Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

MRL16- Sharing Is Caring

Apparently the Virtues don't subscribe to the “it's always the one you least suspect” belief when it comes to mysteries. They're going to be sorry when we all find that Sharing has a twistable mustache and Balance is tied to the railroad tracks. Granted, there aren't any trains in the Sinsiverse, but it gets the message across.

Quick Review: Breath of Fire 4- BoF 4 is of the era where my love of RPGs went from them being just about everything I played to me not wanting to even touch them now. From the get-go, BoF has frustrating controls. You cancel with the triangle button for crying out loud! There's also a glaring issue with how hard it is to see everything. It seems like the game was made for a top-down view and at the last minute somebody decided to make it isometric without redesigning the levels. You're frequently hidden behind an object in the environment requiring you to futz around with the camera, which you can only rotate 90 degrees at a time. Dungeons are also laid out like mazes and when you combine that with the terrible viewpoints, playing the game is frustrating, not fun. I think the main reason the game is held in any kind of regard is for the fantastic sprite work. Characters are expressive and animated while still being well-drawn. Unfortunately, this is marred by that PS1-era decision to mix fluid sprites with rudimentary 3D polygon backgrounds. That was an ugly decision when it was first made and it hasn't aged well over the past decade. Battles are the standard BoF-fare of turn-based fights coupled with overly long transformation sequences making the random encounters annoy you fairly quickly. Enemies are almost always faster than you, sometimes coupled with stupid properties like being able to dodge certain kinds of attacks 99% of the time, so no matter how leveled or geared up you are for that area, they're going to get a few licks in. That PS1-era of RPGs is where the focus stopped being on gameplay. There's just so much BS filler in the form of button mashing mini-games and hassles that take you out of the main quest. You're looking for a missing character and time is of the essence, but no, let's dick around searching a trap-filled maze and then play hide and seek with little kids because that totally makes a game interesting, right? I don't want to screw around on mini-games or in a some cheesy wannabe-Mode 7 field, I want to actually play the game. I picked up “Guardian Saga” for free on iOS and I had more fun on logarithmic scales than I did playing BoF4. GS had its story, it had clear goals, and it was up to you to get there and get things done. No sidequests, no fiddling around with mini-games, and no characters constantly hassling you about something. It was just a good game with solid gameplay and it was far more enjoyable for that.