About Phantasy Star IV

HISTORY

Genesis box front  Genesis box back
US box front & back

Japanese scan of Genesis box
Jap box back, spine, & front

Phantasy Star 4 is an RPG by Sega, released in 1993 for the Sega Genesis - which went for around $90-$100 US! It carries the style of Phantasy Star 2's battle system, with the backs of your characters in view. Sega added something interesting to this game that no other RPG has: comic book style sequences! Yes. As you can see in the screen shots section, the sequences display beautiful overlapped images. Phantasy Star 4's dungeons were originally intended be in full 3D, like the mazes in Phantasy Star 1. Click here to see how it looked! Unfortunately, they encountered some problems (perhaps memory limitations) and decided to completely trash the 3D dungeons.

Sega Genesis Colleciton for PS2
US box front

In November of 2006, Sega released the Sega Genesis Collection for the Playstation 2 and PSP. Again, the classic gaming community was shocked with this unexpected compilation of greats. It's a hefty collection that includes 24 games: Sonic 1 & 2, Sword of Vermilion, Vector Man 1 & 2, Virtua Fighter 2, Altered Beast, Ecco the Dolphin 1 & 2, Shadow Dancer, Kid Chameleon, Comix Zone, Golden Axe 1-3, Ristar, and more. Ah, but what makes this collection worthy of mention here is the fact that it also includes Phantasy Star 2-4! Yep. Ain't that sexy? In addition to the games, this collection has bonus material, like trailers and interviews. Although I don't know if the bonus material contains anything for Phantasy Star 2-4.

PRELUDE STORY

The Algo solar system, somewhere in space... Once a brilliant civilization flourished here. The citizens devoted themselves to art and the sciences, and life was prosperous and good. Then a series of disasters struck. The system-wide management system, 'Mother Brain,' was destroyed. So was the first planet, Parma. Over 90% of the system's population died, and the advanced technological culture was lost. Society declined, spiraling downward until at last only a few scattered groups even remembered there once were better times. A thousand years passed. At last, civilization is once more on the rise across the Algo system. People are again turning to thoughts of an easier life. Old knowledge is being rediscovered. But just as things look brighter, beyond a threshold long thought closed, a dark and very ancient evil stirs...

BATTLE SYSTEM

As traditional RPG its battle system should be self explanatory. Ah, but as a Phantasy Star there are some strings attached. For one, the spell names aren't obvious. Like, "Foi" is a fire spell, and stuff. You should check out the walkthroughs at GameFAQs to familiarize yourself with them. Also, certain attack combinations execute a super attack! Look in GameFAQs for a list of all the combo attacks, too.

MY OPINION

When it comes to traditional RPGs, Phantasy Star 4 is definitely the best that the Genesis has to offer. The kick ass battles are so awesome and oh so very fun! The soundtrack is great; there are many songs that I casually listen to. There are ten interesting and unique characters that join you throughout the game. The storyline repeatedly gives you the impression, "OH!! I beat the final boss! Yay! But wait, is this game really that short? Hrm? What's this I see? Oh. There's still more to do! Peachy!", which I actually find interesting because few RPGs give you a convincing impression that you're fighting the final boss, yet it's not the final boss. There are only two things about this game that I find a little annoying: (1) Most of your characters die after like 2 or 3 hits! >_< So get ready for a challenge! (2) The kick ass comic book style sequences happen less frequently as you progress into the game. You'll experience a bunch when you're on Motavia, and then barely any the rest of the game. Anyway, overall, Phantasy Star 4 is a must-play RPG! I highly recommend it.

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