Wednesday, December 15

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light

Every time I hear that Akihiko Yoshida is working on a new title I get so excited. Being that he is a favorite artist of mine, I always try to play the games that he is a part of. Despite the fact that some of them might not be very good. If I really like the art, I will put up with it until the very end.

The 4 Heroes of Light unfortunately was one of those games. Earlier this year when I first heard about it, I was ecstatic. The art was fabulous and it was Final Fantasy, so I figured it would be fun. But when I played it at E3 this year the game didn't really hold my attention like I predicted it would. Perhaps it was just because I didn't want to get into the demo at the show. RPG's require a lot of time to connect with the characters and get use to the new battle systems. Besides, snuggling with my DS on a comfy couch with a hot cup of tea sounded much better. So I didn't think anything of it.

Then when the game was released, and I started playing, it happened again. I found the gameplay to be so frustrating or plain out boring. I guess this just wasn't the FF for me and sadly I didn't have anyone to play multiplayer with because nobody was interested. Maybe it would have been more fun if I would have done that.


So here are my thoughts about the game: 

Pros

- The art is stunning! Both the Yoshida illustrations and the Wind Waker meets FF Tactics in-game art style are truly enjoyable. I really like the vintage storybook feel and soft muted colors.

- Playing as animals is great fun. The designs are really cute and it's an amusing little break from the norm.

- There are a lot of good morals and messages in this game (even though they knocked you over the head with them), such as: the world is your playground, humanity is good despite sucking every once in a while, friendship for the win, etc.

- The crown system is really neat and I like the fact that your characters change their clothing depending on what you equip. Even if they looked silly sometimes because of mismatched gear.

- The Mysterious Towers are pretty fun. I got my party up to level 99 in those things but I never got to the top.


Cons

- This game is a grind! Grindy Grind-Grind! It feels very old-school JRPG. I found it boring, but necessary, to cap the character because the game is so difficult.

- Traveling at the beginning really sucked because you had to walk everywhere. Typically I don't have a problem with this, but the Overworld seemed a bit banal.

- I got stuck a lot because I did not know where to go next. (Sand Demon *cough cough*)

- Reusing assets got really old fast. Adding different bosses, enemies, and dungeons instead of revisiting them would have been great. 

- The bosses in this game are really difficult, which was not necessarily the problem. The problem is that you could get to them really fast and die because your party was under-leveled. The dungeons are not challenging enough. So you would have to go back, grind, and find equipment until your characters are thoroughly prepared.

- The music was recycled way too much for me to enjoy.

- Saving was a pain, especially for a hand held. I really wish the Adventurer and his fox partner (so cute by the way, his little yip-yip noises are adorable) were around more often.

- Extremely limited inventory was not fun at all. I never had enough things like torches on my person or having the correct weapon for a boss (but of course I had them all in the town storage).

- I would have liked to see more attention go into the story and character development. Voice acting would have been really great.

- Lastly, what is a Final Fantasy without at least one really great cutscene? Well there weren't any. They could have done some really amazing stuff for this game. Similar to how they redid III, IV or Tactics: The War of the Lions.


Perhaps some of you had a better experience with the game? If so, what did you like? Did anyone make it to the top of any of the Mysterious Towers? Does anyone know what the mythril was for? And did anyone play multiplayer mode?

Cheers and happy gaming,
~Claudia

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