gamers (91%) found this review helpful
The title really says it all for the plot of this, the fifth installment of the Breath of Fire series. If you're at all into getting yourself into the plot and the feel of the game, you'll get the impression that the entire game seems to be setting you up to die. In fact, while playing the game, it becomes increasingly difficult to believe that the game can even have a happy ending. The game itself seems to follow from the tone set by BoF4, in that the surface world has apparently been laid waste, and now humanity lives in a kind of 'Logan's Run'esque subterrainian facility. The similarities to the movie end there however, the setting is extremely dystopian, humanity is categorized and subdivided by an individual potential score, called D-Ratio, where low scoring individuals, or Low-D's are forced to live in the bottom of the facility where the air quality is the worst. On top of the setting are the characters of course, and almost from the very start, two of them are living on borrowed time. The main character himself comes complete with a countdown timer to his death that is constantly in the corner of the screen and ticks up even when you aren't doing anything.
Of course, this all sounds very bad, however in a kind of masochistic way, this is the draw of the game. Even though all signs point toward a sad ending, you'll keep playing it just to see how bad it will be, sort of like a lot of the great literary classics of our time. The rest of the game is very lackluster however, the graphics are par for the course and the sound is good and sets the mood correctly, with some good scores here and there. The gameplay is decent at first, but sadly quickly devolves into boredom and repetition. Playing through the game almost requires at least one restart, and while they throw in extra plot elements the second time through, the extremely boring battle system makes playing the game feel like a chore. You'll only want to play this game for the plot, which is very good.
posted by FreeTime (WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA) Jun 9, 2008
Member since May 2008
gamers (67%) found this review helpful
Very different than the other BOF games, which at first turned me off too... but then I gave this game a real chance.
I found I couldn't put the controller down and was red-eyed playing far into the morning. This is an exceptionally difficult somewhat strategy driven game compared to most.
One difference in this game is that Ryu can only use his dragon powers so much without dying - this is represented by the D-counter. At first it looks daunting that you having a counter limiting how long you play the game.. but trust me.. you can beat this game and still only be in the 15% or less range on your D-counter.
Another way this is made up for is the SOL system... it also seemed confusing at first but turned out to be incredibly simple too. you can restart the game anytime from any save you have... but with all the advanced equipment your characters have acquired - party exp (a shared backup exp you can apply to anyone), and any items you stored in your locker.
So you may be thinking.... 'It sounds like this game is going to take forever and make me restart multiple times'. Again this is not true: you can theoretically explore 100% of all areas, get all treasure, kill all monsters, and beat the game in under 8 hours --- of course you would have to be uber powerful and on your second playthrough to do that :).
The music was also interesting, story engaging(though short), and monsters interesting.. soo to summarize:
This is an excellent, though under-appreciated game.
This is the 5th installment to the series and it takes a VERY dark turn. The world is now in ruins and you and everyone else lives underground. Status and work selection is determined by D-ratio and is never improvable in the story line.
Here is the good news! You arent meant to beat this game on round one... round 5 sure. This is probably the most innovative idea for a game in a long while. First you have to get around the idea that the developers WANT you to die... alot.
The story is solid, the handling is easy, the cell shading is awesome at adding to the dark and hopelessness. The only real flaw is the length that it takes to defeat enemies (early on anyways). But, if you can manage to get past the long battle for a few rounds and die... it gets MUCH easier and fun.
The largest point of the game is the replay value. You have to replay it multiple time to get the full story... trust me, its a good one and you will thank yourself for actually putting effort into this game.
So... start beating yourself against a wall and enjoy it because that is what the gist of this is. It rare to see a RPG that actually creates a difficultly level that is near impossible to complete and requires effort on part of the player (as opposed to nearly every linear RPG out there), for that I commend this game!