Phantasy Star IV


#1

*When people discuss the great RPGs of the 16-bit era, the resultant threads involve a lot of wistful sighs and superlatives bandied about, generally including phrases like ?best RPG ever?. Of course, these discussions almost always center on the Super Nintendo and dwell on Square?s undeniable, classic gems, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI. But as wonderful as these games are, they?re hardly alone atop the mountain of great RPGs of that era, and neither of them handle storytelling as well as Phantasy Star IV, the unsung third member at the top of the 16-bit RPG heap. *
*Narrative in 8- and 16-bit RPGs was always a difficult venture, because of text restrictions and technological limitations and the inability of the sprite-based characters to provide much in the way of emotion outside of grossly exaggerated icons. Final Fantasy?s solution was to use elaborate setpieces to help the player envision the scene in their mind and extrapolate emotions and reactions. Phantasy Star decided to borrow from the visual novel adventure game instead, using elaborate manga-style images to tell the story; the varied timing and pacing of the panels set the mood of each scene. *
*It helped that the story Phantasy Star IV was trying to tell really was good, too. From the surface, it?s simply another generic RPG – a young man gets caught up in huge events that threaten the universe, and so forth. What sets this tale apart is its character depth. Each major character that our hero Chaz interacts with has a backstory integral to the plot and shares a web of connections to every other character, all presented through beautiful artwork. And when a major character dies about a third of the way into the story, it?s a genuinely emotional moment. The game spends a lot of time building up her relation as a mentor to the main character, and a striking force in her own right. No delicate Aerispansy here.
*

Read the rest at:* Toastyfrog.com: Compendium of Useless Information : Games - G628-Phantasy Star IV browse*

I’m interested in what SRK has to say about the game as so FEW people played it. I sure as hell didn’t but I’ve been thinking about it.


Video Game General - The road to E3...You're fanboy and you know it!
#2

I remember when these games where what $80+ back in the day. Reading a ad in egm and Phantasy Star 3 being what $83 + shipping? Was Phantasy Star 4 ever that much? And I just remember the “tag team” spells you could use and such. And how ahead of it’s time these games where. Really wish I hadn’t sold my copy of this game years ago too.


#3

I’ve played the game through prolly upwards of 50 times since i was in elementry school. Personally it’s my favorite game of all time and if i had to choose one to play for the rest of my life it’d prolly be it lol.

For those that want to check it out, it’s on the Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for the ps3 and xbox 360. Well worth the 20 dollars plus you get bonuses like all the other games lol.


#4

I like how the OP spoils one of the best parts of the game, lol. Not that anyone really cares when it comes to games this old, though.

Anyway, I like this game quite a lot and did my own write-up of it a while back. The best thing about PSIV imo is that it doesn’t waste your time. You start with a capable party, the default walk speed is quick, battles transition in and out with a flash, attack animations are quick but not sparse, programmable attack macros cut tedium to a minimum, the story is always moving along at a brisk pace, and the difficulty is balanced so that you won’t really have to do any grinding so long as you know exactly what your attack skills can do and when you should use them. There’s almost no padding, which is a godsend in a JRPG. The aesthetics still hold up well, to boot.

I heard it was somewhere in the range of $80-$100 MSRP at release.

It’s also on the Virtual Console (which fixes the lv99 glitch, if you care about that) and on the JPS2 Sega Ages collection, which includes dual language versions and adjustable walk speed, exp gain, and money gain.


#5

YES YES YES YES YES!!! More love for Phantasy Star (and not that new crap…but PSO 1 was okay)!!! I’m all for this. PS4 was completely and totally amazing. Even if Raja was completely broken… (and don’t lie, you know he was, and you loved his old geezer ass for it!)

Also in terms of storytelling, not only do all the characters have rich backstories (except for maybe Gryz… who is the most USELESS character of possibly the entire SERIES) but the storytelling also fits nicely into the larger history of the Algo Solar System. Key events from the past are important in 4 and provide useful historical context which further frames events and makes certain revelations even more important in the grand scheme of things…

Why can’t we get a real Phantasy Star 5… Now I’m sad…


#6

because sega decided PSO was a better way to go…


#7

And that is the kind of stupid decision making that made Sega nearly go bankrupt and have to get out of the console business…


#8

Eh…as much as I don’t care for MMOs, the first 2 Phantasy Star Online games were pretty big successes, so I don’t blame Sega for attempting to go that route when the wave of MMOs started surging in the early 2000’s.

Instead, I blame Sega for not going BACK to the classic Phantasy Star games when they started releasing crappy ass bombs that were market abortions, like PSU.


#9

As soon as I saw this thread I knew I’d see you in here man.

I love this game. I have played through so many time with different goals. Playing through to beat it at below lvl 40, with only 4 party members and no megid. Playing to get Rika high enough level to get nares before the first encounter with zio because:

why

Spoiler

after alys gets shot it says that even the power of gires isn’t enough to help her. So I reasoned (in my youth) that if i leveled up to nares then I could save her. It didn’t work, but I was at beating the game level that early in the game.

I really loved this game, and I still try and play it again once a year.


#10

I first played PS4 on emulator in 2001 and have played through the whole game 4 times since then. It instantly became one of my all time favorites and I just had to own it for myself so I scored a complete copy on ebay a few years ago. I always thought of it as being just as good as CT and FF6 and I always laugh whenever someone says the Genesis had no good RPGs.

It’s hard to say what I really like most about the game. The music was always so fitting, and even though I enjoyed the music in the previous games it just seemed like such a huge step above them. The overall storyline is not the most complex or original but the characters are all so damn lovable. Some of them are quite funny, but the game really knows how to switch between a comedic and serious tone (with more of that impressive music to back up each). The battles are exciting and allow you to find combination attacks by using each of your characters skills (and then set macros which will have them use those skills without needing to select them again in battle). The spell names are confusing as hell if it’s your first Phantasy Star game, but their descriptions can be found online or in the manual. It’s just too bad there is no in-game explanation for them. The art style in this game is also great and I love the enemy designs.

So yeah, if you love all the other well-known RPG’s of that era and you haven’t played PS4, then what the hell! Go play PS4 :slight_smile:


#11

I’ve always wanted to play it, and rented it quite a few times, but never just sat down and went through it. I have the Sonic collection, so I should finally give this game a go. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it.

I do the same thing with FFVI


#12

Plenty of people have played PSIV by now, either on the genesis, emulators, or the numerous genesis collection discs it has been a part of.

I mean, the Phantasy Star series is still around and going strong so it’s not like any entry can be some lost gem.

Truth be told it’s a good game, but if it was on the SNES it would have just been another solid rpg. It’s only because the genesis was so rpg-starved that its held up now as some GOAT entry.


#13

I haven’t played it. Or any of them aside from PSO for Dreamcast/Gamecube.


#14

Wow, just got that purple potion to those stoned people. This game is super fun, macro’s makes battles go super fast. Nicely animated, wow, the art direction is great. A lot of the music sucks but I turn the sound on during cut-scenes. Really neat game. Really glad it’s my first time through it.

This really is a little gem of an RPG if you grew up playing 16bit RPG’s.


#15

Deban and Saner break the game a bit since almost nothing can hit you for much with both active, especially later in the game.
Also, there are a lot of staves and rods that you can use as items in battle for free attack or healing spells, so test them out. I think one is on Rune off the bat, and you lose it when he leaves your party for a bit if you don’t de-equip it. Nothing as bad as losing ability to buy pendants in Xenogears though.
Only a few of the combo attacks are worthwhile but macro them and it’ll make fights go super fast.

Phantasy Star I was good for its time…I mean…Sega Master System? Had some super annoying features like how to get to the end boss. Played it on emulator.
Phantasy Star II has an amazing story, but the grindiness and the slow walk rate does get at you, but the story is light years beyond what other RPGs did at the time.
Phantasy Star III isn’t really canon. I think it was made by US developers trying to get cash.


#16

I disagree, the presentation and music alone put it above most of the solid rpg’s on the snes, but to each their own i suppose…


#17

Thanks for the tips.

It was made by the Golden Axe team. Learn this and more than you would ever care to know here : http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3?http://download.gamevideos.com/Podcasts/Retronauts/021408.mp3


#18

So, if I wanted to get in this, would I have to play the previous PS’? I remember hearing/reading 2 and 4 are the ones to play.

I don’t mind if it’s not a direct sequel that has some tie-ins to the previous ones. I just hate going through series backwards just to understand the story.


#19

The game’s on Wii Virtual Console, and still as fun today as it was then.

Since Masato Kato shit all over the Chrono Trigger franchise with his shitty Zeal and shittier sequels, I’d say Phantasy Star IV handily trumps it. Hell there are things about PS4 that I like better than FF6, and coming from me that’s saying a lot.

Though it is a direct sequel to Phantasy Star II (and itself a sequel to the original Phantasy Star), you don’t need to play either to get the story. In fact, I’d go as far as to say PS4 is hands down the BEST game with Phantasy Star in its title, and everything else ranges from mediocre to bad.

One word of caution: don’t try to level your characters to max. The game glitches up. Probably Dr. B telling your bitch ass to enjoy the fucking game and not try to turn everything into a fucking grind.