Phantasy Star IV

aka: PSIV, Phantasy Star: Sennenki no Owari ni, Phantasy Star: The End of the Millennium

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Critic Reviews 82% add missing review

RPG Kingdom (19 out of 20)

PSIV est une bombe ! Ni plus, ni moins. Ceux qui auront joué aux précédents épisodes se régaleront en retrouvant de vieilles connaissances, en découvrant la véritable nature de Dark Force et l'histoire d'Algol et de sa civilisation ; les néophytes eux auront envie de jouer aux précédents épisodes pour vivre l'aventure dans son entier. PSIV est tout à fait correct techniquement, mais c'est une épopée unique sur le plan narratif : beaucoup de rêve, parfois quelques souffrances, mais que du bonheur. Avec en prime une bonne dose de difficulté, et une bonne durée de vie pour un RPG de cette époque... Une réussite rare.

Nov 1st, 2005 · Genesis · read review

GameFan Magazine (93 out of 100)

This game is the Genesis' Final Fantasy III, gorgeous graphics, amazing music a fantabulous involved storyline and many original features like vehicle battles and bounty hunting sub-quests make this a game I'll play through to the end. Truly brilliant!

Apr 1995 · Genesis (9 out of 10)

It's a wonder what $10 can buy you these days. Whilst shopping for Playstation stuff at the mall recently, I perused the used Genesis rack as I am often prone to doing (primarily to find a copy of M.U.S.H.A., but also keeping my eyes open for anything else good.) Lo and behold, I come across Phantasy Star IV. Though I was a Sega Master System fan back in its day, I had never played the original Phantasy Star, and a screwed up save game caused me to give up on Phantasy Star II years ago. I picked up Phantasy Star IV , given that the game usually goes for high prices online, but finishing it, I realized what a truly great game it was. Since then I've played the other games in the PS series, but found Phantasy Star IV to be on the top.

Jun 2nd, 2005 · Genesis · read review

Nintendo Life ( )

As outstanding as the series has been over the years, Phantasy Star IV really took it to new heights and still stands as one of the true rpg greats of the 16-bit era and a game that's as much fun to play through now as it was back then. Phantasy Star IV is yet another outstanding addition to the Virtual Console and a game that no true rpg enthusiast should pass up.

Nov 15th, 2008 · Wii · read review

RPGFan (90 out of 100)

Flash several years back to 1994, I was an avid RPGer, but unlike the majority of the audience that visits this site, I was not a console gamer. For several years I had been exploring the worlds that Richard Garriot's Ultima series, and TSR's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games had to offer. I had seen glimpses of Dragon Warrior when I was younger, and even the NES versions of a few Ultima games, but they seemed lacking to me since they excelled in graphics even though some gameplay elements were weaker and the music didn't excite me. I owned a Sega Genesis since Christmas of '93 and had been exposed to Mortal Kombat and other big-name Genesis titles. Yet it wasn't until I caught a glimpse of Phantasy Star IV mentioned in an issue of EGM, that I became interested in console RPGs.

Nov 28th, 2000 · Genesis · read review

Legendra ( )

PSIV est une bombe ! Ni plus, ni moins. Ceux qui auront joué aux précédents épisodes se régaleront en retrouvant de vieilles connaissances, en découvrant la véritable nature de Dark Force et l’histoire d’Algol et de sa civilisation ; les néophytes eux auront envie de jouer aux précédents épisodes pour vivre l’aventure dans son entier. PSIV est tout à fait correct techniquement, mais c’est une épopée unique sur le plan narratif : beaucoup de rêve, parfois quelques souffrances, mais que du bonheur. Avec en prime une bonne difficulté, et une bonne durée de vie pour un RPG. Une réussite rare.

Jan 18th, 2009 · Genesis · read review

Sega Saturn Magazine (90 out of 100)

Pretty it is not, but the mysteries of Phantasy Star IV will continue to fox you well after the likes of Thor and Soleil have been put ton one side.

Dec 1995 · Genesis · read review

IGN (9 out of 10)

As with most well-regarded and highly praised classic RPGs from the past, it's difficult to sum up in a single article the full appeal of a game like Phantasy Star IV. This title is still so beloved to this day, though, that dedicated fans still replay it again and again, Genesis loyalists from yesteryear still swear by it, and it's continued to be recognized in modern lists of the greatest video games ever made. IGN's most recent all-time best list saw it clocking in at #61 overall.

Jan 2nd, 2009 · Genesis · read review

IGN (9 out of 10)

Add that continued praise to the fact that this adventure will offer you upwards of 30 hours of gameplay, and consider that that's a pretty acceptable return on an investment of just eight bucks, and Phantasy Star IV should quickly become a game that you're considering as the one worth cashing in that Santa-delivered Wii Points card to download. The Virtual Console may have had a slimmer Christmas, but this single present is more than enough to make for a happy end to the holiday season.

Jan 2nd, 2009 · Wii · read review

Mean Machines (88 out of 100)

The best pure RPG for the Megadrive, but deemed fit only for the 'Land of the Free'. Denied!

Jul 1995 · Genesis

Sega Power (87 out of 100)

Phantasy Star is one of the best RPGs. If you have the rest, one more isn't going to kill you. Is it?

Dec 1995 · Genesis · read review (8.4 out of 10)

En conclusión. Phantasy Star IV es un soberbio Rpg que nada tiene que envidiar a los grandes del género: su historia engancha, sus personajes gustan, es largo, tiene varias aventuras paralelas que se pueden vivir si de vez en cuando se hace una visita al Hunter´s Guild y no es precisamente sencillo de acabar. ¿A que esperas? Enfúndate el uniforme de Hunter sin dudarlo, no te arrepentirás. Sólo un último pequeño detalle: está en inglés.

Mar 28th, 2002 · Genesis · read review

Mega Fun (83 out of 100)

Der vierte Teil von Segas RPG-Saga weiß rundum zu gefallen Die gute Grafik, ein solider Sound und eine äußerst komplexe Story, die, wie immer bei Phantasy Star, erst mit fortgeschrittenem Spielverlauf klarer wird, dafür aber dann absolut fesselnd ist, werden RPG-Freaks wochenlang in ihren Bann ziehen, Auch an einige Erweiterungen. wie bspw die Idee, zwei Zaubersprüche zu einem Megaspruch zu kombinieren, wurde gedacht. Trotzdem kommt das 24 MBit-Modul nicht an Final Fantasy III heran, denn man wird einfach nicht den Eindruck los, daß dem Modul etwas der letzte Feinschliff fehlt. So sind z.B. die Unterhaltungen in Städten oft sinnlos, da deren Einwohner mehr Gelaber als nützliche Infos vom Stapel lassen; alles in allem sicher das beste reinrassige RPG von Sega, doch Final Fantasy III bleibt die Meßlatte.

Mar 1995 · Genesis · read review

Video Games (82 out of 100)

Es gibt weitaus mehr Rollenspiele, die grafisch besser sind oder mit einem ausgefeilteren Spielsystem aufwarten können. Was das Spiel so einzigartig macht, ist die Welt, die es umgibt. Hier treffen mittelalterliche Romantik und Science-fiction aufeinander, wie wir sie aus der Fantasy-Literatur her kennen. Besonders die Monster gehören zu den schönsten und beeindruckendsten, die je auf Konsolen herumgegeistert sind. Aber auch die Geschichte fasziniert, weil sie nicht in einer unbekannten Welt passiert, sondern eben auch die reale Welt betrifft. Auch im vierten Teil dieser Jahrtausend-Sage ist die Mixtur aus Story, spektakulärer Grafik und übersichtlicher Menüführung durchaus gelungen. Ob einige sie als veraltet empfinden, mag einmal dahingestellt sein. Phantasy Star-Jüngern wird es immer noch gefallen, denn Tradition verpflichtet.

May 1995 · Genesis (UK) (8 out of 10)

While some of the later games to bear the Phantasy Star name were decent enough in their own right, it's hard not to feel a twinge of sadness at the fact that this particularly promising adventure strand never got to develop beyond the 16-bit era. On the other hand, maybe that's for the best. It was never watered down or spoiled by over-exposure. One thing's for sure - anyone with a fondness for JRPGs should investigate this at once.

Nov 17th, 2008 · Wii · read review

Game Positive (4 out of 5)

With only a few outdated speed-bumps along the way, Phantasy Star IV is a surprisingly innovative game with simple presentation and execution. RPG fans looking for an escape from complicated customization, overly-involved battle systems, and nonsensical yet clichéd plotlines should take a break with Phantasy Star IV. The game finds a happy balance between the soulless grind of text and numbers and the confusing blur of melodramatic plot-twists.

Feb 10th, 2009 · Wii · read review

Coming Soon Magazine ( )

The last time I sat down in front of my PC or game machine and played a RPG (role playing game), I was playing Ultima IV on my Atari 800XL. That was almost ten years ago. Needless to say, I'm somewhat a novice when it comes to game like Phantasy Star IV from Sega, billed as the grande finale of the Phantasy Star series.

Sep 27th, 1995 · Genesis · read review

GamePro (US) (4 out of 5)

In the end, End of the Millennium is amazingly rich in detail that will keep your TV screen bright as you explore everything and everywhere long after the rest of the house slumbers.

Feb 1995 · Genesis

Netjak (7.9 out of 10)

The graphics and sounds in Phantasy Star IV are purely workmanlike. There’s nothing that stands out about any of it. The character, scenery, and dungeon designs are functional, but they’re there just to help you play your way through to the conclusion. The sounds are generic, and the music is forgettable. Phantasy Star IV may have once been one of the conquering kings of role-playing, and it’s still a great game with a handful of ideas that are fun to play with. But playing Phantasy Star IV now will just make you run out and buy the more recent Phantasy Star for the Playstation 2

Oct 10th, 2007 · Genesis · read review

Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) (31 out of 40)

I must admit, from first glance this game just didn't look too great. It took quite some playing for the story to progress, but once it did, you get involved. There is a good selection of magic, weapons and other assorted RPG items to keep you happy. The only drawbacks were the lack of graphic detail and the fact that the music can get annoying. However, it's still a top RPG with enough gameplay to get you wrapped up in it.

Apr 1995 · Genesis

Game Players (70 out of 100)

Still, fans of the series are gonna find that the adventure is well worth the wait, if only to play the same game they fell in love with four titles ago. And with the poor selection of decent Genesis RPGs these days, whos' going to argue?

Feb 1995 · Genesis

Power Unlimited (2.6 out of 10)

Volgens mij komen er nog duizenden van dit soort spelletjes uit in de toekomst. Elke keer met een net iets ander verhaaltje, net iets andere karakters en precies dezelfde ellende. Lieve lezers, dit vinden jullie toch niet leuk meer? Koop die spelletjes dan ook niet meer, zodat de softwarebazen inzien dat ze moeten ophouden! Alvast bedankt.

Jan 1996 · Genesis

Player Reviews

This is the one game I don't believe I'll ever get bored with i.e best game ever
by Andrew Fisher (706)

The Good
I first played this in 1997 and have replayed it so many times, somehow never managing to become over-familiar with it. Whenever I play it, I seem to understand better why I like it so much and sometimes notice little flaws that perhaps could be tweaked. Over time, I've learned to appreciate how much work went into it, I believe that the team was trying to give the players a really epic story experience, unlike previous Phantasy Star games where you're kind of given a skeletal story and forced to flesh it out in your mind and create the gaming experience yourself. I think the difficulty level is just about right, I was almost a complete rookie in turn-based combat when I first played it and being such a long game, it gives you the first few battles at little cost, slowly challenging you more and more. I've gotten better and better at the game and don't sweat the battles like I used to, but they can still be pretty edge of your seat, after all, your success is still quite dependent on luck i.e which party member the computer targets, with which attack. The game has mostly done away with "grinding", which is a huge help in my book. So long as you don't evade too many battles, comb all the dungeons for armour upgrades and make the most of your techniques and skills, you should be able to afford armour upgrades from shops and beat bosses i.e you shouldn't find yourself utterly crushed by a boss, leading you to go about in circles, leveling up.

I think there is a lot to take from the game's story. Overall it's meant to bring an end to the series, explaining the origins of "Dark Force" from the previous games and presenting a "make or break" situation for Algo. One large theme running through the game is "science and legend". Though most of the party members are magic wielders, their logical attitudes suggest that their magic is some advanced form of science. Your party thinks logically to determine the root of a problem, but is willing to put faith in superstitious ideas e.g planet Dezolis is plagued by bad snow storms, logic says they're caused by a fault in the planet's weather control system, but there's also this idea among the Dezolisians that this mysterious, "evil" tower, is the source of the problem. There is a sort of climactic point in the game where one of the characters rebels against blindly trusting ancient stories and legends, which leads to a scene where he sort of discovers his purpose, what he believes in, his reason for fighting etc. I think the game's story has a lot in it and one can keep gaining from it, from replaying the game and experiencing it again.

The Bad
I think there's some attempt at presenting men and women as equal, though ultimately I think the male characters Chaz and Rune dominate a little. I think the team deserves credit for female characters like Alys and Rika, neither of whom I would call female stereotypes, two of the most interesting female characters I've come across. But though Rika has her moments, the game gets to a point where it seems to be mainly about Chaz and Rune and their difficult friendship. I think the game could be better if they'd found a way to mix Rika in with Chaz and Rune a bit more. As for Wren, I suppose his inclusion in the main plot is quite respectable considering he's a cyborg, albeit a relatively human one. There is some rather undisguised ill treatment of Raja though, not necessarily because he's a green-skinned Dezolisian, but because he's elderly i.e they call him an "old fart", resent having to "drag him around" and call him their "strange, travelling companion" even though he's clearly equal in terms of usefulness in battle.

The Bottom Line
I'd recommend it to anyone, even those who hate RPGs. The game is kind to players new to RPG, I was lucky enough to play this game before most other RPGs. It's worth any hardship to experience the story, which is of course told in a comic strip form, some very nice artwork. On top of all this, some excellent music by Izuho Takeuchi and Masaki Nakagaki.

Nov 28th, 2018 · Genesis

Best in the series! Instant classic!
by George Henry (2)

The Good
Since the original Phantasy Star for the Master System, this is the only game in the Phantasy Star series that's gotten the formula completely right; and they really did get it right - this is probably the best rpg the Genesis ever had.

First some context: The original Phantasy Star was well-balanced, filled with creative touches, really innovative for its time. I mean, it had an involved plotline across three planets, several vehicles, great characters, even the fake-3D dungeons were pulled off in a way that's still really fun and not cheesy. ::remembers drawing the maps of each dungeon - my god, has it been that long::

 Then Phantasy Star II came out: the graphics were kind of weak (especially considering that it was written for *better* hardware than the original), and the interface was kind of clunky, but there was some good art and design, and the storyline was solid, maintaining the combined magic/technology-based setting of the original. The music was alright, too.

 The only game in the series developed without the aid of Yuji Naka and Rieko Kodama - Phantasy Star III came out with the promise of being BIG. Three generations of heroes - and at the end of each generation you decided which of two people you wanted to marry, thusly determining who your offspring and next playable character would be. In all, that meant 1+2+4=7 different character/quests. That's the good part - the bad part is that there weren't enough save slots to cover all this distance. Ouch. The random encounters were irritating and bland, and a lot of the new enemy designs (which had been such a solid aspect of the first two games) were either uninspired or just plain bizarre; too many enemies seemed determined to inflict mortal damage on you by flicking their wrists or wiggling their ears (I wish I were joking). The storyline hardly touched on the rest of the series at all. Some people have played this game without prior exposure to the other Phantasy Stars and enjoyed it - but coming into it with the expectations of someone familiar with the first two games the disconnect is a real disappointment.

 And so we come to Phantasy Star IV, the last game to be made with the traditional top-down rpg approach. The original creators' influence is back on this one. Great graphics, great soundtrack, great story - you're planet-hopping again, just like in the first game, but with far more places to go - planets, asteroids, satellites, a floating castle... Lots of references to the prior games, particularly

the original (although even the characters from PSIII make a quick appearance in one vision-scene). At no place does it bog down - some dungeons and bosses are difficult, but just enough to make things interesting. There are lots and lots of side-quests: your original job within the game is as a bounty-hunter/all-purpose problem solver, and the Hunter's Guild provides several money-making quests nonessential to the main storyline - not to mention all the abandoned facilities strewn across the planets where you can discover interesting weapons/devices and things that relate to the previous games. The characters are all solid. The cutscenes are done in a comic/manga style with overlapping frames and are well drawn. All the vehicles that were so handy and fun to drive around in the first game are back - and this time you can fight in them, using their advanced weaponry to absolutely vaporize some monsters. The best creatures from the first and second games are back: sandworms from PSI, robots from PSII - they even brought back the "baby chick" monster from PSIII that was kind of boring and stupid and made it the focus of a fun quest! Random encounters - the achilles heel of so many rpgs, are handled with a smooth combat system, and the combination of this system, cool weapon animations, cool combination attacks, and good enemy designs make it one of the game's seemingly endless strong points.

Long story short - this was made by people whose love for the best parts of the series is obvious and they crammed every good thing they could into this overflowing game cartridge!!! Get it!!! Get it now!!!

The Bad
There's nothing not to like about this game - this is where they got it perfect.

The Bottom Line
The best of the Phantasy Star games!

Mar 4th, 2004 · Genesis

Good flow, slightly mediocre content
by Kit Simmons (264)

The Good
Being released during the golden age of 16-bit CRPGs, Phantasy Star IV took some of the best qualities of the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy series and gave them its own spin. The game features a Star Wars-esque mixture of epic battle deeds of an adventuring party, set in a refreshing sci-fi setting with a heavy dash of anime seasoning.

The adventure plays straightforward, told in a crisp manner with very little idle time between adventures. Where 16-bit Final Fantasies often dwelt tediously on situations and early Dragon Quests offered way too little plot, Phantasy Star IV found a good measure between the two that doesn't interrupt the gameplay's flow.

This carries over into the battles, one of the game's strong points. The parties comprised of up to five characters require a pleasant amount of tactical thinking. Text information, combat animation and battle summaries are concise, making the many random encounters just long enough. Clever damage and XP balancing result in a perceivable character progression. Although a watchful eye must be kept on characters' hitpoints, extensive dungeon crawls are actually explorations, not gradual advances interrupted again and again by overpowered enemies forcing a retreat to the nearest town.

Outside of combat graphics are functional rather than fancy, although personally I appreciate it that character sprites aren't super-deformed compared to their surroundings and that the whole party can be seen while wandering around rather than the lead character representing everyone. In battles characters are even more realistically proportioned and overall appropriately sci-fi-looking. Dropping the 3D dungeon view of the early Phantasy Star instalments, the battle view focuses on the enemies like in Dragon Quest. However, it also shows active party members from behind, rushing forward to deliver blows, which creates a nice and almost cinematic way of presenting encounters.

A trademark feature of the game, its cutscenes deserve special notice because they are presented as fully illustrated and very effectually arranged comic book panels which are visually superior to mere text boxes or the use of limited sprite animation to tell the plot.

On the same note, I must admit at this point that generally I despise the Sega Genesis' sound capabilities. If (arguably) nowhere else, the SNES was clearly superior to Sega's machine in that department. Surprisingly, the soundtrack of Phantasy Star IV is very decent. While not as orchestral and rich as the best pieces the SNES has to offer, the techno-influenced musical style of Phantasy Star IV seems to fit the Genesis' sound chip perfectly, rather gracefully dodging the flat and scratchy tunes heard in so many other games.

The Bad
Like most Japanese CRPGs of its time, Phantasy Star IV plays extremely conservatively. Its gameplay formula is a strict "rest and resupply in towns - overworld map - isometric dungeons - random battles" procedure, looped ad infinitum and set in a linear story with linear character development. It takes players' willingness to see beyond those unoriginal aspects to discover what actually sets Phantasy Star IV apart. The real qualities lay mainly in the details.

Graphically, Phantasy Star IV doesn't disappoint although enemy and scenario depictions in the separate battle screens are noticeably better than in the isometric overworld, town and dungeon views. It is solid 16-bit fare and little else.

The cutscenes are perhaps the game's most outstanding visual feature but they were designed in a generic anime style by today's standards. The very idea was unusual for its time to be sure but whether or not one finds the character designs overly outstanding is a matter of taste. Personally, I find Akira Toriyama's quirky Dragon Quest designs more appealing, considering TV shows like Saber Rider had already established a character style comparable to PSIV even in Western regions.

The plot is carried mostly by its setting as the characters populating it are for the most part classic fantasy stereotypes outfitted with sci-fi weapons. The writing itself adheres to many clichés, be it the sword-wielding, youthful firebrand hero or the dark, sorcerous overlords who reveal themselves and their plans only gradually which seems to be directly related to the heroes' party level. Thankfully, the game isn't bereft of humour or exciting moments but the impression of 'seen it, give me more' is often hard to shake.

The Bottom Line
What Phantasy Star IV copies it copies well. What little it does differently it does very well. Above all else, the game is a joy to play because its main gameplay aspects, combat and exploration, are well balanced. Although repetition cannot be denied, Phantasy Star IV tends to not get as tedious as many of its better-selling rivals at their worst.

While the series isn't as expansive or successful as other 16-bit CRPGs, especially Phantasy Star IV holds up even today. The game isn't punishingly difficult or so flawed that only die-hard fans can tolerate its shortcomings. Instead it is nothing less (or more) than a solid experience with an excellent gameplay flow.

Mar 8th, 2010 · Genesis

Proving that Final Fantasy Is Not The King RPGS
by MasterMegid (870)

The Good
Phantasy Star IV, was always one of my favorite games. Yet my original review for it kinda sucked. Furthermore I noticed a certain review for the game has been changed for the worse. Who changes their views seemingly at the drop of a hat?

After many delays PSIV was finally released in 1994. It was hailed as the “finale” of the Phantasy Star series. The game also cost an unbelievable $100! Was the hefty price tag worth it? Hell yes!

In Phantasy Star IV, we return to the Algol Solar System. 1000 years have passed, since Rolf and company destroyed the Mother Brain. This necessary event sent the Algol system into a decline. Now things are finally returning to normal. Yet an ancient terror lurks in the darkness, soon it will be reborn and unleash its terrible vengeance on the worlds of Algol!

This is were you come in. Players are thrust into the role of Chaz Ashley. An apprentice hunter, learning from the best Alys Brangwin, famed across Motavia, for her skill dispatching deadly bio-monsters. A routine mission to dispatch some of the creatures leads Chaz on a quest that will bring him face to face with Dark Force in all it’s dark glory.

This may not sound terribly original today, but keep in mind that Phantasy Star introduced the now common “dark god” hell bent on death and destruction. Furthermore the Phantasy Star series has always managed to pull this type of plot of effectively. And the story is well-presented and easy to follow, and enjoy, and in the end is that not what RPGS are designed to do? The plot never seems trite unlike in certain Final Fantasy games.

The game has plot twists, and many villlains including the enigmatic Zio and the return of Lashiec. And the boss fights are huge and great fun.

My opponent claims that there are is no conflict. Yet I remember a very interesting scene, in which the main character questions his role, and makes the point that if he blindly follows the will of the Great Light how is he any different that Zio or Lashiec. If that is not conflict what is?

There is also a tragic event in the game. Which my opponent claims is the same as the tragic event in Phantasy Star II. Yet they could not be MORE different

Along the way Chaz will meet eight others that will join in his quest. All the characters are unique and have different backgrounds. Sega even took the trouble to make each character has a unique way of speaking. While saying the same thing they all say it a different way. For example if you examine and area and there is nothing to see Wren will say"There are no anomolies ahead." While Rika will say, "This is boring!" It is this kind of attention to detail that always made the Phantasy Star series miles better than the overrated Final Fantasy series.(Admit it fanboys there are only like 2 good Final Fantasy games. And 2 out of 12 is a terrible track record.)

Battle monsters and explore towns and dungeons as the story gradually unfolds with manga-style cut scenes. That are just as cool today as they were ten years ago. My opponent claims that there is little originality in this game yet, if it were not for these ground breaking cutscenes, the modern RPG would not be the same...interesting.

The battles are most reminiscent of PSII. With much improved visuals. As with all the visuals. Five instead of four party members in your party is also a welcome addition. During battles the usual choices are available, weapons, techniques (Magic is PSIV) and running from battle. As well as new skills. Skills work like techniques except, they cost no TP, instead each one can be used a certain amount of times. For fighter types like Chaz skills will play a more crucial role in defeating “boss” monsters.

Battle speed is much better than in previous installments. And in RPGS in general. The battles are never drawn out, as the sometimes were in PSII and PSIII. And almost always are in Final Fantasy. You even increase or decrease the speed.

Techniques and skills can even be combined to create more powerful combo attacks.(For example Rayblade + Astral= Paladin Blow a very power and very cool looking attack. Some are very hard to discover and will take quite a bit of experimenting particularly the 'Destruction' combo. These are among some of the most powerful and awesome to watch executed. So finding them will be well worth your time. My opponent claims that there are only spells and standard attacks. And does not mention the original skills like Crosscut. Most likely to strengthen his argument that the game is unoriginal. (Yet he defends FFV which is a step back for the series. With it's non-existent plot and bland characters. And simply moronic class system.)

The music in PSIV is excellent. Up to par and usually better than any other RPGS of all time. What makes it so good is how unique it is. There are no pretentious “classical” themes. The music tends to be much more techno inspired. Some of the tunes in particular stand out. “Ooze” the song played when fighting the end boss, is quite possibly the greatest song ever composed for a video game. The music does not lack variety. Both the composers from PS1&2 as well as from PS3 lend their talents for this one. Their different styles lend to a well-rounded soundtrack.

The graphics in Phantasy Star IV are easily the best in the series. The sprites are more well formed than the atypical short and stocky types found in most 2D RPGS. In battle the characters come to life in huge over the shoulder sprites. They charge the enemy and attack, unlike Final Fantasy. And the monsters are large and animated. Nowadays this is common place but remember that the "great" Final Fantasy series did not animate the monsters untill suck it fanboys.

There are many little details in this game that Final Fantasy games lack. The towns are chock full of details, from seeing ducks swimming in a pond, to townspeople sweeping up, etc.

Every dungeon is unique. One has you use pedestals to open up new levels. While another you may need a special item to progress. Many are very difficult as well such as Lashiec's castle.

The setting is also quite different. Sure, it is the same worlds, but the tone is different. In Phantasy Star II, most people enjoy there "perfect" world, that on a deeper level is far from perfect. Where as in Phantasy Star IV the world has just recovered from a near collapse, and is much more crude.

And while Phantasy Star II had a great cast, PSIV eclipses it, as the cast is more varied. In PSII only one party member is NOT human. While in PSIV, there are Androids, Motavians, and Dezolians.

Phantasy Star also helped inspire some of my other favorite RPGS like Arc the Lad, Star Ocean, and the Lunar series.

The Bad
There is NOTHING bad in PSIV. It amazes me that Sega could fit this game on a cartridge. And still have such a good game. Then again it was going to be Sega CD game. It was to be and even bigger game, as many features had to be removed to fit it on to a cart.

It would have been interesting to see what the Sega CD version would have been like.

The Bottom Line
Phantasy Star IV, wraps the series quite nicely. It is the biggest game of the series, with a 24-meg cart! Not only is it best RPG the Genesis, it is one of the, if not the best RPG all time. I have played this game like 20 times over the years and still play it to this day and still enjoy it every time.

The Super Nes may have had MORE RPGS but the Genesis have a few that really shine. Hell this game really shows how inferior Final Fantasy is. Just as Landstalker shows how inferior The Legend Of Zelda is.

Jun 21st, 2007 · Genesis

Plus 86 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Alsy, Big John WV, chirinea, Loggo, jaXen, Wizo, RhYnoECfnW, Patrick Bregger, Jeanne, vicrabb, Tim Janssen.