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Epic Battle Fantasy 4
Read on for the full review!
While there are a couple downsides(and only a couple,) Epic Battle Fantasy 4 features many positive aspects of classic RPG gameplay, while also lightheartedly poking fun at RPG, anime, and video game tropes. It's cheap, too, so you should definitely pick up a copy!
+ RPG: It's oldschool!
+ Options: All there
+ Graphics: Cute, colorful, and with nice animations.
+ UI: Remembering the last used spells is sooo convenient!
+ Humor: Very much present.
+ Price: Low, especially for playtime.
+ References: EVERYWHERE.
+ Variety: ALSO EVERYWHERE.
+ Combat: It will keep you doing different things.
- Not higher resolution!
- KB Mode still requires mouse
+/- You'll have to fight alot of waves of monsters.
+/- You'll also have to backtrack quite a few times.
Epic Battle Fantasy Four...now that's a name! Like its name, EBF4 seems to be a parody of all things RPG. It sports fairly good writing, self-aware humor, a wealth of items to find, and the equipment all has unique art assets. We're off to a good start! So what's the story like?
It's a bit like this. You're a girl from a small woodland village. Three protagonists from the previous titles in the series have ransacked your village, and its prized jewel is gone! You track them down and force them to join up with you, after realizing they didn't steal the jewel, as repayment for their pillaging. You then go on to the next village to find their jewel is also gone. Okay, you should grab some popcorn for this: The jewels are meant to be seperated, and when brought together could spell doom for humankind. This is because of Catgod. Yes. Catgod. Catgod created the world, and all its creatures. It created cats in its image, but became jealous of their relationship with humans, and decided to take the cats' arm and legs, and destroy their greatest works in the world. Now someone, maybe these cats, wants to even out the punishment! You must take your lovable band of misfits and stop them!
So, we're already in for an interesting ride. What else is there you ask? Read on!
This is the kind of game where the more I play, the more I appreciate it. There is humor in spades, which sometimes falls flat for me, but it's very self-aware, so I still appreciate it. Something also everywhere is references, and I LOVE references! Other things are also everywhere, such as: skills, summons, equipment, upgrades, monsters, quests, hidden treasure, and barriers blocking your path.
The graphics are cute, with much of the stuff in the game sporting decent and equally cute animations. There are plenty of options in the settings menu. There are overworld monsters, so when you feel like skipping battles, you can. The blockades barring your way actually keep things interesting, since your equipment will all remain useful depending on what enemies you are fighting, and everything in this game can be upgraded or scales with your level. This sets a great pace for exploration, and encourages you to find all the hidden unblocked treasures you can get your grubby hands on.
Progression has a good curve. You'll level up, find items, get new weapons, and clear areas at a steady pace. There's also a lot of content to this game, for only 12$ off sale, so you'll get your money's worth, too. The game likes to parody cliches found in anime, games, movies, you name it. The humor will keep you going even if the gameplay gets old, and if it does, a quick break is all it ever took for me to fix that.
For example, I once started a battle with a woolly mammoth to then inadvertantly drop a woolly mammoth on top of it right after my party commented about how tough the fight would be. I was close to taking a break, but instead laughed plentifully and wanted to keep going. There are plenty of other nice things that will keep the game convenient and easy to play like the ability to scan monsters and instantly see their strengths and weaknesses, the ability to leave a battle without having to play a minigame or roll dice, zone teleports, instant healing slimecats, recently used spells list, and more!
Getting around in Epic Battle Fantasy 4 is easy. The UI is simple enough, although slightly clunky. There are keyboard and mouse movement options, but keyboard mode still requires the mouse for battles, unfortunately, and there's no controller support. The game also maxes out at 720p, which is quite low for modern displays. There is also, on the negative end, ocassional lag and stuttering. There are plenty of settings to mess with so you can likely find a setting that fixes that for you.
All in all you'll want to experience this game for the story, humor, characters, references, varied battles, and sheer number of items, equipment, and potential upgrades.
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