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  #31  
Old 05-31-2013, 08:17 PM
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Breath of Fire IV and V are the only ones I actually own (well, and II on VC, but I haven't gotten around to playing it just yet). I like IV plenty, and got to the final boss before finding out I was under-leveled and basically getting my skull caved in within just a handful of turns. The camera blows, though. Seriously, when it's difficult to find things from all four possible viewing angles, something is seriously wrong.

Breath of Fire V is probably my favorite PS2 RPG, bar none. I love the atmosphere, the music and the characters; the story is simple and much more humble in its scope than previous entries, but they fucking nailed it. I hate to call any game perfect (or even perfectly suited to my tastes), but Goddamn if I can find anything in it worth bitching about that I don't like.
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  #32  
Old 05-31-2013, 08:25 PM
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BoF IV had a ton of sitar in it, and that was rad.
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  #33  
Old 05-31-2013, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
I like IV plenty, and got to the final boss before finding out I was under-leveled and basically getting my skull caved in within just a handful of turns.
I got my first game-over of the entire game on the final boss. It was pretty surprising considering how ridiculously easy the rest of the game is, but the series has a tradition of tons of grinding for the final boss. I think I just changed some equipment and stocked up on AP recovery items and had no problems on my second try.

Breath of Fire IV is alright, but you really have to dig to discover that. The world is so dull and brown compared to previous entries, it's easy to the point of boredom, and the dragons and masters are needlessly hidden in places you have no reason to revisit otherwise. I realized something was wrong when I set foot in the final dungeon having only found 2 of the dragons and 4 of the masters, so I used a guide to get the rest. Not like it matters much at that point. It's like they started out making a 100% linear game and then someone made them include side-quests out of genre obligation so they went and hid away all of the funnest stuff so that nobody would find it in the course of normal play.
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  #34  
Old 06-01-2013, 12:19 AM
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The weird thing is that I understand and agree with all of your criticisms of IV, and some of the ones mentioned here, yet I still like it considerably for some reason. Hell if I can put my finger on why.
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  #35  
Old 06-01-2013, 04:38 AM
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Good timing, as I'm replaying IV on my PSP right now. It's still pretty much my favourite of the series, but with a few caveats. It overloads on the obnoxious mini-games almost as much as III does, and the weird camera system is a huge pain. Also the subplot involving Nina providing implied sexual favours for a pervy French fishman is just a little bit creepy in retrospect.

OTOH, I really like the atmosphere and the battle system, and the soundtrack is awesome.



II had an excellent fan re-translation a couple of years ago. It's almost worth suffering through for that, but I would suggest there's no shame in cheating your way through just to experience it.
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  #36  
Old 06-01-2013, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traumadore View Post
Breath of Fire IV is alright, but you really have to dig to discover that. The world is so dull and brown compared to previous entries, it's easy to the point of boredom, and the dragons and masters are needlessly hidden in places you have no reason to revisit otherwise. I realized something was wrong when I set foot in the final dungeon having only found 2 of the dragons and 4 of the masters, so I used a guide to get the rest. Not like it matters much at that point. It's like they started out making a 100% linear game and then someone made them include side-quests out of genre obligation so they went and hid away all of the funnest stuff so that nobody would find it in the course of normal play.
I disagree with pretty much all of this, and that the camera system is bad (I like how it gives the impression of complexity to what are otherwise straightforward environments, how it retains the classic Breath of Fire 3/4ths perspective, and how items are hid in places that can only be viewed during camera transitions). Maaaaaaaaaaaaaybe I'm blinded to the game's faults because it's on my short list of best JRPGs, but then again I wouldn't admire it so if I didn't think the execution was there.

If it wasn't clear from the OP I'm enormously fond of this series. Even the weaker entries are just bursting with charm. I can't quite put my finger on what makes them so appealing. Maybe the cartoon critter designs? They're not quite Donald Duck but they’re not quite full on furry either. Maybe because they do a pretty good job of being Final Fantasy while not being anything like Final Fantasy? I don't know, but I find I come back to them just as often as FF or Dragon Quest.
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  #37  
Old 06-01-2013, 10:13 AM
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I guess I forgot to mention I loved playing the game, but the aspects I mentioned were no less baffling. I havent played the original or Dragon Quarter but I enjoyed the middle three quite a bit. IV just seems like it would be the least interesting to revisit later.
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  #38  
Old 06-02-2013, 09:40 PM
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I ended up falling down the Hardcore Gaming 101 hole, and began reading articles on Breath of Fire. The author of this particular series of articles made Loki's opening post all the more sobering:

Quote:
Ryu
Surprise! It's Ryu again. Only now he's wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants. This is easily the worst design for Ryu, ever. He looks like someone you'd see jogging down the street, sans the blue hair. This time he turns up in a crater in the middle of the desert with no idea where or who he is. An amnesiac hero? Never heard that one before. Like Ryu from the previous installment, this guy can slash in the playing field, rendering much the same effect.

Nina
This is a double whammy. What's with all these huge mouths? Nina in Breath of Fire was introduced in a very original fashion and could turn into a bird. Nina in Breath of Fire II was extremely hot and had tons of amazing magic. Nina in Breath of Fire III was useless in combat, but she was so adorable and bubbly that you couldn't help but love her. This Nina is not only ugly, but she's also useless and a bumbling idiot. Also, much like Ryu, she's dressed like an average street walking citizen of modern civilization rather than a character from a fantasy realm.

Cray
It just keeps getting worse. Rei from Breath of Fire III was one of the coolest characters in the series. He could steal shit, had a great, internally conflicting personality, and could turn into a badass, insane tiger beast. His Worren counterpart in this game is a boring, monotonous, completely irrelevant Native American stereotype who attacks with a HANDHELD TOTEM POLE.
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Also disappointing is Ryu's new means of transforming into a dragon. He still has to find pieces of chrysm with dragon genes inside them, but the dragon gene system is completely gone. Now, once you find a dragon gene, you can simply use it to transform into a.. no, not a dragon, just a scaly guy. That's right, a scaly guy with wings and chicken feet. Each of Ryu's transformations leads to this generic form.
... and so forth.

Oddly enough, his assertion of Dragon Quarter is much more professional.

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As a stand alone game, it's one of the best and most innovative RPGs on PS2, but as a Breath of Fire, it further alienates and rejects fans who fell in love with the unique style of the first three games.
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  #39  
Old 06-02-2013, 10:03 PM
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I never understood what BoF IV did to Kalata to warrent that rant. Other than not being III I guess.
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  #40  
Old 06-02-2013, 10:07 PM
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Kurt didn't write that one.
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  #41  
Old 06-02-2013, 10:08 PM
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I spend time on the HG101 forums, and several months ago I actually made a post about how ridiculous the BoF IV article was. The article consists of nothing but whining about how bad BoF IV is for having the audacity to not be BoF III, and complaining about how the art sucks (whaaaaaaaat).

I hate to be That Guy, but seriously, the BoF IV article is easily one of the worst articles on the entire site.
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  #42  
Old 06-02-2013, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Kishi View Post
Kurt didn't write that one.
That's a relief. I don't know why I had assumed he had.
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  #43  
Old 06-03-2013, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HG101
Breath of Fire 4 killed my family
Oh yeah...I remember posting a list of corrections/complaints for that one on their forum.
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  #44  
Old 06-03-2013, 11:55 AM
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BoFIV's dragon system was kind of a mood killer when I first played it, after III's gene system which was amazing.

Also masters are much more of a choice, no more abusing level 1 Ryu on Giotto and getting massive HP + AP which meant virtually unlimited powerful Kaiser Breaths on anything that warranted it with massive defense and status immunities. HP should not be an offensive stat, people!

The fishing game had to be relearned, too; I wouldn't say one games was better than the others, but having to relearn a fishing minigame wasn't my favorite thing to do in the world.

Just about everything else was better in IV though. I liked the characters more (-peco, -rei, +ershin, +scias is a net gain), skills were in general more useful, rotating characters in battle with back row benefits was fun, combos were amazing. Just the general atmosphere, from the beautiful sprites, majestic if unorthodox dragon models, the eastern-influenced music made much more of an impression on me.

I like both but definitely prefer IV to its predecessor. Dragon Quarter is still the best though : )
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  #45  
Old 06-03-2013, 01:33 PM
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I'd definitely go with Breath of Fire IV over III. I've tried so many times to get into III, but the pacing is just so bad that I give out. And don't tell me I didn't give it a chance, I've got 30 hours in on it!

I still want to play through the retranslation of Breath of Fire II. It's awesome, and even its straight-laced prequel is fun. Dragon Quarter is... different. I should give it another chance.
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  #46  
Old 06-03-2013, 01:36 PM
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How do masters work?
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  #47  
Old 06-03-2013, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
I'd definitely go with Breath of Fire IV over III. I've tried so many times to get into III, but the pacing is just so bad that I give out. And don't tell me I didn't give it a chance, I've got 30 hours in on it!

I still want to play through the retranslation of Breath of Fire II. It's awesome, and even its straight-laced prequel is fun. Dragon Quarter is... different. I should give it another chance.
I appreciate the pacing in BoF3 from a distance. Even if it's tedious in practice, I really like the idea of a bunch of little episodes stringing together a larger story. It does lead to a lot of filler, though. It's kind of like DQ7, actually.
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  #48  
Old 06-03-2013, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bongo Bill View Post
How do masters work?
A character assigned to a master gets altered stat bonuses when they level up. Also, after gaining a certain number of consecutive levels while assigned to a master (in BoF3) or completing whatever tasks they give you (in BoF4), they teach you new skills (which can be used by any character, but only one character at a time, just like skills learned from enemies).

There's some other stuff I'm forgetting, but that's most of it.
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  #49  
Old 06-03-2013, 02:26 PM
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When you find a master you can chose to have any number of chatacters apprentice under him or her, but a character can only be an apprentice to one master at a time. Some masters have requirements for apprenticeship, such as having a certain item or a certain score in the fishing game. When you're apprenticed under a master you get bonuses or penalties to your stats upon level up. In this way you can control the direction your characters develop.

In III, masters will teach an apprentice a new skill after that character has gained a set number of levels under them. A skill can only be learned once per game, so if you want a different character to have the skill you'll need to transfer it to them using the skill ink item.

In IV masters teach skills when you complete in-game tasks such as scoring a number of combos or killing a lot of enemies. You don't have to be apprenticed under the master when you complete the task to learn the skill. As long as you've done it sometime (even if it was before you met their requirement for apprenticeship) they'll cough it up.
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  #50  
Old 06-03-2013, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobuyuki View Post
I appreciate the pacing in BoF3 from a distance. Even if it's tedious in practice, I really like the idea of a bunch of little episodes stringing together a larger story. It does lead to a lot of filler, though. It's kind of like DQ7, actually.
Like DQ7, but with much better graphics.

Really, I'm still a little surprised that Dragon Quest VII was as ugly as it was (outside of battles) on the PlayStation, given there was like four or five years between it and VI. Breath of Fire III and IV, Final Fantasy Tactics, and to a lesser extent Wild ARMs 2 and Xenogears, they all showed that 2D sprites on 3D backgrounds could be quite stylish when done well.
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  #51  
Old 06-03-2013, 03:00 PM
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So is it a waste to level up without being apprenticed to a master, any master, even one who's not necessarily ideal for that character's role in combat?
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  #52  
Old 06-03-2013, 03:04 PM
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Not really, because none of the bonuses are documented very well. Heck, does III even publicize what modifiers and skills the various masters dole out? I just used a strategy guide.
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  #53  
Old 06-03-2013, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobuyuki View Post
I appreciate the pacing in BoF3 from a distance. Even if it's tedious in practice, I really like the idea of a bunch of little episodes stringing together a larger story. It does lead to a lot of filler, though. It's kind of like DQ7, actually.
Strangely enough, though, I had much less issue with Dragon Warrior VII. It really started moving at a decent clip eventually. It's just getting over the initial wall of poor pacing. And the text speed, blessedly, is quite fast, as are the battles. (And yes, I'm a bit of a Dragon Quest homer, so don't mind me.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetMasMan
Really, I'm still a little surprised that Dragon Quest VII was as ugly as it was (outside of battles) on the PlayStation, given there was like four or five years between it and VI.
Dragon Quest VII was kind of infamously caught in development hell. They never caught up on the tech, and they had to get it out. They couldn't very well redo the engine at that point, I suspect, just due to the financial drain. It did look pretty terrible, but at least the gameplay held up. The short-story format worked very well, also. There's something about games that center around world-revival that I always find addicting (i.e. Soul Blazer and Terranigma).
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  #54  
Old 06-03-2013, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bongo Bill View Post
So is it a waste to level up without being apprenticed to a master, any master, even one who's not necessarily ideal for that character's role in combat?
There are masters with no downsides.

Edit really, for most players it won't make a huge difference, much less than, say, finding the True Kaiser combo and having a few Wisdom fruit.

But on a min max replay, it is kinda fun getting to masters and spreading out levels amongst characters to pick up skills. Equivalent to max stats FF6 runs, really.
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  #55  
Old 06-03-2013, 03:53 PM
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I had played Final Fantasy IV and VI, as well as Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger and Earthbound before BoF I so I was a little spoiled going into it. I have a fond memory of playing the game during a snow day and that's about it.

BoF II's difficulty drove me up the wall, I remember getting to the penultimate boss and deciding the game simply wasn't worth it. It's one of those games that goes out of it's way to work against you. The dragon spells have been totally nerfed, the basic AP healing item damages you for some reason, enemies crit all the time and the encounter rate is nuts. I also don't get why they include 9 playable characters if 4 of them are worthless. Has anyone ever bothered to venture into the final dungeon using Sten, Spar and Jean?

I'd like to play BoF III but it's wayyyy too expensive and I don't own a PS3.
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  #56  
Old 06-03-2013, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derra View Post
The fishing game had to be relearned, too; I wouldn't say one games was better than the others, but having to relearn a fishing minigame wasn't my favorite thing to do in the world.

Just about everything else was better in IV though. I liked the characters more (-peco, -rei, +ershin, +scias is a net gain), skills were in general more useful, rotating characters in battle with back row benefits was fun, combos were amazing. Just the general atmosphere, from the beautiful sprites, majestic if unorthodox dragon models, the eastern-influenced music made much more of an impression on me.
There is a difference in the fishing mini-game between each version - it became more and more of a pain in the ass.

I really liked the "back row character benefits" system in BoF IV. I wish more RPGs that had similar systems (when they have more characters than can fight in a battle at once).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
Not really, because none of the bonuses are documented very well. Heck, does III even publicize what modifiers and skills the various masters dole out? I just used a strategy guide.
That was one bad part of 3's design - I don't think anything about how the masters work was ever explained in game.
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  #57  
Old 06-03-2013, 04:24 PM
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You wouldn't be able to play BoFIII on a PS3 anyway; it's not on PSN. There's a PSP port (Europe-only, but pretty cheaply found on Amazon) and that's it.
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  #58  
Old 06-03-2013, 04:28 PM
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It's region free too so knock yourself out. I heard the loading times were kinda bad though.
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  #59  
Old 06-03-2013, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanto View Post
You wouldn't be able to play BoFIII on a PS3 anyway; it's not on PSN. There's a PSP port (Europe-only, but pretty cheaply found on Amazon) and that's it.
I'm gonna assume we probably don't have Breath of Fire III on PSN because of the decapitated dragons flashback and that one naked lady. I'm surprised Capcom actually kept that stuff in the English localization of the game.
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  #60  
Old 06-03-2013, 04:43 PM
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It's not that expensive, is it?
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