You've come a long long way, baby, and kupo707's wildly popular tongue-in-cheek RPG series is finally back for more in Epic Battle Fantasy 4. After the events of the last game, our heroes have sort of turned into... jerks. Believing that saving the world means they basically have a right to anything in it, they've wandered about the land taking whatever they feel like from people, which... goes over about as well as you'd expect. Meanwhile, in a totally unrelated set of circumstances, young forest dweller Anna is shocked and upset to find her people's priceless, important gem has been stolen and sets out to discover who could have done such a thing. You see where this is going, right? But are our former heroes really to blame? Packed with more challenging battles that require real strategy, a gorgeously polished design, and one weird adventure with the signature risque cheek and goofy charm you've come to expect, this is the series biggest and beefiest offering to date.
Everything in the game can be controlled with the mouse, clicking to move, select, and interact, or you can enable old fashioned keyboard controls under the options. On the main map, you can wander around freely, chatting with characters to gain information or quests, and of course continue the time-honoured tradition of rooting through other people's personal belongings for treasure. You can see enemies on the map, and interacting with them will initiate battle, which is turn-based, so take your time and think out your strategies. Like any RPG, leveling up and buying better equipment is important, but will only get you so far. Epic Battle Fantasy 4 wants you to pay attention to a variety of factors, like specific strengths and weaknesses, turning battles into more strategic affairs than you might expect. Since you can save manually outside of fights whenever you like, you'll want to take advantage of that. As you take down enemies, you'll also gain ingredients you can use to upgrade your characters' arms and armor by clicking the "Forge" icon, so keep an eye on your supplies! Each battle earns you Ability Points your characters share as a pool that you can spend on upgrading each person's abilities and spells, or learning new ones too.
Though still definitely a bit immature in places, Epic Battle Fantasy 4 is... somewhat more restrained than its predecessors. It leans more towards depth of combat than depth of story, and fans of strategy over grinding will relish the amount of factors that can come into play to make an impossible fight merely a difficult one. It's not drastically different from the older games visually, but gosh it's all shiny and polished! Epic Battle Fantasy 4 is one of those games where you can really feel all the effort that's gone into it, even if you haven't played the other titles, and the result is a game that sets a high standard for Flash titles. While you can play the entire game for free, there is an optional pack available for purchase with real cash (around $10.00USD) that not only adds additional items and skills but unlocks new quests available in "New Game Plus" mode. If you don't like cheesecake, some immature humour, or RPGs that put their focus more on combat than anything else, you might want to take this one with a grain of salt. For fans, however, and players looking for something rich in colour and quirk with more strategy than you typically expect from a turn-based RPG, this is one great treat. Kupo707 is a developer with talent and passion to burn, and Epic Battle Fantasy 4 is weirder and wonderful-er than ever before.
Thanks to Cyberjar88, Evan, Jo, Mic132, and Jode for sending this one in!