> Phantasy Star IV is the final game in the Genesis
Phantasy Star series. Although it's set in the same universe as
the previous games, PSIV has a self-contained story, so you
don't need to play the previous games to enjoy it. However, all the games
are connected. PSIV answers the unanswered questions left
by the previous games (like what is Dark Force?) and ties up some of the
loose ends left behind by the previous games as well. Sega
took Phantasy Star III
in a different direction by making it more medieval but Phantasy
Star IV returns to its science fiction roots. Phantasy Star
IV takes the best parts of the previous games and merges them into
a perfect game with more tried and true gameplay.
> I consider Phantasy Star IV to be a direct sequel to Phantasy
Star II because the graphics and art are similar. In fact,
PSIV looks like an improved version of PSII.
Comparisons are inevitable. PSIV is a top down 2D role playing
game with pseudo-third person random battles and huge mazes. The game has
turn-based battles but everything has been refined to make this game fast
and extremely user-friendly. PSIV has anime art and tons
of cutscenes and dialogue to keep players entertained for many hours. Like
in PSII, the characters look like anime characters.
> If you are new to the series and want to be entertained rather than frustrated
then I suggest that you play Phantasy Star IV first. If you
are extremely patient and love a challenge then start with PSI-II.
The previous games don't have as many cutscenes as PSIV,
probably due to graphical limitations and smaller budgets at the time of
their creation, and PSIV herds players in the right direction
more, which makes it more of a rollercoaster ride, and characters move
faster. PSIV sometimes feels more like a movie than a game,
but it does contain challenging gameplay if you keep playing to the end.
> In the future wars will be won and lost with the mere touch of a button,
but not in this world. Phantasy Star IV merges science fiction
with sword and sorcery but is mostly focused on sci fi. Characters wield
swords or guns and use magic against their enemies in a technologically
advanced world. It's a rare combination.
> There's no doubt that PSIV is technically better than the
previous games. The question is: is the story better? That's up to you
> PSIV is set 1000 years after the events of PSII.
Motavia was once a paradise but was reduced to a desert in an event called
The Great Collapse. No one knows how or why it happened (play PSII
to find out why). Recently there has been a rise in the number
of biomonsters on the planet which are bioengineered creatures created
by advanced technology a long time ago. You begin the game playing Alys
and Chaz who are two hunters working for the highest bidder on Motavia.
Alys is training Chaz with a unique brand of tough love, much to Chaz's
annoyance, but the two soon delve into the deeper mystery of where the
biomonsters are coming from, and are swept up by events beyond their control.
> Phantasy Star IV looks like an improved version of Phantasy
Star II. Comparisons are inevitable. It looks like a direct sequel
to PSII with the same graphics engine but with improved graphics.
PSIV is a last generation Genesis game so it
looks great for the time. The game really stands out from the crowd. The
game has sharp and colorful 2D graphics and the art is still impressive
even to this day. Characters have distinctive portraits and show emotions
during cutscenes. Characters and enemies are animated well when attacking.
This game makes me remember why I'm a Sega fan.
> Purely from a technical point of view, it's hard not to be impressed
with PSIV's graphics. The graphics are great for a 16 bit
game. Compare this and Shinobi
III to any SNES game. I dare you.
> Like in PSII, the game switches to a pseudo-third person
view when you enter battle. This time, however, the game renders the background
of your current location (unlike PSII). The backgrounds blend
perfectly with the art of the rest of the game. You can also have characters
synchronize attacks to produce even deadlier attacks like joint spells
which adds to the fun.
> Your characters move faster than the previous games. I imagine this was
done to shorten intervals between narrative and speed up the game for impatient
players. No matter. Otherwise everything is like before. You use menus
in battles to plan ahead and customize your characters, but everything
is easy to navigate so you don't need to worry about it and you can spend
most of your time exploring the game world and watching combat unfold.
Battles are fast and have spectacular special effects like lightning bolts
and fiery fireballs, but the battles themselves can also be very tactical.
Sometimes you need to be good at planning ahead and use items in your inventory
that can be bought or found.
> Like the graphics, the music in PSIV is similar to PSII.
PSIV continues the winning tradition. The music consists of synthesized
classical instruments and electronic rock. The music strikes me as unique.
It's unusually eclectic. Sometimes you will hear synthesized piano melodies
and other times you will hear electronic beats. The music is hard to describe.
> All you need to know is the music is epic, especially when considering
the limitations of the platform. The music perfectly reflects the atmosphere
of each location and suits the mood of the moment. Towns are calm and upbeat,
and technologically advanced dungeons have fast electronic sounding beats.
The quality of the music is consistent. The sound effects are clear and
fit the theme of the game and blend in perfectly with the music.
> Phantasy Star IV builds on the foundation of the previous
games and brings the story to its conclusion. PSIV is one
of the best 16 Bit RPGs ever made, so if you call yourself an RPG fan then
I highly recommend it. This isn't a mere game. This is a piece of gaming
history. The graphics are great. The game is colorful, smooth and has great
art. You can't ask for much more.
> The gameplay is engaging and the story sucks you in like a black hole.
The game is filled with dialogue and story revelations which sometimes
makes the game feel more like a movie than a game, but it has a good balance
of gameplay and narrative which makes for a worthwhile experience. You
can also do side quests which gives the game good longevity.
> PSIV is much more accessible than the previous games because
the game is faster, more linear and has refined the gameplay of the previous
games, so it's probably best to play this first unless you are a glutton
for punishment and like a challenge.
> I prefer PSII more in some respects because there is more
exploration. That's a relic of the past in the eyes of many gamers however.
People might find that frustrating in this day and age where people want
instant gratification above all else. I wish that non-linear games were
more popular. Side quests create the illusion of a non-linear world but
you are still being herded in the right direction as if you are too stupid
to find new locations on your own. Thus PSIV feels more like
a rollercoaster ride than a game. Nevertheless, PSIV is great
for what it is. It depends on how you define fun. I love exploring the
unexplored but the evolution of the series was not lost on me. PSIV
is more than a mere game. It's an adventure.
> Games should succeed on merit. They shouldn't succeed because the media
brainwashes people to buy them. Unfortunately some games aren't very popular
no matter how good they are. But don't be discouraged from playing PSIV;
it's a great game no matter what anyone tells you.
> This is RPG heaven. Phantasy Star IV bridges the gap between
hardcore and casual and succeeds in making a challenging game fun. You
couldn't ask for much more from a 16 Bit RPG. PSIV is one
of the best 16 Bit RPGs ever made and is technically the best Phantasy
Star game on the Genesis by far, so it's worth playing
at least once. PSIV takes the graphics and art of PSII
to the next level. The game has many unique characters that make this a
once in a lifetime experience.
> RPG fans shouldn't miss this. PSIV deserves to be remembered.
The game has a good story that keeps players hooked to their screen from
beginning to end. And of course few people even know it exists. Words fail
me when people don't remember this game and only remember Final Fantasy.
They don't know what they missed.
G. Duke ~
9.4/10 | Graphics: 9.5 | Control: 9.2 | Sound: 9.4 | Fun: 9.4