do not know why, but I guess it has something to do with the fact that in Dragon Warrior 3, you could have character classes and more. The unique thing about the game, in my opinion, is the fact that this was the beginning of a new trilogy of games in the series. For instance, the first 3 games in the Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior series name in Japan) series followed a certain story and was limited in terms of gameplay, but the next 3 games in the series, starting with this one, introduced some new ideas, like the active battle system, the multiple party system, the balloon and wagon, and more. Overall, I love this game and was so glad I bought it, but it is not my favorite game in the series. Regardless, it is still one of my favorite Nintendo Entertainment System games of all time, and was well worth the 60 dollars I spent on it at FuncoLand!

Storyline (9.2/10)
The storyline in Dragon Warrior 4 is different from the other games in the Nintendo Entertainment System series in the fact that there are multiple storylines being played out during the game. For instance, the first three games had just one basic storyline, which was basically ''save the princess from the evil monsters'' just like every other RPG made back then, it seems. Well, Dragon Warrior 4 was a lot different. Dragon Warrior 4 for the Nintendo Entertainment System featured 5 different chapters, and each chapter focused on a different character's storyline. Chapter 1 focused on the story of Ragnar, a royal soldier at Burland Castle who is trying to figure out why the children of Izmit Village are disappearing. Chapter 1 is very well written and is very interesting, albeit a little short. Chapter 2 focuses on Alena, a royal princess who escapes from the castle because her father considers her to be too much like a tomboy. This is a very interesting chapter that deals with the aspect fo a child running away from home. Therefore, I would have liked to see more scenes where the parents of Alena show concern as to where their daughter could possibly be. Chapter 3 deals with Taloon, a marchant in Lankaba who is looking for an Iron safe. This is my favorite chapter in the game because you can actually run your own shop and make money later on in the game. Chapter 4 deals with Mara and Nara, 2 dancers from Monbarara who are out to avenge the death of their father, Edgar. A rather interesting chapter that deals with death in the family and revenge. Chapter 5 is when all the stories come together, and you control all the people you controlled in the first four chapters combined. Therefore, Chapter 5 really doesn't have a main central focus when it comes to storyline. Overall, the storylines in Dragon Warrior 4 for the Nintendo Entertainment System are just incredible and deal with a lot of important issues, ranging from children running away from home to death in the family. Great storylines.

Graphics (9.3/10)
The game had really good graphics, with the highlight being the colorful backgrounds. Gone are the blocky towns and caves
from the first three, instead being replaced by smooth as silk backgrounds. The character and enemy designs are very good as well and there is a great variety to the graphics overall. There are a lot of characters in the game, and all of them have a rather unique design to them which is important because there are a lot of characters to keep track of throughout the game. The overworld map looks a lot like it did in the other three games of the series, but the map does look a lot better. I swear, the first time I played this game, I thought it looked like a Super Nintendo Entertainment System game. The overworld map has all of the basic elemts that have been in the Dragon Warrior for the Nintendo Entertainment System series, but everything looks better, from the color of the grass to the castles, it looks just incredible! During battle scenes, there are no backgrounds (there haven't been any since the original game in the series) but the enemy designs more than make up for it. If the designers decided to make the enemy designs better and focus less on the background screens of the game, then they made a good decision, in my opinion. The graphics during the town scenes are great as well, as the backgrounds are not distracting at all and offer a variety of dark colors. Think of it as looking like Dragon Warrior 3, but everything looks more peaceful and smoother. For instance, the walls are just walls, the floors are just floors, there are no titles on the walls or floors. Overall, the graphics in Dragon Warrior 4 fr the Nintendo Entertainment System are some of the best I have ever seen for the NES console.

Music/Sound (9.3/10)
The music and sound effects in Dragon Warrior 4 for the Nintendo Entertainment System are also great, in my opinion. First off, the music. The music in Dragon Warrior 4 is great, in my opinion. First off, unlike the other games in the series, there are actually new battle themes featured. And there are also a variety of battle themes, because I noticed that in every chapter a different battle theme plays. I like the battle theme that plays sometimes in Chapter Five the best, and I wish the developers of the game utilized that particular battle theme a bit more throughout the game. Regardless, the other battle themes in the game are still pretty good, and there are about one or two that I can remember off the top of my head, which must mean that they are pretty good, because I usually can't remember most Nintendo Entertainment System games music. The other music in Dragon Warrior 4 is also incredibly done, ranging from the classic overworld tunes to the soild themes of the towns and castles. The music in Dragon Warrior 4 for the Nintendo Entertainment System is really well done. Sound effect wise, Dragon Warrior 4 is great, as all of the classic Dragon Warrior sounds are there, but, as usual, most of them are featured during battle. For instance, the critical hit sound, the miss while trying to hit an enemy, etc. Overall, the music and sound effects in Dragon Warrior for the Nintendo Entertainment System are great!

Control (9.8/10)
The control in the game is solid and intuitive. The commands enter on the first try almost every time, and the menus are very organized and well designed, making them easier to go through. Just like Dragon Warrior 3 (also for the Nintendo Entertainment System), I cannot find a major flaw in the control in the game. Overall, the control in Dragon Warrior 4 for the Nintendo Entertainment System is near perfect and I cannot find a major flaw in the control of the game!

Gameplay (9.4/10)
Dragon Warrior 4 is clearly the most advanced of the four games in the NES series. There are lots of items, weapons, spells, bosses, and armor to find. Over the course of the adventure, you travel through five unique ''chapters'', each one you control a character. The characters each have their own storylines, ranging from a merchant looking to start his own company (Taloon) to two sisters out to avenge their father's death (Nara and Mara). In the fifth and final chapter, all the main characters storylines intertwine together, and you take control of every character. Finally, you have the option to put the game into different AI Modes, just in case you don't want to control the other charcters other than the hero. GREAT gameplay overall and worthy of the Dragon Warrior name. I love this game, but I enjoyed playing Dragon Warrior 3 just a tad bit more. Oh well, Dragon Warrior 4 for the Nintendo Entertainment System is still great fun! Dragon Warrior 4 is definitely the most advanced of the four Nintendo Entertainment System Dragon Warrior games, and it is one of my favorite games of all time for the NES! Overall, Dragon Warrior 4 is a classic game that is definitely worth playing!

Replay Value (Medium)
The replay value in Dragon Warrior 4 for the Nintendo Entertainment System is really quite good. The main part of the replay value is the fact that there are a lot of secrets to find in the game, for instance finding all the coins. Overall, the replay value in Dragon Warrior 4 for the Nintendo Entertainment System is great, and you will definitely want to play this game for a while!

Challenge (Medium)
Dragon Warrior 4 for the Nintendo Entertainment System is a decent challenge. The biggest challenge in the game is trying to find every secret, for instance finding all the medals and coins could be a big challenge. But overall the challenge is average, because I went through the first 2 or 3 chapters with little trouble.

Overall (9.8/10)
Boy, has Enix come back with a bang since Dragon Warrior 2!!! This game is very fun, and you can play much worse. I advise all Role playing game fans to try this game out! And it is definitely worth a purchase, even if it costs you 60 bucks like it cost me!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/21/00, Updated 07/16/01


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