Phantasy Star IV
Review by Goldenguy
"Extremely overlooked, but knocks the socks off of other RPGs."
This game is, by far, the best RPG ever made, without a doubt. I don't care what Final Fantasy fans or anybody else has to say (I'm a big Zelda fan as well), this game is the best. After the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, this game is what has permanently drawn me in to the depths of RPGs. After I played PSIV on Sega Channel, I had to have it, and ASAP, I shelled out $70 to buy it. I have probably played this game nearly as much as I have F-Zero X over the years (a hell of a lot). I mean, one summer, I spent nearly every single day playing it for hours straight on end.. Now to uncover more on the game:
Story: 10/10 (35pts)
Call me a freak or a Phanatic, but the Phantasy Star IV story has got to be the best RPG storyline ever written and will be the best for ages to come. Before I played PSIV, I never held a big interest in RPGs other than the overhead slash-em up type like Zelda: A Link to the Past. But this game totally drew me in.
Control: 10/10 (20pts)
The control has huge improvements made, when compared to the other Phantasy Stars. For one, the characters walk very quickly, which means no more seeing a door and still taking 3 hours to get to it. The menus also have been largely revamped. It is now very easy to figure out what to do. The only part about the Phantasy Star series that hasn't been user-friendly is the spell names, but hell. Just try them out.
Graphics: 10/10 (12.5pts)
The graphics on this game are unrivaled on any other game of its size. The sprites and monsters are drawn probably as close to flawlessly as you can get, and the battle backgrounds kick ass. The map graphics also whoop up, as there is even a living tower that constantly pulsates.
Sound: 10/10 (12.5pts)
There isn't much, if any, music in this game that will have you cringing or muting your TV (or computer). In fact, most of the music on this game is better than any other RPG music I've heard. The only other game with as many sound tracks that I like is Secret of Mana..
Challenge: 7/10 (7pts)
One of the only imperfect scores on this review, the challenge of this game isn't very high. It doesn't take horribly long to gain levels, which is pretty much the only strategy you need if you get stuck on a boss. One of the bosses in particular is hard as hell until you're about level 35, and one of the first big bosses has a strategy that took me a long time to figure out.
Dynamics: 9/10 (9pts)
Instead of having the guy walk first as most RPGs do, why not have a girl in the front? How about the weakest character? Want to have a superb healer in the party instead of a strong axe-user? Possible in Phantasy Star IV. At any time in the game, you can change your party's order, and in the end, you can change the 5th character in your party to fit your needs. There is an assload of side-quests in the game as well, which only make it more fun.
Rent or Buy?
Anyone who is a REAL RPG fan will have bought this game or at least played it at some point in his or her lifetime. Make it top priority to get your hands on it.
Final Rating: 96/100 (10)
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/02/01, Updated 04/15/04
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