Review by BlueInferno83

"Excellent end to a millenium."

Phantasy Star IV was released in 1994 and capped off the epic Phantasy Star series. This game was one of the most anticipated, and did not fail to deliver. The moment I began to play Phantasy Star IV, I fell in love. From it's great music, to the wonderful characters, to the bits and pieces of humor interjected into the banter of the townspeople, I have to say that I loved it all.

Phantasy Star IV is quite different from the other games in the series. It contains humor, something not found in 1-3. It also introduces a new system of fighting, involving learned techniques unique to each character.

In addition, this game contains actual interaction and character growth. The characters have more of a three dimensional personality. You can relate with and fall in love with the characters more in this title than in the previous three Phantasy Star games.

Since its release, Phantasy Star IV has spawned a whole plethora of fan sites, fan fiction, and fan made games. This game truly left an imprint on the gaming landscape. Although Phantasy Star Online, Episodes 1-3 came after, I consider this to be the last great Phantasy Star game in any sense of the word.

Graphics(8/10):
Not spectacular, but certainly not bad by any means. The artwork on the cut away scenes was very well drawn. Also, the character designs were quite detailed and easy on the eyes. The only thing I could really see lacking in the graphics was a lack of dimension. With the new ground Sega was breaking with its games, it was very disappointing to see Chaz and company existing in a completely 2D world.

Sound(9/10):
Some real classics here. I still find myself humming the tune to Dark Force, or whistling the Rykros tower theme. The music in this game was definitely the best out of the series, with Phantasy Star III in a close second. The sound effects were pretty great too. I loved the sounds that some of the weapons and special attacks made.

Story(7/10):
Ehh...Phantasy Star has never been big on having a good story. Once again, you are in hot pursuit to save the world from Dark Force and the Profound Darkness. There really isn't much new ground here as far as the story goes, although there are a few interesting plot turns throughout that should keep the player on their toes. All in all, the story isn't that great, and if you play games solely based on the stories they present, then I think you should pass on this one.

Battle System(8/10):
I liked this battle system a lot. The characters in this game, unlike the previous three, learned a set of unique abilities and even had the option to combine these abilities with those of others to make a MEGA ABILITY! *catches breath.* Okay, sorry about that. Anyway, great battle system here. And the new Marco feature really speeds up the battles and makes things easier.

Characters(10/10):
All of the characters were extremely likeable, but I have to say my favorites were Raja, Rune, and Wren. Each character had a distinct personality, something not found in the previous Phantasy Star installments. I really think the creators of the game did a more than adequate job in creating unique, life-like characters. There was also a cast of wacky non-playing characters to contend with, such as the guy who ran the armor shop. Yeah, that guy was great.

Difficulty(4/10):
Very easy, especially compared to the other Phantasy Star titles. This game was much less complicated, and the bosses were a cinch to beat, provided that you had the adequate levels and weapons. The game was linear and you were pretty much directed around. Still, despite the game being very easy, I still found it enjoyable to play. Which brings us to...

Fun(9/10):
I had lots of fun with this one. This game provided hours of entertainment. Even listening to the interaction between the characters is fun and quite frankly, very amusing. The battles aren't a drag to play, either. Plus there are side quests from the Hunter's Guild that allow the player to extend gameplay.

Phantasy Star IV was my second favorite Phantasy Star game, behind Phantasy Star III. This game contains many of the elements that its brothers lacked. It takes the best of the other three games, filters out some of the mistakes made previously, and leaves the player with a satisfying and fulfilling game experience. Would I recommend anyone to play this game? HECK YEAH! I think you would be a fool to pass this one up.

I was sad to see that this game was the last in the series released, unless you count PSO, which I don't. The Phantasy Star series, though the games all contained their shortcomings, provides its players with years of memories and are still being played to this day.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/09/04


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