Review by WanderingSpirit
"A Phantasy Like No Other"
Phantasy Star IV was the greatest game I have ever played, period. I remember the first time I was playing the game, it was a rental from blockbuster when I was age 11. I played it, and fell in love with every aspect of the game. I went through a tenth nof the game by the time the week ended, and knew I MUST buy the game. I searched many places, but there weren't copies of the game (Its a very uncommon game). Four years passed by, searching for the game, when I found it at Blockbuster for 20 dollars. I had the money, but I chose not to get the game. Boy, did I ever regret it. Then, at age 18, I finally found the game, after 7 years of searching, at Gametrader. There, the game stood inside the glass case, the package was opened and priced at sixty dollars but I didn't care. I needed the game. It was the best gaming purchase I have ever contributed to.
The games graphics are astonishing. The game opens up like a comic book, with boxes that show handrawn animes. The towns are very detailed, with bold colors describing the world that the town is in. A town on one planet is made of nothing but sand, while another town on another planet is covered with snow. Anyhow, the creatures are some of the greatest, futuristic creatures ever created. They are very colorful, and well defined as their body parts show great craftsmanship. The battle scenes (especially the backgrounds) are completely breathtaking, showing vivid descriptions of the landscape that ends miles away from the fight. The battle scenes are very unique. It shows a window at the bottom of the screen, having a slot of each characters status and commands as well as their names. The battle system is turned based. So, when it is the persons turn, the game will show the person run toward the creature and hit him, or stand back to the screen (with back shown to player) and strike a spell. Each character looks definely different in appearance (showing actually the character. As for instance, different type of hair, hair color, suit, height, physical appearance. Sega, really boosted the power of the Genesis when making the Graphics for this game.
This is where the game holds strong. The gameplay is great in the game. You will travel through three planets and two space stations in search of a power, a questioned darkness, that will destroy the universe. Along the way, you go through many, many fights, as you try to raise your character to level 99. The game offers many features, such as the Hunters Guild (A place where you go on a quest, just like PSO, for money), spell combinations (If used the right spells by the certain characters at the right time, an alternate, more powerful, spell will come, showing both characters standing forward and unleashing a devastating spell), and finally the use of three vehicles (Land Rover, Hydrofoil, and Ice Digger) that will make roaming across the vast worlds much easier and quicker. The game also offers a Spaceship (which is offered in Phantasy Star I) to fly to seperate planets. The battle is the best part of the game. In the quest you will find many people with different, and unique, styles in combat. One guy uses just a sword, while a girl uses double boomerangs (slicers) to zip through all the creatures, a girl who uses daggers, and a mechinacle android who uses machine enhanced railguns that shoot numerous amounts of bullets. And the best part of the game, is that people have different attitudes for everything. And that contributes allot to the game.
Yes, this Sega Genesis game actually has very great sound. The music in it is primitive sci-fi techno. It fits the mood very well, because most of the dungeons are enhanced in technology. Especially when going through the computer mainframe of the planet (computers control and maintain the planets in the realm of Phantasy Star). The game also has different songs for each town and type dungeon in the game, used to place the setting of the town. For instance, Krup, a very happy town, has wacky quick paced music. While Zema, a very dark town, has very depressing, slow music. The game also has different songs through the cutscenes. So, yes, the sound is inspirational.
The most imaginative story I have ever witnessed in gaming. It starts off with a few science experiments going horrible wrong at an academy, unleashing many of the subjects to rampage through the laboratories. But what is not known is that the creatures are samples taken from another town, and in that other town lies a secret of Motavia that has been hidden for centuries. It involves a past occurence that happens every thousand years when a darkness is uplifted and tries to destroy the world. The darkness is linked to the the town, but the character doesnt really know at the beginning of the game. How the story starts, is that the lead character isnt the main character, nothing involves really him but his friend Alys. They are sent to the town after having a confrontation with Zio, the server of the dark one, to examine the source of the problem. Here is where the epic adventure begins. That game lasts about 30 hours, through dozens of cutscenes and many events, that link to the actual story. That one would not really understand what the game is about until he/she completes it all. But I will tell you that the game does offer a traumatizing story where people die, a town gets destroyed, and people betray. But in the end, the game has one of the best endings I have ever seen. It really made me enjoy going through the game. Because not one point of the game was bad, and none of the game seemed rushed.
If you are a diehard fan of RPG, get this game. It is worth buying a Genesis system. That is of course if you could find the game. This game if far more superior than most RPGs today, and it will leave great memories imprinted in the mind, remembering the greatness that this game truly is. This game should have made a movie, and even a series of novels. To bad it didn't. Because the story is the best video game story in our galaxy...
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/09/03, Updated 03/09/03
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