Final Fantasy: 4 Heroes of light, first impressions

I’ve been getting sick of RPGs recently… Sure I put in my required hours into demon’s souls and FFXIII among other things, but overall I’ve really not been enjoying them…

Then 4 Heroes comes out… and on a whim, I go why not, I need a new DS game and I didn’t want DQIX (although I might try it now). Expecting to be burned out after a while and then lend to my much more RPG loving X partner.  I’d heard that the new action point and item systems basically make the game a little bit more what I like about riveria. I was worried about the ‘old school’ aspects though,  as I’ve never even finished FFIV and V… Also, I hated these guys remakes.

So basically I shouldn’t have bought this game.

However,  I love it. Perhaps it hit me at the right the time just after I’ve dealt with most of my uni work, perhaps I’ve finally gotten over the many hours I grinded in Pokemon Silver… but 4 heroes manages to do a lot of RPG things very right, without being overly old school.

The game uses the basic structure of any old school RPG, wake up, go see king, perform basic task, meet 3 other varied teenagers, kill first boss, cause curse to ruin kingdom, save kingdom.

However it changes up this structure just a little by both giving the characters some personality, and by splitting up the party and having them separated by the narrative early on… Otherwise, you’ll need to examine everywhere for items, solutions and hints towards your goals. Normally, i hate this… But I think 4 heroes combines using less NPCs and making typically more interesting dialog from each (also nicely pacing hints from NPCs on how the battle system works) with a varied world to make it easier to find the hint you need.

The other core difference to many old school RPGs is the battle system… The battles in most RPGs only served to wear down your supplies and reserves. Well, 4 heroes uses the same principle in the end I suppose. However it makes this task a little less daunting and annoying by having a very low encounter rate with fairly quick dungeons, that it’s more about not dying in a given round more than anything else. As with most RPGs you have 3 core resources, Health, MP, items/money. 4 Heroes makes managing all these much more interesting than most old school RPGs (so far anyway) by using megaten like give and take on life (meaning your life goes up and down a lot, making it a real worry), an AP system over standard MP, and forcing inventory management to a new level for an FF games.  I’m going to tackle those last two seperately

Battles occur in standard turn based fashion ad revolve around one very important resource, AP. You only have at best 5 points, you get one a turn, and even attacking or using an item costs one of these points. Spells and special abilities cost more of course.  You can only have upto 6 additional actions prepared for you to do before a battle starts, so only 6 spells, or 2 spells and 4 skills. Meaning you will always have a pretty limited set of choices forcing you to plan ahead. Adding to that the auto targeting system in the game, which uses quickly learnable rules on what is targets (spells hit rear weakest foe for example), will force you to create a party that can deal with everything.

Finally item management forms a big part of 4 Heroes, you only have 15 slots for each character, including armor, equipment, spells and consumables. Given you will typically have 4 pieces of equipment plus 2 spellbooks, that’s 6 slots, leaving very few to pick up treasures. But that’s not all. After battles you do NOT get money. You get gems… Gems are currency for 3 things.
-selling for gill
-using to upgrade classes
-used to pay for gameovers

Gems come in a lot of types and each job needs different amounts of each gem to be upgraded. This causes some nice tension between what you want, you could not get those lovely items and more easily get better classes quicker, or get the items now and the classes when you can later…

Well, that’s about I have on 4 heroes of light for now. I’d talk about classes but there isn’t much to say, they’re highly focused, but so far not that interesting (only have 4 jobs so far)… So hopefully I’ll have more to say later.

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2 Responses to “Final Fantasy: 4 Heroes of light, first impressions”

  1. newstarking Says:

    I am on Final Fantasy 14 now

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