EBF4 is a bit overwhelming and it's a bit silly, but it's one of these RPGs that I love - the kind that mostly base all of its strong points on gameplay systems and ditches most of the story and quest dynamic of RPGs you encounter nowadays. EBF4 might look and play like a flash game - the toggle to change the game quality is a good indicator of that - but I'm having fun with it and I'll continue playing it until I beat it.

I have to admit that I've tried playing EBF4 three times so far and the overwhelming presence of menus and systems that are barely explained turned me off every time and it's only with some effort that I dredged past that wall and the silly anime style of the game. What's under this is pretty good, however, you can choose from many special attacks for your characters, there are a bunch of equipment pieces that you can upgrade with materials dropped by the varied bestiary of enemies with their elemental weaknesses and strengths. You have full control on how you build your party and how you win your fights.

The game is full of things to collect, items that boost your stats permanently - it's cool how it works since it acts as a % modifier on your base stats and you always see how much it's raised by your items - crafting materials you can use to raise the stats and effects of your gear and turn in quests, healing items of all kinds - actually, too many kinds, the game is barely started and you have ten different healing items to juggle with, which feels like you're starting with too much stuff. Actually that's an issue with the game, I like how you can see all the spells from the beginning, but maybe it would have been better to unlock them as you progress in the game since so far all I did was hog my AP for the spells I thought I'd love to use without caring to try the others.

The game progression is well handled, you move around a map fighting enemies that block your way - or optional ways to unlock chests - and you find items that allow you to backtrack to previous areas much faster, alongside fast travel points. The map might not be really big, but the action is mostly in the fighting and this turn-based system still got it. Using a simple scan skill, you can know everything there is about enemies, what element will work, what status effects will be useful. You can buff your party and debuff your opponents and everything is well presented so you know what's doing what. The difficulty is also good, you can run away from all fights without penalties and life/mana regenerates over time.

If you enjoy turn based RPGs and can ignore a bit of anime silliness, Epic Battle Fantasy 4 is a pretty good game to play for a few hours here and there.

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories4/5, RPG