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Thread: WK's Top something or other... let's just say "games" and call it good list.

  1. #136
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    57. We're almost halfway through and I just reached my first Metal Gear title, woo boy! I'm sure some people may be a bit surprised to find this game on my list as this entry was for the longest time within the franchise the very definition of "love it, or hate it". I happen to fall into the love it category, though I can still be pretty critical about it's faults. MGS2: Sons of Liberty, takes place two years after the previous game. Ocelot sold the schematics for Metal Gear REX on the black market, and now the world is filled with Metal Gear units for various nations and terrorist organizations. Snake and Otacon formed Philanthropy, a non-government organization that opposes Metal Gears and proposes to have them outlawed. On the side, the two of them will often sneak in and destroy these Metal Gears when the U.N. fails to be firm. The group has gained a lot of notoriety partly due to these activities, but also due to Snake's rise of popularity in the aftermath of Natsaha's book detailing the Shadow Moses incident. When the game opens, Snake is in New York, infiltrating a Tanker ship on the Hudson that secretly houses the U.S. Marines new Anti-Metal Gear unit, Metal Gear RAY. Snake is simply coming in and taking photos, but the missions catches it's first hitch when the ship is taken over by Russian mercenaries led by Revolver Ocelot and his old friend Gurlukovich. Sneaking his way past the mercenaries, Snake eventually finds RAY and begins his mission but when Revolver Ocelot crashes the scene, it ends badly for everyone and Snake is ultimately blamed for the incident and presumed dead, in addition to an environmental plant needing to be built to clear up the mess.Fast forward a few years, the plant is taken over by Dead Cell during an inspection by the U.S. President, and FOXHOUND sends in their newest recruit, Raiden to rescue him. Raiden, a rookie member of the outfit with only VR training, is completely flabbergasted by the surreal nature of the mission as he deals with the kooky Dead Cell led by the former U.S. President and third brother of the Big Boss clones, Solidus Snake; conspiracy after crazy conspiracy; some very questionable character expansions; and the fact his girlfriend is part of the mission support team and won't shut up about whether Raiden remembers that tomorrow is their anniversary or not.MGS2 is a pretty surreal game for the series and for the longest time, many fans really didn't know what to think of it. The controversy of the protagonist switch, the surreal plotline that made you question if it happened or not, and the game's lack of a real ending didn't exactly go over so well with fans back in 2001. Which may be the reason why Kojima chose to troll all of the fans again by something very similar with MGSV. Still, the games underlying themes about information in the digital age and how it reflects our reality is probably more relevant today in an era of fake news, social media creating ideological safe spaces for fringe beliefs, and people still giving a damn about Justin Beiber and Kanye West. I don't usually like to use the phrase "ahead of it's time" but I feel it's safe to say that in historical hindsight, MGS2 certainly was from a narrative perspective. As time goes one, I have come to appreciate the game's story more and more despite it being my least favorite part initially.I'm also the odd duck in the franchise who never had a problem with Raiden. I liked the twist of his introduction, and I never found him too angsty cause he was pretty much an "every man" in the wacky MGS world. I'm sure if Kojima had ever gotten around to remaking the original Metal Gear with rookie Solid Snake, he would have also been spending half his time whining to Big Boss while sucking on his thumb like a baby for comfort. With that said, I'm a little miffed with what Kojima did to the character in later installments as I felt Raiden was compelling enough without the "badass" upgrades and I actually found him more unintentionally goofy and angsty in the sequels than in his proper game. Rose on the other hand, is pretty annoying and she's probably the most blatant example of why this mission feels so off. Initially I thought it was just the way the story went, but when she came back in MGS4, I came to realize that I simply don't like her. In fact one of the major gripes I do have with the game is the lackluster mission control team. The various characters you can chat to were highlights for me in the first and third entries, so it always makes me a bit sad that the one in this game was kind of dull, especially when design documents released later showed that Raiden was meant to have a proper team. Dead Cell was also a bit of a dud as well minus Solidus Snake. Again, they were sandwiched between two better teams and while Dead Cell had a better backstory than the Cobra Unit, it never translated well into gameplay as most of the fights with the team range from boring to just annoying. Vamp was another character I felt MGS4 ruined. Oddly enough though, the battle with Olga is probably one of my favorite fights in the series despite being a showcase for the games new physics engine. With all that said, MGS2 was a massive improvement from a gameplay standpoint, despite introducing the ultimate crutch of any stealth run, the silenced tranq gun, the game is fairly challenging compared to the previous entries due to new mechanics like first person aiming, bodies needing to be hidden, and new enemy units like the bane of my existence, Cipher Units. The game's A.I. is also hyper competent and the games more narrow layout made getting spotted pretty easily and usually a quick death if you weren't on your toes or didn't have the grenade launcher yet. Despite my initial problems with the story, I felt even then that MGS2 had more rewarding gameplay than it's predecessor, and that sentiment has never really gone away either. The Tanker sequence is still one of the high points of the franchise for me and probably my favorite sequence. This is the first of five Metal Gear titles to be on this list, and I feel being in my top five is kind of a nice testament to this game's quality. It has aged far better than I really thought it would and I feel it's the one entry that has truly be vindicated by history despite all the issues it caused on release. Of anything, this game ruined Kojima's ability to ever really surprise the fans again as fans wised up and carefully combed trailers and his interviews to the point where most fans usually guess all the big moments of his later games.



  2. #137
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    Just popping in to throw my love in for Journey, and also to ask who WK preferred out of Katherine and Catherine.
    Bow before the mighty Javoo!

  3. #138
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spuuky View Post
    That isn't actually what Dark Souls is about but that's alright
    Pretty much what I was thinking. I mean memorization helps, just like in 99% of all games ever, but if you're careful enough you can get through pretty much any area your first time.

  4. #139
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    I'm hoping for a curveball that one of the other four Metal Gear games is from the NES.

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  5. #140
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    There is certainly more to DS than pattern recognition and memorization, especially since I only gave the most basic of explanations and didn't even really go into depth of character customization and how it can change your playstyle, nor did I even go into how multiplayer is a game changer in both helping you and being the bane of your existence.

    Still, the closest thing I can think of for difficulty would be the old style arcade games of yesteryear, and when it comes down to it, if you were super careful there, you could potentially beat any game on a first try as well. Statistically unlikely, considering the human element involved, but theoretically possible as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loony BoB View Post
    Just popping in to throw my love in for Journey, and also to ask who WK preferred out of Katherine and Catherine.
    Catherine actually, but I screwed up and kind of got the bad version of her ending.

    As for Del's question... You'll have to wait and see. Most people will know what two of them are, but it would be interesting to see what people guess for the other two. Technically I have three other franchises I love on this list and haven't even gotten to any entry for them yet.

  6. #141
    Taking care of business Cid's Knight Bubba's Avatar
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    I have things to say.

    A quick word on Journey. I have had this downloaded on my PS4 since forever... and have never booted it up. I am well aware of how highly regarded it is and know it can be completed in 2-3 hours. I really have no excuse and the fact that you gave very little away in your review may have given me the nudge I need. Cheers WK!

    Right, Metal gear. My love affair with this series started with Metal Gear Solid on PS1 and ended with the sequel. The PS1 game was ground-breaking on many levels which I won't go into now (as I'm sure it will appear somewhere on your list). I remember being so hyped for the sequel and distinctly remember buying Zone of the Enders (a cracking game in its own right) as it came with the MGS:2 demo. The demo was pretty much half of the tanker sequence and I was absolutely blown away. Everything about it was slick as hell, fantastically atmospheric and full of beautiful touches. You better believe I was first in line at the shop on its day of release.

    I agree that the full tanker sequence is probably the highlight of the entire series. As soon as we reach the big shell though, man... Put me firmly in the 'hate-Raiden' camp. The main turn-off for me though was the big shell itself. Boring, boring, boring. Strut A, bridge, Strut F, bridge etc etc... Plus, you've already mentioned how awful Rose was. Smurf off with your anniversary talk. I'M A GOD DAMN SPECIAL AGENT, LET ME DO MY JOB.

    I never actually completed it on the PS2 and played through it again recently on my Vita. It definitely improved in the later stages and the boss fights were pretty enjoyable. There were just too many parts I didn't like. The fake-out game over screen, the Colonel's meltdown, Raiden & Rose, the environments... I was so disappointed.

    I did play the Gameboy Colour Metal Gear game though a few years ago and that was excellent.

  7. #142
    SHAAAAAUN! Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    The first metal gear solid will probably always be my favorite, but I like mgs2 quite a bit. I thought the story was interesting and I had a ton of fun with the actual gameplay. Might have to play through the series again soon. Also, I still need to play through the phantom pain.

  8. #143
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    56.One of the more interesting, if totally underrated franchises to come out of Square. Front Mission is the brainchild of Toshiro Tsuchida, whom I doubt any of you have ever heard of, yet many of you have played a game he's worked on since he was the creator of FFX's CTB system and he also worked on FFXIII's battle system. He also created the Arc the Lad series for Sony but only worked on the first two entries. Despite all that, Front Mission was his baby and while the games never received the overseas recognition he wanted, he was pretty happy to have completed the full story he wanted to tell with the series. The games are set in the end of the 21st century and early 22nd, where in addition to Germany finally figuring how to do this whole "giant robot" thing since it didn't seem like Japan was ever going to get around to it; the world has been swallowed up with Supranational Unions that have banded together for economical relevancy. With the rise of globalization comes an outcry of nationalism, and soon the various Unions deal with conflicts between other supranational unions as well as upstart nations within, clamoring for their independence. As one can tell, an overarching them of the series nationalism vs. globalization, and thankfully, I feel like Front Mission does a pretty good job of being pretty even handed on the subject, often showing the strengths and pitfalls of both ideologies. The series works a bit like Suikoden, in that each entry is a mostly self-contained story, but each one also adds to the overarching struggle between these two ideologies that play throughout the franchise and strugles in one game has consequences in others. It also has a good dose of "war is hell" but much of that plays out more in the light novels and drama CDs. Speaking of which, Front Mission is kind of the only franchise that pulls the whole "multimedia" approach that Square likes to do, pretty well. Mainly because all the non-game media are either one-shot stories set within the world or simply follow up stories that tell you what happens to everyone after the credits end. You don't actually need to read any of it to appreciate the plots or understand the stories better, and that's how I feel it should be.Front Mission 3 deals with the story of Kazuki Takemura, a test wanzer pilot for Kirishima Industries who becomes embroiled in a a global conspiracy involving a stolen USN developed nuclear weapon called MIDAS. MIDAS is a nuclear weapon designed in a way to bypass most anti-nuclear weapon laws in place and threatens to throw off the delicate power balance within the world. I say it's Kazuki's story, but he's more like a Vaan or Tidus in that he's simply the point of view character for the player, and instead the plot actually revolves around either Alisa Takemura, Kazuki's adopted sister who is a renowned prodigy that was working with the Japanese military in studying a prototype MIDAS construct the government got its hands on; or Emir "Emma" Klamsky, a USN scientist that helped developed the original MIDAS and is looking to find it and destroy it. Whichever one he chooses to follow, Kazuki tries to chase down MIDAS throughout the OCU, which is Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. He also winds up in the Da Han Zong (DHZ) which is basically a united future China The game has two different scenarios and understanding the whole plot will involve playing both of them. Alisa's story is shorter and considered easier, but Emma's arc has more unique elements to it like some unique wanzer units and the ability to affect who joins your group. The game has loads of characters with fifteen potential party members across both story arcs with only Kazuki and his best friend Ryogo being the the constants in each one. One of the most interesting aspects of the game is how each scenario finds Kazuki on a different sides of a conflict. The obvious is between the main heroines. If Kazuki sides with his sister, he joins up with a DHZ spy that smuggles them out of the country of Japan, and helps them track down the bomb before it can be used to destabilize the DHZ. If he goes with Emma, he's working for a USN block ops group trying to recover the weapon from the OCU and DHZ before the other nations learn about it. Several characters that are allies in one story path, are bitter enemies in the other and vice versa. When Kazuki lands in the Philippines, it's caught in the middle of a bloody civil war. In Alisa's plot, they help the rebels, but in Emma's they are getting help from the Philippine government. This allows you to get a better idea of the conflicts as one scenario may play out the rebels as freedom loving forces trying to take back the nation for the people, while the other scenario may reveal the call for independence is simply one persons rallying cry to gain more power as they use the war to destabilize the country and build their power structure. There is a lot of gray in this world and it's fantastic. Gameplay is a typical grid based Tactical RPG a la FFTactics fame. Players control the wanzers, the series named for the mecha, and can use up to four units per battle. There are over thirty different Wanzers in the game for you to acquire though some are unique to certain scenarios. Pilots can switch between wanzer units and wanzers themselves can be mixed and matched by parts with body, legs, and arms all being easily switched around though weight and power distribution will affect what type of weapons the unit can use. There are nine different weapons to choose from and every unit can usually have two. Despite this flexibility, some units are obviously better for certain tasks than others, and equally, the pilots themselves have certain weapons they gain better proficiency with than others. Kazuki for instance is a rare hybrid melee/attacker specialist, which means he works better with melee weapons and firearms like shotguns and machine guns. Emma and Alisa are both Gunner types that deal with high marksmanship so rifles and missile launchers are their weapons of choice. Battles utilize AP that dictates how far you can move, which weapons you can use, whether you can use a skill, or whether your unit can counter or defend during enemy turns. Skills are powerful moves that associated with the different wanzer parts, each part teaches it's own skills, and while the likelihood is randomizes, it happens often enough and they are usually strong enough to warrant some attention. Once a skill activates for the first time, a character learns it and can have it assigned to them so it can be used even when you switch wanzer parts. Multiples of the same skill can be learned and assigned as well which will raise the likelihood of it activating in battle. With all that said, the amount of skills you can have a pilot assigned to them varies based on the skills level and the CPU of the wanzer, so it's not like you can have ten or twenty skills attached to them. Later, the game introduces special CPUs that will raise the likelihood of a skill activating or being learned, but it usually comes with some drawback to balance it out. Combat works pretty similar to Tactics, but when I mentioned that units have parts, that plays into it as well. To defeat a unit, you need to destroy the main body or damage them so badly they surrender.. Destroying legs will reduce a unit to moving one square a piece and being unable to jump, while destroying the arms will often cripple their combat abilities. You can even potentially kill the pilots themselves by either knocking them out of the wanzer and killing them before they can re-board, or using special pilot targeting skills. You can even have your own party members board an enemy unit that has had it's pilot removed and thankfully the A.I. is a bit too dumb to go straight for your own abandoned unit. This all offers some interesting depth to combat, especially when you start factoring in skills that target specific parts, using a lucky strike on an enemy unit to commandeer it and give to an ally whose unit might be close to being destroyed, and the fact that surviving enemy wanzer units are automatically added to your own inventory if you win the battle which is great for gaining more customization options as well as being the best source of money in the game. Between all of the fighting, the plot plays out like a very low budget visual novel, and you'll travel between locations within cities or bases while talking to your allies and NPCs. There are actually quite a number of little sidequests to do in the game and most involve the internet. Yes, the game has the internet, which is hilarious in hindsight cause it's a late 90s idea of what it would look like in the future and its pretty bad and non-user friendly, just like the internet was in the late 90s. Your party can go online to answer emails surf, websites, online shop, and even acquire some hacking programs to dive deeper into government websites or decrypt messages you obtain. Tis part of the game is actually way more involving than you think, and I would advise getting a guide for it because writing down all of the various passwords and learning when its possible to hack a certain website can be rather tasking. On the other hand, the internet aspect helps to sell the world and characters better as it will fill you in on the history of the world and tech, fill in backstory for the politics of the areas you visit and you'll get to see another side of some of the characters like Ryogo's womanizing, or hardass Marine Marcus' almost goofy love for his daughters. You can even acquire an internet stalker in Alisa's scenario.

    It's a fairly involving game overall, and easily my favorite of the entries I've played. In fact, I'm replaying the game right now on my PSP, and it's kind of guilt tripping me that I never finished FM4. Still, it's a great series for people who love Tactical RPGs, Real Robots, and Realpolitk then this is definitely one to check out.


  9. #144
    Edge7's Avatar
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    Re: MGS2. I agree with your impression of Raiden for the most part, but I'll actually defend his characterization in Revengeance as it feels like that game's entire thesis statement is how antithetical the the desire to play as a Cyborg Ninja is to the themes of what was once a series of Political Spy Thrillers. They even repeat MGS1's "you enjoy all the killing" spiel, but this time the main character goes nuts and admits that he's only in it for the action and that all of the plot is simply pretense. And then the plot goes from potentially salvageable to REALLY stupid.

    Basically, I always found it as a cool way to poke fun at the fans who lamented Raiden not being playable in MGS4. (SPOILER)And also maybe a parody of how MGS4's writing was all flash and exposition and had very little of substance, but that's like, my opinion man.
    Returners Represent!

  10. #145
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    I only played FM3 recently but it is a really cool tactical RPG.

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  11. #146
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    I've always regretted not getting FM3 back when it came out.

  12. #147
    Ghost of Christmas' past theundeadhero's Avatar
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    I can't remember if FM3 had combo options like FM4 did. That was one of my favorite things about four.

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  13. #148
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    55.Now we're introduced to another underrated JRPG franchise from Capcom of all places. Like Konami, Capcom always seemed to have bad timing with this franchise and I wouldn't be surprised if it had a better reception in the EU since it was the only place where Capcom didn't release the game at the same time as Final Fantasy IX. I mean seriously, in both Japan and North America, it was released the same month for both places. I almost missed it myself since I was still coming off the high of IX until two of my fellow Breath of Fire buddies in high school started talking about it and I read an article about it in GameFan. So I quickly asked my Dad to pick it up for me in Christmas and on New Years day of 2001, I finished the game for the first time. I still get in the mood to play this game when the Rose Parade comes on. For those who have never heard of this series, it's a set of JRPGs set in a world filled with people and anthropomorphic people that usually centers around a character named Ryu who has the power to become a Dragon. There is usually a winged girl named Nina who hails from Wyndia. Despite the series kind of cutesy nature, the games jump back and forth between lighthearted humor and nightmare fuel while tackling a usually difficult philosophical question concerning religion, the nature of God, the ethics within a society, and utilitarianism versus the individual needs. So yeah, don't let the art style and funny animal people fool you, this series gets progressively darker with every entry. In the distant past, the western continent was embroiled in an endless civil war when one of the rulers, tired of the conflict summoned his greatest thinkers and sorcerers together and had them summon a mighty god to end the conflict. The ceremony was botched and the god was summoned incomplete, it's body and mind split across space and time, but the figure they got was still mighty indeed and set forth to unite the western continent and forged it into a mighty empire with himself as the first emperor. Wishing to unite the whole world, the emperor built a magic transport to help his soldiers cross the impenetrable Mud Sea that separated the main continents and he began a war with the nations over there. Soon the incomplete summoning took a toll on the God Emperor and he decided to enter a state of sleep until the time his other self would come into the world. The God Emperor Fou Lu "died" but claimed he would return in six hundred years to reclaim his throne and end his task to unite the world of mortals. Six centuries later, the Western Fou Empire has been in a state of war or uneasy truces with the confederate nations of the Eastern continent. The world has seen four devastating world wars, the most recent of which had only recently ended. Princess Elina of Wyndia had gone to the front line of the conflicts on a peace keeping expedition to help the war orphans and war stricken civilians when she suddenly vanished. Tired of the constant conflict, the Eastern powers are not as concerned with condemning the Fou Empire of foul play but Elina's sister Nina, and her friend and lover Cray of the Woren Tribe sneak to the front lines in hoping to find out what happened to her. While crossing the desert, their sandflyer is attacked by the Sand Dragon and wrecked forcing Cray to stay behind to keep the vehicle safe while Nina walks to the closest town to get parts. On her way, she comes across a mostly naked and amnesiac man named Ryu. She helps to get back on his feet and asks him to travel with her. Meanwhile, in the empire, Fou Lu has awaken again, just as he promised but instead of being greeted with parades and celebrations, he is instead attacked by the Empire's greatest sorcerer and assassins as the current emperor refuses to relinquish control of the empire to the God Emperor. Fou Lu begins a journey across his kingdom to reach the capital and finish what he started centuries back. Bot Ryu and Fou Lu travel the world of mortals and see the foolishness of a world that has only known war and blindly seeks the helps of the gods to sort through their messes. How will both of them come to see mankind when they finally unite? Breath of Fire IV is an interesting game with a dual protagonist in the form of Ryu and Fou Lu. You play through both of their stories and see their ups and downs, although only Ryu continues the series tradition of silent protagonist. The story continues a theme brought up in earlier Breath of Fire games concerning the nature of Man's relationship with God. Past title brushed on the subject but BoFIV makes it a central theme as Fou L's journey really shifts from feeling like a parental/shepherd figure to a being who soon grows a distaste for the people he is put in charge with. Ryu's journey is a bit slower on the uptake, focusing first on the political realities of the world, but once his origin becomes known and he begins his journey to discover what he really is and who his other half, his story falls in place with Fou Lu as they both bear witness to the best and worst that mortal-kind has to offer. It's a pretty cool story with some absolutely great and heart breaking moments during both plot-lines. The game also has an incredibly colorful cast of characters like Scias the drunken swordsman, the no nonsense Ursala, and the lovable Ershin who will really make you question if an animated suit of armor can be a person. If I have one major gripe with the game's plot, it's that it kind of suffers from MMX4 syndrome (which you can conveniently read about in this thread) in which the dual protagonists have lopsided attention and it's pretty obvious which one the writing staff preferred. Fou Lu is so popular with the staff that they made an expy of him in the next game. Fou Lu's story is better paced, has a great arc, and one of the games most tragic moments. It is not difficult to want to side with his idea of mortals by the time the game asks you to decide which ending you'll get. Ryu's story in comparison is bloated and takes awhile to get to full steam, only to constantly reverse gears on you and have you feel like you're starting back at stage one. I never realized how bad it was until I found the manga adaption of the story and found Ryu's plot to be a hell of a lot more enjoyable when the extra bulltrout gets cut out. Regardless of that rant, the game is pretty enjoyable for the most part and my issues with it largely comes as a veteran of the series than any actual major problems. Gameplay is traditional turn-based and like previous entries, all party members also possess a special skill which can be used when they are leading the group in dungeons to help find secret paths or clear puzzles, such as Ryu's ability to cut things with his sword, or Cray's strength to move heavy objects. The newest addition to the combat system is the combo system, which works in a very similar fashion to Persona 2's fusion magic system. When characters use certain moves in succession, as long as their speed ratings are close enough, the skills and spells can combine to create a new move. For instance, using the fire spell Burn followed by Nina's wind spell Sever will cause Sever to be transformed into the Wind/Fire spell Simoon which does greater damage. Casting a group heal followed by a group shield spell will have the shield spell also heal the party for an extra ten percent for the participating members. As one can tell, this adds a whole layer of strategy to how you use the parties moves. Each party member specializes in one elemental type with exception of Ryu and Ershin. Ryu is mostly a blank slate besides his dragon powers and can be customized however you want. Ershin begins the game as a melee focus but can eventually learn all four of the highest tier of elemental magics and even gets a unique non-elemental spell, but sadly all of those are completionist bonus as he only learns them well past the recommended level for beating the game, which makes him this entries continuation of the series traditional joke character.The game also brings back Breath of Fire III's Skill system and Master System. In the previous game, party members could observe enemies during battle for the chance to learn their battle skills in Blue Mage fashion, IV simplifies it and reduces the risk factor by simply letting your party learn skills by defending in battle. Masters would take party members as an apprentice and alter their stat growth as well as teach useful skills. In III, you simply had to level up enough to gain the skills, but IV alters this with each master making you focus on some different gameplay aspect like how many much damage you can do in one move, or how many combo spells you can perform in a single round. It adds a lot of variety from the previous game, but a savvy player can potentially fulfill all the requirement before even meeting the master, allowing you to gain all the skills the moment you meet them. The other issue is that BoFIV doesn't actually add too many new skills from the previous game and kind of screwed up some of the balancing by making it pretty easy to gain skills through the Blue Mage monster style over the Master system. Even worse is that the game increased the hp/damage cap and made the stat growth from Master's not go as far as they did in BoFIII. It's pretty annoying considering how popular both features were in the previous game and feel like they would work well with IV's new mechanics, but it just feels a bit sloppy to me in execution. Course, if you've never played the third entry, you'll probably not even notice any of these issues and I admit it does feel a bit unfair to compare, but I still feel IV didn't really do much with such a cool game concept, it's mostly a copy/paste job. Ryu's dragon forms are also a downgrade from III, but the nature of their narratives make it difficult to repeat for this game. Ryu has the ability to transform into a smaller dragon and eventually gains the power to transform into a more powerful ultimate form which can't be controlled unless you fulfill a sidequest to meet and gain the power of all of the Dragons. Ryu and Fou Lu can both acquire Dragon Gems which contain the fossilized power of an ancient dragon and gives them the ability to transform into them. These forms usually are elemental based like the Fire elemental Wyvern for Ryu or the Ice elemental Serpent for Fou Lu. They add a bit of variety for both characters but you'll quickly learn the default story forms are much more powerful and versatile. They are still fun to use and can even be upgraded by getting high scores in the games excessive amount of mini-games. Unique to Ryu is the power of the other dragon gods which he uses like a summon, and unlike freaking Final Fantasy, Capcom was smart enough to just add a freaking skip animation button when you don't want to watch the long cinematic sequence for the billionth time. The game is also filled with minigames, including the traditional Fishing minigame of which IV may have the best incarnation of, there is even a new fishing card that allows you to gain points to be traded for fantastic prizes but sadly the game is unbalanced as hell and getting the best gear would require hours upon hours of just fishing to get them. The Fairy Village also returns where you have to build and maintain a village for ungrateful fairies which allows you to open up special shops to gain money, new skills, or buy unique equipment. I also would like to point out that the games art direction, sprite work, and musical score are amazing. I had to add GIFs for this just to show off how fluid the sprite animation is from one of the best companies in the field, because you can probably tell from the static screenshots how little justice they do how good this game really looks. The game has a very Asian design with the Fou Empire having a mix of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean influences in there design. There are even a few Biwa style musical pieces which gives this game a really interesting vibe you don't see too often in the genre. The muted color palette of earth tones also adds to the very stylistic design of the game and makes it really stand apart from the flashier earlier entries and the industrial design of the fifth entry. If you've been meaning to really check out this series, this is actually a pretty good starting point for anyone and the story and cast are fantastic with some deep themes. The gameplay is solid and despite all of the mini-games, unlike Final Fantasy, I feel most of them are fun. You should definitely check this game out if you haven't.


  14. #149
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Pumpkin Contrary (Sargatanas)

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    I still need to finish BoF III >.<

  15. #150
    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    A'nutoh Tia (Sargatanas)

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    It's a good thing IV is a waaaaay better game, then, Pumpkin, so you can ditch that and start this ;0


    Seriously, BoF IV is awesome and is hands-down the best game in the series, alongside the much more experimental Dragon Quarter.

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