The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light employs old-school basics to
recapture the charm of a bygone RPG era. From the predictable plot to
the four heroes, this spin-off takes inspiration from the minimalist
approach of the 8-bit Final Fantasy titles. Nostalgia may be a powerful
force, but it isn’t enough to make The 4 Heroes of Light worth remembering,
fondly or otherwise.
Developed by the same team that handled the
DS remakes of Final Fantasy III and IV, this game could be said to have a
classic vibe, but that’s being charitable. Everything about the
adventure is pulled straight from the big book of RPG tropes – Desert
town? Spoiled princess? No way! Nothing about the characters or plot is
Without a strong narrative to draw you in, all you’re
left with is a wreck of a battle system thrown into this by-the-numbers
adventure. On one hand, the turn-based combat tries to be simple and
accessible; the job system is easy to understand, and the elimination of
MP means you aren’t constantly managing resources. At the same time,
the limited inventory space and rough boss encounters will leave you
longing for basic features found in just about every real RPG made since
the late ‘80s.
The worst offender is the targeting – or the lack
thereof. You can’t specify which enemies you attack or which allies you
heal. Instead, you select the action you want to perform, then place
your trust in whatever hidden, under-the-hood calculations the system
uses to determine your target. It does okay most of the time, but fails
frequently enough that you can never formulate reliable strategies.
co-op could have patched some of these wounds, but it doesn’t. The
local-only multiplayer is only good for grinding, since only the host
can make story progress (and you can’t save until you exit the whole
mode!). Your core party isn’t even static, so you may only be able to do
two- or three-player co-op, adding an extra barrier to playing even if
you and three friends are sitting on the same couch.
experience lacks in novelty, it makes up for in frustration. Your
objectives are often left unclear, and when you figure it out, you’re
rewarded with clunky battles and a story you don’t care about. Final
Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light isn’t glitchy or broken, but that’s the
highest compliment I can muster.
Email the author Joe Juba, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.