| The Good
Great move into 3D towns and dungeons
Great battle system
Wide variety of side games
| The Bad
You can lose your characters without moving
the camera a lot
Without side games, this would be a short game
Game is much easier than most RPGs
The sequel to ongoing RPG series by Capcom, Breath of
Fire IV follows other recent Capcom offerings by introducing
3D polygon elements. Though, not totally. Much like Xenogears
from Square, BOF mixes 2D sprites set in 3D polygon
based worlds with the occasionaly polygon monster or dragon
Breath of Fire IV tells the story of Ryu, an amnesiac
boy with the ability to turn into a dragon who befriends Nina
and Cray, who are in a foriegn land searching for Nina's sister.
At the same time, Fou Lu, the first emperor of the Fou Empire
awakens from his sleep only to be attacked by soldiers from
the current emperor, who doesn't want the first emperor to
regain his throne.
Breath of Fire IV is a firm leap forward from III
and shows development in both the story and quality of gameplay.
Story segements are more interesting and developed without
being overdrawn and lengthy. The scenery and spells look good
and for the most part are short and concise.
The battle system shows some great leaps, allowing all six
characters in your party to participate in any given battle.
While only three people can actually chose battle commands,
you can switch between party members during any given round
by selecting a member in the back row of your party. Learning
new skills has also been improved: instead of standing there
and "watching" your enemy, you can learn skills just by defending.
The combo spell system is also a nice addition, allowing new
spells to be discovered by casting spells of different types
one after another (Example: Ryu casts Burn, followed by Nina
casting Sever, which turns into Firewind, an area attack fire-wind
spell not learnable from enemies or masters).
One of the nice things about BOF is the large variety of
mini-games and diversions available. The sim-city-esque Fairy
Village and fishing games are both standards in the series
which have been developed even further. There are sandflier
races and even a stock-trading type game available. There's
just about anything a gamer mind want to try their hand at.
One game that's especially fun is the hunting game where you
aid the fairies by attacking animals on the field for food
for the Fairy Village.
On the down-side, the 3D dungeons sometimes are difficult
to navigate, something that could have been remedied by altering
the camera angle ever minutely. Also, Ryu's dragon transformations
leave a little to be desired. unlike BOF III, in this game,
he transforms into the same dragon hybrid every time and then
changes into the various dragon types when you cast a certain
Unlike Final Fantasy and
Vagrant Story, Breath of
Fire is overtly Japanese in influence, from the Japanese
voice-overs in the manga intro to eastern-style weapons and
armors available. Don't expect CG-rendered cut-scenes and
grand sweeping graphics, a la Final Fantasy. If you
want a fun game with a lot of side games and things to do,
then go out and get Breath of Fire IV.