AeroPergold

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
173
Reaction score
224
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
Ah, it must be time for a controversial hot take. While I am not stranger to shaking up the forum. I wanted to put my thoughts to text on a subject that I even wrote about in a college class paper.

But first some background, everybody knows what Final Fantasy 7? Right? I don't have to explain it? This is a forum pertaining to the RPG genre so I don't feel like I should have to explain Final Fantasy 7. But...Phantasy Star 4 is the last in the mainline Phantasy Star JRPG series created by Sega starting life on the Master System before doing its last three games on the Genesis or Mega Drive as some European/Asian members may point out.

So why compare the two? Simple...Phantasy Star 4 does Sci-Fi better than Final Fantasy 7.

Final Fantasy 7 is one of the first entries in the Final Fantasy series to fully embrace sci-fi elements featuring grungy industrial environments, advanced technology and weaponry as well as featuring Shin-ra as the first Anarcho-Capitalism society in an RPG. But FF7 has a problem in the sense that it doesn't want to commit to Sci-Fi or Fantasy. Instead feeling like like a halfway point between high fantasy and Science Fiction, neither Lord of the Rings or Star Trek. That's when Phantasy Star 4 comes in.

Phantasy Star 4 fully commits to Sci-Fi featuring laser guns, spaceships, interplanetary travel, satellites, biologically modified monsters, robots, and aliens. For instance, magic abilities in PS4 aren't called magic, but rather Tech or Techniques in long form. Final Fantasy 7 despite featuring an industrialized setting with advanced technology still calls its magic magic.

Phantasy Star does Sci-Fi and does to its maximum potential, even in its most primitive form on the Master System featuring three planets to explore and fast paced 3D Dungeons, all this on an 8-Bit console using the same CPU as the ZX Spectrum no less!

Final Fantasy 7's art kinda falls flat compared to the chad Phantasy Star 4, excluding drawn art and 2D profile pictures, FF7 was confined to the limitations and lack of experience of early 3D gaming. Overworld people models look like lego mini-figs, the models in pre-rendered cutscenes look stiff and lack texture. Phantasy Star 4 was produced at the height of 2D pixel art, utilizing Sega's heavy experience with 2D games with well made sprites and tile work. Even the artstyle has a heavy manga/90's Anime look to it giving it an artistically distinct style only seen in Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger (since the dude who did the art for Dragon Ball did the art for both of these games). While FF7 does have an anime artsyle, it is still confined to the limits of the Playstation 1 leading up to 1997.

Also Phantasy Star 4 had the more subtle character death, everybody knows that Aerith dies but does anyone know that Alys dies in Phantasy Star 4? That and the most impactful things come after Aerith dies, but in the Phantasy Star 4, Alys' death was the impactful thing.

Am I saying that FF7 is an inferior game, no. A bit overrated yes but far from a bad game. All I am saying that Phantasy Star had the complete and involved Sci-Fi experience and that Square's game is called Final Fantasy and not Final George Orwell's 1984.

Join me next time when I try to prove that if given the chance, Ultima will beat Dragon Quest for being the best Fantasy RPG.
 

PixeLockeT

Demon Lord Lady
Veteran
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
312
Reaction score
575
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
There is no good Fail Fantasy. I tried and found Phantasy Star Online flat and boring, but I haven't tried the offline ones (although I wanna, as sci-fi is my fav setting). Star Ocean 2 is tops for sci-fi jRPGs - it's like taking Star Trek and combining it with anime - so very exciting. And Dragon Quest > Ultima for sure, although Ultima's not too bad. u wu
 

ATT_Turan

Forewarner of the Black Wind
Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
1,159
Reaction score
634
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Phantasy Star 4 does Sci-Fi better than Final Fantasy 7.

Final Fantasy 7 is one of the first entries in the Final Fantasy series to fully embrace sci-fi elements
I think you contradicted yourself and your point right there. I don't believe (and I've never read any description claiming) that Final Fantasy was trying to be a sci-fi game. Final Fantasy, as a series, has always had a blend of fantasy and technology...sometimes it was more steampunk-ish, in 7 it was more modern/almost sci-fi, but I never got the impression that anyone in its development wanted it to be seen as a sci-fi game. I think "sci-fi elements" is the correct way to look at it.
For instance, magic abilities in PS4 aren't called magic, but rather Tech or Techniques in long form. Final Fantasy 7 despite featuring an industrialized setting with advanced technology still calls its magic magic.
That's not correct. Techniques are separate, many of the Skills are magic. This is explicitly stated in the first fifteen minutes of the game, and several times thereafter. It's not common knowledge to the citizens of the setting, but it definitely exists and is called magic:
1618958000850.png

Also Phantasy Star 4 had the more subtle character death, everybody knows that Aerith dies but does anyone know that Alys dies in Phantasy Star 4?
I don't see how being less well-known makes any part of a game better...

For what it's worth, I think Phantasy Star 4 is a better game than Final Fantasy 7, and I think of the Final Fantasy series 7 is very overrated, but I found several of your points/claims confusing.
 

AeroPergold

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
173
Reaction score
224
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
I think you contradicted yourself and your point right there. I don't believe (and I've never read any description claiming) that Final Fantasy was trying to be a sci-fi game. Final Fantasy, as a series, has always had a blend of fantasy and technology...sometimes it was more steampunk-ish, in 7 it was more modern/almost sci-fi, but I never got the impression that anyone in its development wanted it to be seen as a sci-fi game. I think "sci-fi elements" is the correct way to look at it.

That's not correct. Techniques are separate, many of the Skills are magic. This is explicitly stated in the first fifteen minutes of the game, and several times thereafter. It's not common knowledge to the citizens of the setting, but it definitely exists and is called magic:
View attachment 186900


I don't see how being less well-known makes any part of a game better...

For what it's worth, I think Phantasy Star 4 is a better game than Final Fantasy 7, and I think of the Final Fantasy series 7 is very overrated, but I found several of your points/claims confusing.
Okay so I half arsed this thread and I forgot that part in Phantasy Star 4 in the screenshot
There is no good Fail Fantasy. I tried and found Phantasy Star Online flat and boring, but I haven't tried the offline ones (although I wanna, as sci-fi is my fav setting). Star Ocean 2 is tops for sci-fi jRPGs - it's like taking Star Trek and combining it with anime - so very exciting. And Dragon Quest > Ultima for sure, although Ultima's not too bad. u wu
I've never played PSO because I like my Turn Based RPGs waaaay too much. But I'll look into Star Ocean 2 and I was joking about talking about Ultima and Dragon Quest since Ultima is what inspired the modern JRPG.
.
 

Drakkonis

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
159
Reaction score
138
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
FF7 fan here, so take this for what it's worth. I've also never played any Phantasy Star game, so my comments involving that will take into account only the information provided.

For the setting, FF7, and Final Fantasy in general, never strives to be sci-fi. The tech level is usually part of the setting more than part of the story. The story makes use of it, but a lot of any given Final Fantasy's story would remain the same no matter the tech level. Most major plot points could have alternative explanations that serve the same effect even if set at a more "traditional" fantasy tech level. Though I grant that FF7's worldbuilding involving Shin-Ra and mako and Sephiroth's backstory probably wouldn't be too feasible without suitable tech of SOME kind. If you like, think of Final Fantasy 7's setting as an example of technology evolving with magic still present, though largely rare and in the background until Shin-Ra started messing with mako and manufacturing synthetic materia.

FF7's magic IS magic, and its existence in a psuedo-sci-fi setting is explained, even if not entirely to the level of detail one might wish, but even that can be explained as the result of a 2000 year gap since magic was widely in use. Though I do take some issue with the explanation that materia gives the knowledge of how to use magic... and then you can't use the magic after taking the materia off... I wonder if that sparked the idea of FF8's twist involving the Guardian Forces...

For graphics... there's always going to be an issue when inexperience is in play, especially given the scope of what FF7 was reaching for on new technology. That's why the pre-rendered backgrounds look good and the 3D stuff... really doesn't. I imagine if Phantasy Star 4 was made with similar development timing and choices it might have suffered similarly. There might have also been data storage or hardware performance concerns, but that's merely speculation. Could have been a lazy texture artist for all I know.

As for no good Final Fantasy, as someone else mentioned, that really depends on what you want out of a fantasy RPG. Story-wise, I think they peaked around 6/7 and then started twisting themselves into knots, starting with 8. Unfortunately, 7 is also when they started their emo solo main character trend that they STILL haven't really shaken off, at least in numbered titles(Looking at Squall, Lightning, and Noctis here). The mechanics started getting a little unnecessarily complex around that point too. Materia allowed you a lot of creative flexibility. Then they decided to up the ante with 8's Junction system.... then the sphere grid.... and on.... and on...

Apologies for the half ramble, half rant at the end. I LOVE Final Fantasy, I do. But for every thing that I like about something in the series... there's at least one thing that just frustrates me or makes me question the thought process of the people involved. I only replied to answer specific points being argued and got off on a slight tangent.
 

RachelTheSeeker

Suddenly, a summer breeze...
Veteran
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
457
Reaction score
756
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
For the setting, FF7, and Final Fantasy in general, never strives to be sci-fi. The tech level is usually part of the setting more than part of the story. The story makes use of it, but a lot of any given Final Fantasy's story would remain the same no matter the tech level. Most major plot points could have alternative explanations that serve the same effect even if set at a more "traditional" fantasy tech level. Though I grant that FF7's worldbuilding involving Shin-Ra and mako and Sephiroth's backstory probably wouldn't be too feasible without suitable tech of SOME kind.
Small point to add, but exactly. I feel Phantasy Star 4 is more of a "sword and planet" or space opera game, whereas Final Fantasy 7 is more "dieselpunk". Especially in the remake, it feels more noir with anachronistic tech and sci-fantasy magic.
 

Drakkonis

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
159
Reaction score
138
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
Small point to add, but exactly. I feel Phantasy Star 4 is more of a "sword and planet" or space opera game, whereas Final Fantasy 7 is more "dieselpunk". Especially in the remake, it feels more noir with anachronistic tech and sci-fantasy magic.
Yeah, they more or less made mako as a sort of "hyper-fuel". More efficient than coal or oil, but with the drawback of literally sucking out the life force in the area. Take out the LITERAL life-blood of the planet part, and all that comes with it, and it almost becomes a modern/noir-ish sustainable energy story, at least in the beginning. Barret's AVALANCHE team almost comes off as PETA, if PETA was in the eco-sustainability department.

Honestly that's probably the saddest part of mako. Yeah, it's lifestream energy, and using it is bad... but they did literally nothing else with it. It was basically just a regular energy source. They could have tapped into the "voice of the Planet" angle to make actual magitek, but instead all of Shin-Ra's mako-powered machinery was just that... machinery that ran on mako.

Honestly the only REAL hard science bits in the game were the reactors, everything Hojo-related, and Cid's rocket. And even THAT isn't sci-fi. Swap out the mako reactor for a oil/nuclear hybrid, and really only Hojo's twisted crap is out of today's realm, and even then only because of mako. And only the space travel bit is something that doesn't have a common fantasy counterpart. And being a relatively minor bit of the story, it could easily have been swapped with something less "modern" and still served its purpose.

When you REALLY boil down to the essentials, FF7 definitely leans more on the fantasy side of the scale. Semi-modern fantasy if you really wanted to label it. Sci-fi on a technicality, but only because the power source is fantastical.
 

Touchfuzzy

Rantagonist
Staff member
Lead Eagle
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
7,597
Reaction score
9,654
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
They are both very good games. If I had to give an edge to one or the other, it would be FFVII, due to having a bit more going on mechanically (thought not much), but I wish more people would play Phantasy Star 4.

Honestly imo one of the top 3 RPGs of it's era, along with Chrono Trigger and Dragon Quest V. It just isn't as popular cause it was on the Genesis instead of the SNES.
 

Tiamat-86

old jrpg gamer
Veteran
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
702
Reaction score
307
First Language
english
Primarily Uses
RMMV
FF7 never claimed to be sci-fi, its hardly even industrial era.
that aside its story is kinda crap: villain is a tool, characters lack any meaningful personal development,
and the difficulty is extremly easy (the magic was a joke, realy only need like 4 materia to beat the game +4 more to beat all extra endgame content.)

PS4 only real complaits is spell/skill names with lack of help info knowing what does what, and fair amount of missing lore if havent played earlier games. but the way they did the macro commands was great combined with its skill chaining system, f'n loved their combat system.

for genesis/ps1 era games heavily leans into sci-fi culture i nominate xenogears
 

Trihan

Speedy Scripter
Veteran
Joined
Apr 12, 2012
Messages
3,453
Reaction score
2,571
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
There is no good Fail Fantasy. I tried and found Phantasy Star Online flat and boring, but I haven't tried the offline ones (although I wanna, as sci-fi is my fav setting). Star Ocean 2 is tops for sci-fi jRPGs - it's like taking Star Trek and combining it with anime - so very exciting. And Dragon Quest > Ultima for sure, although Ultima's not too bad. u wu
What did Final Fantasy do to hurt you? XD Seriously, you dislike every single entry in the series? Everyone's entitled to their opinion, of course, but that just seems like far too wide a spread of dislike for gameplay mechanics and systems considering how far on that scale the series spans. Unless it's the storytelling and characters you consider bad, which I suppose makes sense since they do all follow a fairly common set of beats and characterisations.
 

Drakkonis

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
159
Reaction score
138
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
FF7 never claimed to be sci-fi, its hardly even industrial era.
that aside its story is kinda crap: villain is a tool, characters lack any meaningful personal development,
and the difficulty is extremly easy (the magic was a joke, realy only need like 4 materia to beat the game +4 more to beat all extra endgame content.)

PS4 only real complaits is spell/skill names with lack of help info knowing what does what, and fair amount of missing lore if havent played earlier games. but the way they did the macro commands was great combined with its skill chaining system, f'n loved their combat system.

for genesis/ps1 era games heavily leans into sci-fi culture i nominate xenogears
Let's not forget that FF7 spawned Square Enix's trend of emo loners who prefer dark, leathery, and preferably heavily-belted outfits for the main protagonist. Squall "You can only depend on yourself" from 8, Tidus "My dad's an arrogant S.O.B." from 10, Claire "I call myself Lightning to have meaning" from 13, and Noctis "I'm the crown prince, suck it" from 15. Only 9, 11, 12, and 14 escape this, and only because 11 and 14 are online with user-created characters, 9 gave Zidane an emo breakdown as part of the story, and 12 apparently can't decide WHO its main protagonist is. If you count Vaan, since he's the one representing 12's heroes in Dissidia, his story relevance disappears pretty much after the first few hours and is kinda... just hanging out and nobody's questioned him on it yet. It's like he's just there at that point either because he's bored or he has a crush on Ashe.

Point is... yeah, FF7 is one of the most well-known of the series.... but that doesn't mean it's flawless. Granted, some of its more... tired plot elements weren't really that well-worn back then. But someone coming into the game after 20 years of other RPG's can probably smell every plot twist coming a mile away, even if they know literally NOTHING about the game and everything that came from it.

FF7R handles some of the original's gameplay weaknesses fairly well, though that could largely be due to the complete gameplay shift and the changes made to support it. The story.... without spoiling anything, it could have different implications depending on if you know the original's story or not. Though honestly if you DON'T know the original story, you'll be lost on certain major plot points, since some of that isn't really covered in the original until AFTER where 7R's story ends. Cloud's issue with Sephiroth, for example.
 

TheGentlemanLoser

"And when we fall, we will fall together..."
Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
238
Reaction score
273
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Why is your definition of what Final Fantasy 7 does or is trying to do 'be scifi' exactly? I find this quite specious. Like if that is seriously your sole criteria, idk like ****ing Wasteland want to have words or w/e, it did it 1-2 console generations earlier than Phantasy Star.

I have never played a Phantasy Star game (putting it up there with Suikoden, Earthbound/Mother, Persona, and way too many other JRPG franchises I've never really tried) the closest I got was a few screens into PS3 with the gross, broken little "pseudo-Genesis" system, the Genesis mini, that I really regret buying in 2019 and also throwing out in 2019, what a piece of crap that fake console was in every way, not even remotely blaming the game franchise for that one).

(I unironically love Final Fantasy VII, I have since I was like 11, like a lot of people who came of age around a certain time in 1997 it was THE JRPG for me, if not for FFVII there are entire RM games, relatively well known ones, I wouldn't have finished and released in the 00s, ****ing fight me, etcetera. While I'm at it Chrono Cross is a better game than Chrono Trigger.)

It also seems I unironically love ****ing PARENTHESES. And swearing, but I knew that already.

Instead feeling like like a halfway point between high fantasy and Science Fiction, neither Lord of the Rings or Star Trek. That's when Phantasy Star 4 comes in.

Nobody tell him about Shadowrun!
 
Last edited:

ramza

Lunatic Coder
Veteran
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
938
Reaction score
585
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Errhm. It's been a couple weeks since the last response here, so I hope I'm not necroposting, but I don't usually look in this section of the forum, so I didn't see this thread before now.

I am of the personal belief that the early single player Phantasy Star games are the greatest console RPGs of their time. Final Fantasy I and Phantasy Star released in Japan within a week of each other, and in many ways, PS was superior to FF. It's really difficult to compare them to each other though, since they're both so fundamentally different from one another.

For starters, the battle system in PS1 is more like an early Dragon Quest battle system than final fantasy. The PCs aren't just blank slate inserts for the player, like they are in final fantasy either. Story wise, the two games are pretty similar, although Final Fantasy hits you over the head with legendary prophecies and light warriors right away, Phantasy Star starts out with a more grounded story that kind of evolves into saving the solar system by the end, so that's something.

The 3d maze-like dungeons in Phantasy Star are... legendary. While I'd say the NES probably didn't have the power to even try to do something like this, there was a similar dungeon crawling system in Ultima: Exodus for the NES so that'd not be entirely true. Though the PS dungeon crawl was animated, while the above was more like a slideshow.

Graphically, Phantasy Star destroys the first final fantasy, though. The battle screen having huge ANIMATED monster sprites, and big flashy battle animations, not to mention gorgeous backgrounds is way ahead of its time, and really flexes the power the master system had. Sound wise, as well, PS1 mopped the floor with Final Fantasy too, mostly on account of the vastly superior sound system in the master system. Don't get me wrong though, FF has some catchy bops too.

Phantasy Star 2 came out in North America the same year Final Fantasy released on the NES here. Direct comparison wise, there is no contest here. The Genesis had superior graphics and sound quality over the 8 bit NES. They did away with the 3d dungeons, possibly because of how confusing they were, but had sprawling labyrinthine 2d dungeons instead. Once again, the story was all sci-fi based, with guns, and named protagonists, and a story that actually involved them, instead of just blank slate nobodies prophesied to save the world. The changes made to the battle system, to actually see the protagonists too, make for a very solid improvement on the original. And once again, sound design is top notch here.

Of course, the above isn't really an apples to apples comparison, so comparing it to final fantasy 4, which came out in 1991 makes more sense. On many levels, these games can be considered similar. By this point, final fantasy's protagonists aren't blank slate insert characters, and the story these characters are involved in is not as simple as 'big bad trying to destroy world halp pls', although technically, both games can still be boiled down to that premise at their core. There is a lot more variety in the PCs in FF4, especially where they each have their own class, and skills/abilities/magic that comes with that, while in PS2, most of the PCs share weapons, and have their techs picked from the same pool as everyone else. FF4 also introduced the ATB system in this game, so it's picked up a fresh new twist on turn based battles, which by this point in time are a bit stale.

I'm going to skip over PS3, because, frankly it was bad. It had some neat ideas, but it fell flat, and it was too different from the previous two games for anyone who liked them to like it a lot. To the point where when PS4 came out, they avoided calling in Phantasy Star IV in North America to hope people would think it was more like PS2 than PS3. The battle system was a reversion, removing the player sprites, reducing the spells in the game to just a few, and making it so that auto-battling was the only thing you could do. Plus the weirdly sped-up auto battle sequence flipped between like four different BGM loops depending on what was going on. Most of the music was still really good, though, and the 'generational' story it was telling was something quite unique at the time, which I haven't seen a whole lot since, either.

Phantasy Star IV came out in 1993 in the US. A full year before FF6, and a year after FF5 came out in Japan. The main issue I have with your initial comparison is that comparing FF7 and PS4 is wrong. FF7 came out years after it, and was an early 3d title. FF6 was a matured game for it's system, pushing it to the limit, just like PS4 pushed the Genesis.

Firstly, I don't believe FF7 was trying to be a sci-fi story. It had some... sci-fi elements, but it was more of a steampunk type story. Most technology in the game was pretty antique, and if you replace Mako energy with steam-power, you've basically got a steampunk universe.

Conversely, PS4 starts off not looking like sci-fi game at all, ignoring the little cutscenes you can see on the start screen if you afk long enough. You start on a desert-y world with a couple of PCs who use ordinary weapons, no guns or lasers here. As the story progresses, you do start to get some hints of the sci-fi stuff. When you finish up the story on Motavia, you're totally zipping between planets in your space ship, though, so it picks up pretty quick after that.

From a graphical perspective, it's hard for me to give the edge to one over the other. PS4 has manga-like cutscenes, which elevates it above the other 2d games at the time. Even Chrono Trigger didn't have anything like that until its Playstation re-release, and the characters in that were designed by Akira Toriyama, after all. The map graphics look a little dated compared to FF6, but we can mostly blame that on the Genesis having less powerful graphics. On the other hand, the battle graphics in PS4 are phenomenal, with giant animated enemy sprites, beautiful character sprites, awesome full screen animated battle backdrops, and nice looking battle animations. The Genesis lacked a lot of grunt compared to the SNES at this time, but they sure knew how to use it.

Sound design is hard to compare for me. I had a Genesis as a kid, and not a SNES, so I didn't play FF6 until much later, and not on original hardware, so I don't really know how it was supposed to sound. What I can say for sure, is that I do like both. The synth-y sci-fi tracks in PS4 are great. And the stuff from FF6 is good too. The weird thing about PS4 now, is that no matter what I seem to play it on, it never sounds the same as it did back then. I've bought the genesis collection on the ps3, ps4, 360, steam, and probably some others, and even emulated it a bunch of times too, and the music and the sound effects are never quite right. I dunno if that's a weird side effect of playing it on a Genesis 2, or what.

From a story-telling perspective, both games tell a pretty solid story. By this point, PS4 is starting to get a little tropey, though, with Chaz turning out to be the solar system's chosen hero who needs to banish the dark evil forever. Comparatively, FF6 has a pretty tropey story by now too, one that's not dissimilar to the stories of previous final fantasies, like 2, and 4 (hello evil empire taking over the world). Although by the end, it kind of blows that away a bit, the core is still there, really.

At this point, the battle system in PS4 is starting to show its age, though. It's still turn based, and while it looks as amazing as it could, it's getting pretty dull. They even helped speed it up by introducing 'macros' so you can set everyone's commands beforehand and just click a macro rather than give specific commands every round. They added combo skills, but unless you're incredibly lucky, or happen to have a walkthrough handy, actually learning them is exceedingly difficult, since using them requires the PCs to cast specific skills without any enemies or other PCs acting in between. Ideally you'd use a macro to ensure this is the case, but a monster could still interrupt it. Stumbling on one of them is a great feeling, but I found on a much more recent playthrough that there were several combos I was unaware of, despite the dozens of playthroughs I'd had under my belt by that time.
The FF6 battle system hardly fares any better, though. It still uses their ATB system from FF4, which is starting to pop up in more JRPGs too by this time. While most characters have a unique ability or two, the vast majority of effects come from the espers, which anyone can use, so it ends up homogenizing most of the PCs. The cast of characters is larger than PS4, and I'd say most of the main cast has a similar amount of characterization to the cast of PS4. FF6 does have some wiggle room in that for a large portion of the game, you are able to choose who is in the party, though. That leads to the story being generally weaker in some parts, because of player choice. In PS4, the party is set throughout the whole game, with one exception at the very end, where you get to pick the fifth party member from those you'd been with earlier in the game to go through the final dungeon with and finish the game.

If we take a moment to compare it with FF7, like the OP suggests, I can say a few things here too.
  • I like the sound design of PS4, but the Playstation has much stronger sound hardware, and while FF7 ended up using glorified MIDIs as its BGM tracks, they still have a lot more life to them than the genesis was capable of.
  • FF7 came out 4 years after Phantasy Star IV.
  • FF7 still uses the standard ATB system that FFs 4-6 and several other JRPGs had been using, with little improvement over previous installments.
  • The Materia system in FF7 allowed you to set up any character as a strong mage, no magic was unique in the game, anyone could use anything. The only unique abilities different characters had was limit breaks. PS4 had unique skills on a per character basis, as well as each character learning a limited number of techs. Some characters learned the same techs as others, showing the individual techs were not unique, but each character only learned certain ones, making each character more unique.
  • The ability to choose party members in FF7 at most times results in less characterization. Once you leave Midgar, with the exception of Cloud, basically anyone could be in your party, for minor cutscenes, sometimes the dialogue would call for a 'random' party member to say something, which could've been better served by knowing that x character will be there to say y.
  • Graphically, early 3d games, and late 2d era games can hardly be compared. Yes, the overworld models in FF7 look like discount lego minifigures, and I find it exceedingly difficult to go back and play early PS1 era rpgs for this same reason, even games I loved at the time.
  • The poor translation really hurts the tone in FF7 too. From the weird censored swearing, to the random lines that don't make any sense. Sega put a lot of effort into localization in PS4, and it shows.
In conclusion, I enjoy both FF7 and Phantasy Star IV. They're both great games in their own ways, but it's wrong to compare them, as they're basically as dissimilar as two games in the same genre can be. It's better to compare PS4 to a late SNES era RPG instead, such as FF6, but you should also keep in mind that both FF6 and 7 came out after PS4 did, and for generally superior consoles. I don't think FF7 was ever trying to be a sci-fi RPG, and it should not be compared on that merit alone. I'd say Star Ocean would be a better comparison, in fact.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Man, this quick One Map game is causing unprecedented amounts of trouble.
I always end up having issues with things i'd never expect.

Capture.PNG

Those friggin mountains man xD
Time for my daily walk/jog ''Literally starts raining while I open the door''
I just discovered there's a giant jellyfish in the Ace RTP. My day is made.

Forum statistics

Threads
112,399
Messages
1,068,055
Members
146,052
Latest member
Prandom
Top