xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
So this is EXACTLY why I still spend time dipping back into fan translations of Japanese-only video games: Sometimes while mining you strike gold. Glory of Heracles IV: Gift of the Gods is a JRPG set in mythological times. Yeah, the man himself shows up and travels with your party for a good bit of the game, but that wasn't what hooked me in.

What hooked me in was the body-swapping system. See, when you start GoHIV, you're a dog.

Then one of the Fates shows up, takes a critical glance over you, and goes "Oh. Great. You're a dog this time."

This is because you can hop from body to body, any time you want including during battle. Each body is good at a type of weapon, and each body has some special skills only it can do, from painting to inventing to playing music to just new and inventive ways to deck a monster upside the face.

What I didn't know until I started playing and started doing research is that this is the game that got Kazushige Nojima a job at Squaresoft, and man it shows.

If you like any of the Final Fantasy games he's written and you have a hefty tolerance for high-encounter-rate early-JRPG gameplay, this is a FANTASTIC piece of work. It's an adventure that spans heaven, land, sea, and the afterlife. It doesn't mimic or parody the myths, but it delivers a story that kind of weaves between them.

I had a few problems with the gameplay -- I still don't really know what effects the Weather system has on elemental magic, and there's a mechanic where your party members ask you with big sad eyes if you REALLY want to steal from the owner of that ruined house nobody has lived in for decades -- but for the most part I went through thirty hours of this game (which is pretty briskly paced for a SNES JRPG from 1994) with genuine satisfaction.

Good, good game. Good writing. Good systems. Just... good.
Look for this to turn up in the end of the year awards in some capacity.

Date: 2018-03-15 11:46 am (UTC)
renegadefolkhero: hyper light drifter (Default)
From: [personal profile] renegadefolkhero
Thanks for this. It looks like a fairly recent translation, too. Fan translations really are the Lord's work.

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