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on 3 March 2002
BoF IV delivers greater graphics than BoF III but starts slower - earning it some peoples disregard, wanting an experience as lively as BoF III. But if you stick through the beginning you'll be instantly whirled up in a story, epic in scope rivalling some of the Final Fantasy legends. The characters are effervescent and the baddies dispicable (some you sympathise for - an ecellent feat in an RPG story). Gameplay is a 5/5 - the battles easy to deal with.
Graphics 4.5/5 - you'll love the dragon sequences!
Sound 4/5 - some very atmospheric music and nice SFX.
Lastability 5/5 - you find secret things well after you've completed it.
BoF IV hasn't had much exposure but it's well up there in the best of playstation RPGs.
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on 4 March 2002
Decent RPGs are few and far between – every gamer knows this and Capcom’s release of this game was very welcome, especially in Europe, where the Final Fantasy’s (as welcome as they are) just aren’t enough for some people’s appetites.
This one won’t be for everyone – the story is quite vast and sets itself up relatively quickly which requires the player to keep track of what is going on.
The story goes that a Princess Elena has disappeared thus requiring here sister, Nina, to go and find her. On this journey, she meets Ryu (which means dragon in Japanese), the protagonist, and they set off on their adventure (Ryu tags along because he has lost his memory). While this is happening the other main character, Fou-Lu, has awoken from a deep sleep to discover all is not what it should be…
The two stories are independent to start, which works well (you are curious to know what the other is doing) but is frustrating as the story jumps quite a lot. However, the changes in story are handled well, no doubt helped by the graphics that make everything much easier to understand.
For a PlayStation game, the graphic don’t test the hardware, but at least Capcom have not been lazy: some beautiful effects are coupled with nicely drawn backgrounds that add a lot of depth to the gameplay.
My only gripe with the game here is that the camera only has eight viewpoints from above (isometric 3D). Sometimes in the towns, this just is not enough – one can’t see where the characters are which makes it difficult to navigate. However, it’s not like you are being attacked in the towns, so this is less of a worry.
The battle system works well allowing all the different characters (and you do gain some friends pretty quickly) to come into each battle. You originally have 3 players up front but it is easy to swap to the others to use their attacks or magic. The battles are fun and for the most part play out quickly – the animation when Ryu turns into a dragon is particularly pleasing but it becomes tedious because it takes so long.
The last thing to mention about this game is the mini-games: they come in many different guises (some of them you won’t even realise are mini-games until afterwards) and are a lot of fun. They generally involve button pushing or the usual but the circumstances in which they appear make them very enjoyable – my personal favourite was having to force-feed a man for information (don’t worry, it makes more sense in the game)!
Overall, this is a solid RPG from a company not so renowned for this genre. It will take you a good couple of weeks to get through properly, if you play regularly and with little else on the horizon until the summer and Final Fantasy X then you could do a lot worse than to start checking out the back catalogue of the PlayStation.
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on 23 January 2002
This is a vast imporvement on Breath of Fire 3. Though the story of the game sticks to the usual "dragon-boy seeks the history of his people" storyline, it handles it much better than before. The difficulty curve is less steep, (i don't i died more than twice in the whole game) and the monsters seem less numerous than in the previous games, although the game does remain a challenge. There are also sub-games to play along the way and of course the good old fishing spots (fishing is now also easier).
Capcom have moved away from the overly cartoony graphics of previous efforts and the world is now comprised of softer pastel shades with more realistic enemies.
Story-wise the game is split in two. The main character and his allies who are struggling to reach the Empire and the Dangerous Fou-Lu, the ancient Dragon/God/Emperor who is a lethal opponent! You control both at various stages of the game.
This is an excellent RPG!
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on 25 January 2002
Having played Breath of Fire 1 & 3 to death (and 2 not quite so much) I was naturally looking forward to the fourth game in the series. Firstly, I ask you to look at the price. Upon deciding whether to buy this game or another, bear in mind that the other game could cost twice as much...
In terms of story, I have not quite finished the game, but I have found the story to be quite interesting. One problem is that it virtually all hinges around Ryu (the central character). There is not much development of the other characters, but this has always been the way in BoF. I think that the representation of dragons in the game is original and in some cases quite impressive, however some people will not like it because it is not exactly traditional. There is a more structured plot than in BoF3. The story doesn't concentrate on events in one city after another as you move on, but rather looks at the bigger picture. This is good, but takes some of the depth out of the game that has been present in earlier installments. In fact, in terms of story, there has not been much of a step forward.
It is in technical areas that the game has improved, mostly in the battle system. The inclusion of 'summon' techniques, with full 3D graphics (that also apply to many bosses) is a nice addition, remeniscent of the Final Fantasy series. The best innovation for me though, is the ability to swich between characters freely in battle. This really opens up a whole new world of strategy. Another good addition is the combo system, whereby attacks can be strung together. This again adds more strategy to fights.
The graphics are not a giant leap from the last game. The character sprites are somewhat more realistic, and the whole game has a less harsh colour scheme. The 3D graphics (in and out of fights) are perfectly sufficient for the purpose, but nothing revolutionary.
In terms of gameplay, boss battles are very good. However, I feel that the new depth in battles can make random encounters somewhat more tedious. There are, in typical BoF fashion, many subgames. These provide a nice distraction from the main game, and fishing is addictive as ever.
Overall, I think this is a very good game. It suffers slightly from not taking the story in many new directions, but other than this, a very worthwhile purchase. If you are a fan of the previous games, you should like this one. If you have never played a Breath of Fire game before, this is probably the best to go for, and at this price, why not?
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on 4 August 2001
I've recently bought breath of fire 4 and it's great!The graphics have been totally done up!It still has some of the features from breath of fire 3 like stealing money etc.This game is a must for either breath of fire fans or rpg fans!Great game capcom!
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on 27 March 2015
I just played this again for the first time in quite a few years and I have to say - it is still very enjoyable.

While it does have some small drawbacks, it is a solid RPG which will keep you busy for a good 30-40 hours at least (more if you put in the effort to do side quests and minigames.)

On the plus side:
-The characters are likable.
-The story, while a little predictable in places, has its fair share of twists and turns and was more enjoyable than most of the standard stuff churned out for the recent generation of consoles.
-Classic turn based battle system with a decent variety of skills, combos and abilities to use.
-Nice music
-Fairly big and diverse world to explore via a series of connected points on the world map.
-The art in the game is generally nice (it can sometimes look a bit blocky, but I found the overall style of the world and its inhabitants very nice.)
-A surprisingly enjoyable fishing side game with lots of fishing spots, rods and lures/baits, as well as additional rewards for your efforts.

On the negative side:
-The camera looks down on you from a diagonal viewpoint. By using the L/R buttons you can turn it 90 degrees at a time in the majority of places but even so, in town with high walls and buildings close together you often just see the top of Ryu's head, or nothing at all. It is a minor gripe though, and you do get used to it.
-Occasionally minigames feel thrown in just to pad out a section, though they are for the most part fairly enjoyable.
-Random battles can happen very frequently when you're trekking through dungeons (which themselves feel a bit short in most cases) but that is to be expected given the genre.

It's a little PSX gem and I'd definitely recommend giving it a play. If you like your RPGs with a solid turn based battle system, lots of grinding and levelling, sidequests and hidden treasures, a big world to explore and your typical team of unlikely allies brought together by something much bigger than themselves, then this may well be the game for you.
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on 13 January 2013
I've always wanted to play Breath of Fire IV so I just snapped it up the moment I could got the chance!! As per BOF tradition, you play as Ryu, a young man who has the ability to transform into a dragon, as he travels with several friends to eventually save the world; in this case, two countries at war have signed a ceasefire and Ryu, an amnesiac, travels with the again traditional Nina to discover who he is and help find her missing sister (as since she went missing in enemy territory, it's a bit iffy to go and look for her there for political reasons and Nina decided to look for her herself). The game also shifts you into the shoes of Fou-Lu, a mysterious man with the same powers as Ryu, and you get to see two different sides of the game (as well as unlock certain abilities which you share with Ryu such as dragon transformation). While I find the camera angles to be frustratingly dodgy at times (you can only rotate the camera at 90 degree angles), combat is interesting and the sprite animations are fantastic! I completely recommend it for JRPG fans. Product arrived promptly, even earlier than expected actually (I just barely got the time to write this review!), and works fine!! Thank you again!
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on 21 July 2001
I was on the verge of buying Breath of fire 3 when I saw this. This is a great RPG. If anyone has played Grandia or Alundra 1 or 2 this is so much better. A real must for RPG fans. The graphics have been polished up and a few characters for BOF3 make a big and welcome return which is not always the case in great RPG's. A great overall game.
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on 25 September 2010
This RPG is absolutely class! The first time I played it I believed it wasnt quite as good as BoF3 but after a second playthrough i believe its just as good as its predecessor! The world map is the only aspect of the game that is not as good/better than BoF3. The OST is my joint favourite along with Suikoden 2. The characters are excellent and interchangeable during battle, the graphics have that old charm and the gameplay is tremendous. As with BoF3, the storyline is serious and at times shocking! You also get to play as Fou Lu, the ancient dragon emperor who has risen to reclaim his throne and end the world. If you arent sucking in by the glitz and glamour of more modern games and are still capable of enjoying classic RPGs then this rpg is a great purchase.
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on 23 December 2001
This one great game. You play as two characters who can both turn into dragons. There are 7 characters in all and each one of them have their own strenghs. The battle system is better than the third one and so is the gameplay although the camera angle can be a bit dodgey. Also one of the characters is just like Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7. A great game.
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