Review by viperhawk2004
"Better than Final Fantasy its..."
Phantasy Star IV. What a great game this is. I think it exceeds the quality that better Final Fantasy's get. Don't get me wrong, I loved Final Fantasy 6, 7, 8, and 9, but IMO, this game is just better.
The only thing this game lacks, is difficulty. Its not the toughest RPG I've ever played, thats for sure. Its not really that hard, very simple, easy to use and get used to. Once you get used to it you cruise right through each battle. The gameplay and controls are EXTREMELY easy to master.
But I think most RPGs get around a 7 or 8 as far as story. Almost always the same story, the main character has problems, his girlfriend gets in trouble, he gets in trouble, he saves the day at the end, gets the girl. This does stray from that a bit, thats why it gets an 8. Overall the story is similar to any RPG you've played. It does stray from developing a Chaz/girl relationship until the very end when he catches Rika from the Ship.
This is one of the most fun battle-systems I've ever played. Now you must be asking yourself what sets this one apart from other battle systems used now. The biggest is macros and setting up your macros for special attacks that your characters use in tandem with each other, i.e. Fire Storm. This is pretty different from even the previous Phantasy Stars, let alone the RPGs of today, it basically set the precedent for the things to come. Its extremely fun, especially that crazy macro battle system.
I really wish they would have developed the relationships better throughout the story. Alys & Chaz, Chaz & Rika, Chaz & Rune. I wish they would have delved deeper into Chaz's past too. I would have liked to know "the trouble he caused in a far away country." I loved the characters, even though the development was a little weak. You could feel for Chaz when Alys died, you almost felt you were him, especialy when he fought Alys to get the Elysedon. The characters are good, even if their background is a little hazy.
Even though I've played it through a few times, I could never do it in succesion. Though I think that about most RPGs, this one is tough to play through back-to-back unless you want to 100% the game, which I never do... I can play it once in a while, when I need a refresher to.. oh lets say write a review ^_^ Its replayable, only if you do so every 6 months or so, lol.
They are in abundance here, from the early sandworms to getting the earthquakes under control, you can find sidequests at numerous points throughout the game. Most of them are a lot of fun, especially the ones where you have to do some fighting. I love the Silver Soldier and sandworm side-quest, those are loads of fun.
Monsters and Bosses-9/10
The first major boss of the game, Zio, was one of my favorite bosses in any game. I felt like I knew him when I fought him, and I felt like I really wanted to kill him. He was a bit too easy for a major boss in a video game, Demi's Barrier basically wins the battle for you. Dark Force was pretty tough in all three instances, Wren was the only reason I won the first time my latest time through. It turns out that Flare/Recover >>>> Dark Force, lol.
My favorite RPG of all time. <3 the PS series, but this one is on its own as the best of the series. The character development is a little weak, but other than that, its unbeatable. The monsters, the bosses, the characters, I just fell in love with this game from the day I played it back when it was just after its release. I'm even playing through it again right now (11/1/04).
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/02/04
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