You can outfit your entire team with a winning selection of classes and gear, constructing a “best case” party setup that can handle most average battles with the ability to tweak and update for specific circumstances and difficult boss fights. This aspect of the game can get very addictive as you hunt for the best items and crowns and spend hours meticulously arranging it all into a winning combination. I really like the idea of the crown system but personally I prefer to do my strategizing during combat. It’s a deep well-built system to be sure, but I just don’t like constantly micromanaging and re-arranging gear before a dungeon or even between battles. It’s one of the reasons I prefer Mass Effect 2’s streamlined, upgrade-oriented inventory as opposed to the loot-heavy one in Mass Effect 1.
I’m pretty torn by 4 Heroes of Light. On one hand I can tell that this is a deep, quality RPG that harkens back to the NES classics of old, that it has an addictive crown and gear system and that it dispenses with much of the melodrama and superfluous sappy story that plagues most modern Final Fantasies. That said, it also retains a lot of archaic JRPG elements that I’ve hated for years—grinding, trial and error, unforgiving turn-based gameplay that rewards luck more than strategy—things that have traditionally made the genre feel more like a chore than an escape.
If you’re looking for a retro JRPG that’s light on story and heavy on gameplay look no further than 4 Heroes of Light, but be aware that you’re getting the full old-school experience, vestiges included.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
4 Heroes of Light is an impressive little package on the DS that is sure to please fans of the older entries in the Final Fantasy series. That said only about half of its ideas—like the crown system—works very well, and the other half is counter-productive throwbacks. If you like old-school JRPGs, flaws and all, you should enjoy this game.
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