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PostPosted: Wed Jun 8, '11, 10:04 pm 
tilinelson2 wrote:Bah, it is just that silly notion of the badly-planned Japanese series where the next opponent must be stronger than the last one, so the new hero must be stronger than the last.

PSIV just screwed everything by using this old cliché, especially in a series known for their more mature plots (PSII and PSIII). When I see people comparing the strength of PSIV heroes the strength of other PS game heroes (and obviously concluding that the PSIV heroes were stronger because PSIV plot sucks as part of a series [it is fine as a standalone game]), it is obvious that there is something very wrong with PSIV. The other games don't raise this comparison because they respect each other; PSIV wanted to be "the definitive PS" and threw all the other games in the gutter to give cheap thrills to the gamers.

I found PSIV to be very refreshing especially since most techniques were useless in PSIII and something seemed off about most of the game. I liked PSIII's storyline and its multiple endings, but you couldn't see your character attack. That was fine in PSI when games were more limited due to technology but if PSII had character attacking graphics why not PSIII? PSIII did have some awesome looking characters such as Ryan (the sunglasses and mustache was original for an RPG character), Lune (looked like he belonged in an 80s metal band similar to PSII's weapon store owner), Aron, Kara (one is very beautiful while the other looks mean yet awesome), Adan, etc.

PSII is my favorite in the series not only because of its challenge but the entire unraveling behind Mother Brain at the end was shocking and unexpected. Not only did Dark Force look awesome but I liked how Mother Brain had a holographic effect. I didn't like the bridges burned with Palm blowing up, but is still nevertheless a great game, but the extent of the Earthmen's (and retroactively the Profound Darkness') evil had to be illustrated somehow, though I find the PD ultimately being responsible for Palm's destruction takes away from the overall message of PSII.

PSIV's weakness, like you pointed out was its immature plotline and how the ultimate evil was a literal evil goddess, no real moral like PSII, when at least Dark Force was left up to imagination and one could imagine it to be a manifestation of people's collective evil, and because there will always be bad in people there will always be a Dark Force regenerated every thousand years.

With that said I think Rune was a pretty cool character, my favorite out of all the heroes (overall I'll give that designation to Dark Force, despite saying little he just oozes personality).

The problem with many American storylines is that the heroes are usually middle-aged family men who are very well-off financially whereas Japanese heroes are/were usually orphans, self-sufficient wandering adventurers, etc. In other series such as Final Fantasy they are essentially superheroes (anyone that could do far more damage than an Eden summon, which involves bouncing a monster off a galaxy and shot back down to Earth could probably beat Superman based on brute force alone) whereas in Phantasy Star I-IV (and the earlier Final Fantasys and FFIX) they are semi-superheroes who aren't (presumably) ridiculously overpowered like DBZ.

I think overpowering characters is a form of fanservice since people demand stronger and stronger characters with each passing game, story be darned. I don't think that PSIV threw the other games in the gutter per se but tied the others poorly (with a wink to PSIII relatively early) with the whole Profound Darkness madness, especially since it demotes our perception of Dark Force. I suppose the developers felt that they needed to justify the seemingly random presence of Dark Force somehow (his randomness and spontaneity is part of his charm) so they came up with the Profound Darkness and its backstory. The Profound Darkness even lacked Dark Force's personality. I guess they also wanted to up the epicness factor since allegedly the source of all evil beats out a sentient supercomputer that controls society on behalf of its Earthling masters or fighting the manifestation of everyone's collective hate, greed, etc. (what I thought Dark Force was before PSIV)

I'll also add in the PSII level averages:

PostPosted: Thu Jun 9, '11, 2:28 am 
Yeah, the Profound Darkness was probably my biggest issue with IV. Just not a good idea overall, and one that definitely undermined Dark Force, at least. I thought he was just fine as he was in the prior games, but I guess the developers kind of wrote themselves into a hole.

I will say the idea of an Alis or Rolf mode in PS IV is freaking awesome.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, '12, 3:58 pm 
i dont agree. i believe its because when DF was introduced, he was weak. as the timeline progresses he dies, and comes back stronger. cliche yes. but the beings around eg palmanians would also get stronger in time. it makes sense.

for the record i beat dark force first form in psiv with just chaz, allright AND wren. wrens flare was effective and i killed everyone else off for exp before.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, '12, 7:26 pm 
I agree with tmnzklan. I think Dark Force was coming back stronger each time. However, one could intelligently argue that Each Dark Force was a different one. The end of the millennium shows the most evidence for this, what with there being several Dark Forces.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Dark Force's Boss
I think the Profound Darkness was sending out different portions of itself each time, and not just throwing the same creation back every 1,000 years.

Perhaps he retains the same memories as evidenced in Generations of Doom, but it's still something worth thinking about!

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