Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Final fantasy:The 4 heroes of light

Gamespot score:7.5(Good)

my score:7.7

(+)Pros:-Goes back to the series's oldschool roots....which is good,-lenghty adventure with a fair amount of post game content,-tons of character customization with the superb amount of crowns and different classes,- becomes rather challenging towards the 2nd half of the game,-charming graphics.

(-)Cons:-Some of the dungeons are boring,-can be quite a tedious grindfest at times,- some areas have annoyingly high enemy encounter rate.

Gameplay time:30-40 hours

Final fantasy has always been a series that holds a special place in the hearts many RPG fans. Final fantasy 13 was criticized by alot of these fans for its linear explorations and other issues. What went wrong? I personally enjoyed FF 13, not sure why people hated on it that much. Still...if people loved final fantasy back then and hated final fantasy 13 now, the four heroes of light are here to let players relive the old days. The four heroes of light go back to final fantasy's very roots, and brings players an adventure that redefines the very definition of what "old school" is, thats because this is as old school as it gets...and its a good thing.

To further show its oldschool-ness, the plot itself is something that is rather cliche. Still, the very plot itself screams final fantasy, its almost hard to fault. You star as brandt, a young man of the town horne, and one day on his visit to the king's castle, the king brings terrible news. The princess has been kidnapped (seem familiar?). Brandt's childhood friend jusqua has already been sent to rescue her, so as the stubborn young man brandt is, he takes off to rescue the princess with his trusty blade and nothing else. On his journey he runs into Jusqua, the princess's personal guard Yunita, and the princess herself, Aire. After rescueing the princess and returning to horne, the entire townsfolk had turned to stone. To cure this ancient curse, the four heroes must set out to the world and seek ancient lands to find a solution...and save thier hometown.

Arm yourself with all the cool shit you find!

Final fantasy: the 4 heroes of light brings some very simple and oldschool mechanics into play, and thus, its not very hard to get yourself into the game. There isnt a tutorial or anything, right off the bat you are thrown into the world map and fighting for your life as you are swarmed by birds and goblins. The exploration mechanics are very similar to that of old final fantasy games, like FF 1,2 and so on....you get the point. Those games were out before I was even born = =. You navigate the areas on a world map, and you can see your character walking through forests and plains before actually entering a town or cave.

On the world map, you can encounter monsters, just like always. Of course, later on you get tons of transport options, including sea transport and flight. Seeing the return of the world map is kinda awesome, its been awhile since we were able to do this in final fantasy games. Things get even better when you enter the towns and dungeons you actually see when traversing the land. Towns, like old FFs, are places for you to buy armor, weapons, items and rest up at the local inn for replenishing your characters' health and stats. The graphical style in this game is pretty much like the FF games on DS, and its as charming as always.

Welcome back to the classic turn by turn battle system. No ATBs here!
 Just like there are many awesome towns in the game, there are just as many dungeons, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There caves, mountains, ruins, haunted mansions and more, and of course, these are infested with the finest of monsters. Monsters are modeled just as the characters way, and while this may not be a bad thing, its sometimes hard to find some of those bigger monsters very menacing. The battle system is classic turn by turn combat introduced long ago. There isnt much to explain, you and the enemy monsters just take turns striking each other...its as simple as it gets. Of course, there are many factors that make battle alot more enjoyable.

 First of all, there are tons of classes available for you to choose, providing different ways for you to tackle your enemies. Through the course of the game you unlock crowns, each with its own special abilities. Wear a crown and your character changes to the corresponding class the crown represents, and gain all abilites that the crown has in it. Through battles you will receives various gems and crystals of different value, and you use these to upgrade your crowns, granting more abilities. There are TONS of crowns (easily over 20), and leveling them all up to get all the available abilities can soon get addictive. You can build your team of 4 as varied as you want, changing classes for fights you cant win can be really cool...trying different strategies. This is definetely required, since the 2nd half of the game will kick your ass with its tough ass bosses (Fuck YOU asmodeus).

*Insert victory fanfare here*

Being an oldschool game, it will be plagued by some flaws you'd expect from an oldschool game. For one, the game can become quite a grindfest. Its expected actually. You run through a dungeon flawlessly and get your arse kicked by a certain boss (again, Im looking at you asmodeus, and you too belzebub), where does that leave you? Thats right, grinding. You grind and grind again to get gems and EXP to power up your crowns and characters, and it gets tedious. The dungeons are also dreadfully boring at times. Its always just 3 floors of lousy mazes, followed by a boss. Very rarely only are you greeted by some innovative puzzles. Now if all dungeons had good puzzles to them, it would have been great. Finally...some of these dungeons and some segments of the game have sooo annoyingly high encounter rate its sickening. Cant we walk 2 steps without fighitng another enemy that looks the same as the previous one? Jesus...

The 4 heroes of light successfully captures the spirit of oldschool final fantasy games, and it does a damn good job at that. Everything ranging from the exploration, combat and the story are done well to let the game be shaped in that condition. The main journey is lenghty, about 30 hours long at least. Plus the optional post game towers you can explore....thats an easy 40 hours. The 4 heroes of light makes itself a worthy addition to the final fantasy franchise, and is well worth any JRPG lover's time.

Happy gaming.