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Breath of Fire IV

Developer: Capcom | Publisher: Capcom
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 11/28/00 | Genre: RPG

There really isn't more to say. Breath of Fire IV is an enormously enjoyable RPG that offers the best of the genre. Capcom has made its mark as an action and coin-op publisher/developer, but their Breath of Fire series has been just as great and memorable as Resident Evil or Street Fighter. Breath of Fire IV has a terrific storybook tale with fairies and dragons, and delivers wonderful graphics that dance across the screen. This title is one major hit. You really can't say more without sounding like you work Capcom.

There has been a seize fire between two warring nations. The tension hangs heavily over the world. To settle the air, Princess Elina of Wyndia, travels to the rival Fou Lu Empire in a show of good faith. No word has been heard from Elina since her journey. Her sister Nina goes on a quest to find her sister with the help of Cray, the chief of Worrent. Along the way they meet a young boy with amnesia, his name is Hiro. He decides to join in their search for the missing Princess. But who is he? And where did he come from? And what has happened to Elina?

When I decide to buy a RPG, I look for the same things that everyone else does… the characters… the story… the spells… and it's total presentation. BF IV is well above the average in all these categories. The game offers a nice range of different attacks. The backgrounds are 3D and use a movable camera. The game is filled with different mini games to keep the gameplay from completely get dull. But the most important aspect, the tremendous tale brought together that locks you in. This RPG is built.

Another key to a great RPG would have to be the variety of spells. And Breath of Fire has a wonderful array of different spells. In fact, by combining different sequences of spells together, you can perform spell combos (like earth followed by fire makes an ERUPTION spell effect or water added to a wind spell makes a STORM effect). Also by stringing melee special attack can cause thunderous melee combos. There are about 200 different spells to master in the game. The spells themselves are learned either through experience levels, taught by masters or by guarding the effects of the spell. Learning from a master is an interesting twist in gameplay. Each master in the game will ask you to perform a special task, and your reward will be a learned special technique. Different masters will specialize in different spells and methodology.

Are there any shrinks in the armor of this title? I would say no. It is great fun for RPGers everywhere. The game flows well… maybe even to well. The bosses aren't big challenges that will keep you stuck in one place (so the story just rolls on through). It probably wouldn't hurt having more of a challenge during these battles (I, personally, like to lose), but the story is more essential than the battles themselves. A cool addition to the game is the managing of the Faerie Colony. Your job is to attract more faeries and assign them jobs and watch them go (like Simcity meets the Seamonkeys… Sim monkeys). There are tons of other mini games that will keep you amused as you play throughout the game.

The game as a whole is a major plus for Capcom and RPGers everywhere. It's one of the best that is currently on the shelf. It's a great buy. I hope that the next incarnation of the series finds it's way to the PS2 soon. If you are looking for a great RPG to buy, look no further than Breath of Fire IV.

By conrad Morris - 09/15/00
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Screenshots for Breath of Fire IV

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