Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Phantasy Star IV

Phantasy Star is amongst the best games on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and for good reason too. Graphically it's fantastic, the mini anime style windows really help with the speech and I truly loved that feature. It added a lot of depth most RPG's of that era were missing.

 Many of the characters are great additions to the squad, when Rune first joined my party I felt unstoppable. When Raja joined I was amazed I had survived without a proper healer, he is just godly! Some Characters weren't so interesting or even great, although none were particularly bad. Rika, she levels so fast and at first I thought she was weak and now I think the complete opposite with amazing skills and her speed is truly helpful, especially when you're in need of a quick NaSar. Gryz, Kyra and Wren all have their uses but I find them rather bland and at times quite troublesome.

 The movement is very smooth, it even walks around most obstacles for you which is truly genious and sometimes a pain in the ass.

The story like many other Japanese made RPG's isn't particularly interesting but it's far from bad. The constant arguments between Rune and Chaz are a nice touch, and pretty much how all of the other characters interact with each other is very well done.

The battle style is a simple turn base like most others of that generation but the frontal view was new to me and I enjoyed it very much (like I did with the previous Phantasy Star games) and the macro system is amazing!

 Having the ability to customise your battles with macro's is incredibly helpful, farming in a lowbie area, make a macro for auto attacks, simple! Macro everything especially your combination moves which is another epic thing about this game, using different characters moves with each other to make a joint attack with increased power, it's incredibly well thought out and designed perfectly.

 I love a lot of the little quirks of the game such as the land rover and the ice digger, strolling across the map and battling with them, what an incredible touch to make the game more interesting.

 A lot of the bosses are really interesting and definitely entertaining with just the amount of challenge, enter Zio who is even cryptic, god damn you PSYCHO-WAND! Larshiec and his three goons even if you powerlevel they're still a thorn in your side, there attacks are powerful as hell. The random spawns are quite powerful within reason at least. You can kill a group of monsters in one turn and still have Rune or any of your other characters low on hp, which gives it some kind of edge.

Another great feature are the skills Hinas and Ryuka, they will save you so much time and if you're farming Ryukas will get you back to an inn in a jiffy.

Now the game isn't all unicorns shitting rainbows in fact there are several major flaws (in fact some of these flaws are basically unicorns just shitting on you) with the game even with those in mind it is still one of my favourite 16 bit games.

 Now you all know the flaws I am talking about, let us start with the most frustrating one. Being unable to see what your skills or items actually do, without some form of list in front of you. Now I have stuff in my inventory still that I don't want to waste by using and yet I have no idea what it does.
  Now this is a huge problem, some of them you're not even sure after trial and error. How were we supposed to know that spark is a 1 shot on machines and not biological enemies. It would help if the names were even close to what they're supposed to do. Foi, at first thought I believed it to be a wind attack just from the name and obviously I was wrong, it's a fire attack.

 I'd like to be able to check the stats on the gear before I buy it so I don't have to sell it back for half the god damn price. I've wasted so much coin on doing that it's unreal.

The items in the inventory don't stack, now this is only a minor problem but still they were able to make a stackable inventory and I wish that it had been implemented. Countless times my inventory was full of worthless crap that I never used.

One last bad point, the lack of a world map, although moving around the map isn't so difficult since you have Ryuka I would still like to have seen a big ass map showing me all the places I could get to.

If you haven't played this game already I recommend that you do.

Game rating 90/100

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