Review by Cactuar
"One of the Best RPGs on the Genesis"
Introduction - Phantasy Star IV has always been my favorite RPG for the SEGA Genesis. It has an excellent story, fun battle system, and lasts a good amount of time. This is a hard to find game, but not all that much, you'd probably be able to find it anywhere under $40 which is a lot cheaper than when it first came out ($100!?). I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes RPGs.
Gameplay - 9 - The battles are encountered randomly, but they aren't frequent enough to be annoying. The battle system is quite fun, there's 2 special ways of attacking, technique and magic. Techniques can only be used a certain amount of times, after you run out of uses for it, you must go back and rest at an Inn (Or special healing panels, which aren't very common.). Magic is used just like most other RPGs, you have TP (which works the same way as MP), and when you run out of it, you have to restore it just like Techniques. There are items which restore your MP, but it's pretty much nowhere to be found until much later on in the game. One of the more unique aspects of this game are the combination attacks. For example, if I had Rune cast Efess and had Chaz use CrossCut, they'd combine the 2 moves and do GrandCross (This is one of the more powerful and useful combos in the game.), there are many more of them as well, you just have to experiment and find out! One other interesting feature of PSIV is that you can create macros. A macro is a menu which lets you create your own 'auto-battle' but you have to be careful, if you make a slow character (Like Gryz) first on the list, he will have to go first, so the monsters you fight will most likely go first. You can also make saves in this game just like all other RPGs, it has three separate slots for saving your data.
Story - 9 - I found the story to be very good for a Genesis game. Many fans of the earlier games should be relieved to hear that it continues the story from the previous three games as well. The main character of the game is Chaz Ashley, a mercenary that is working with his best friend, Alys. They are sent to a town to investigate a sudden appearance of monsters, they find the source of the monster and kill it. You find out that things are not as they seem, however and the plot only continues to become more interesting as you move through the game.
Graphics - 10 - The world map is nicely detailed, there are many different kinds of environments in this game, all with a distinct look to them. Your characters have nice animations in battle and the enemies are nicely done as well. Many of the later bosses are also quite large and beautifully done. One of the best features of this game, however, are the cutscenes. The cut scenes are sort of like a comic-book sort of look, it really adds to the depth of your characters, very amazing for a Genesis game, I might add.
Sound - 9- I really liked the music in this game. There aren't any real annoying music tracks in this game, and each track fits the mood of the game nicely. There are actually quite a few music tracks in this game that are actually remixes from games earlier in the series as well. The sound effects of the game aren't bad either, the sounds match what the character's doing pretty well, an example is Rika's slash when she uses her claw, or Chaz when he swings his sword or dagger.
Replay Value - Moderate - A good RPG is always fun to play again. You may want to try out different things on the next playthrough, or try out other characters for a "certain battle" at the end of the game. This game is always fun to go through for a second go.
Final Verdict - 9 - I personally have always liked Phantasy Star IV, even though I never got into the older ones. I can say that if you're really into RPGs it's definitely worth a look, you won't be disappointed.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/04/02, Updated 05/23/07
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