Another masterpiece from Square Enix and Tri-Ace.
stoneyc wrote this review on .
I find the new bonus board system to be much better than the battle chain system from SO 3 because it allows you choose what bonuses you get. Want to do some level grinding? Utilize the new "Blindside" attacks to kill your enemies with critical hits, filling your bonus board with blue tiles for an EXP bonus of up to +140% (getting 2.4x as much experience makes grinding much more effective). Want to conserve your items? Kill enemies using only special moves to get pink tiles for up to 14% HP/MP recovery after each fight. Want to boost your skills? Allow enemies to ambush you to get green tiles so you can get up to +14 SP (skill points) after each battle. Need to earn some cash? By killing multiple enemies simultaneously, you can earn yellow tiles to increase the amount of fol gained from each battle by up to +140%.
The IC system has been redone and I'm quite happy with it. No more wasting ridiculous amounts of money on failed attempts to create something. To make an item, you simply need the recipe, the ingredients, and the required IC level; the success rate is 100%. You can find recipes or create them. Recipe creation is similar to SO3, but in the new system, all you need is characters and SP. Each "turn" of recipe creation reduces your party SP (separate form individual chars SP) by 1; the process will continue until you stop it or until all groups say "no plan", meaning they've learned all the recipes they can with their current IC level/group setup.
Another great new feature is the ability to dash around in short bursts (great for evading/surprising enemies or getting someplace in a hurry).
So far, the only thing I haven't loved about the game is that the field camera tends to gradually zoom out as I move around, which can be annoying when trying to thoroughly explore an area; the fact that this is the worst thing I've found in the game speaks volumes to my satisfaction with everything else.
It's all too common nowadays for a game to get tons of hype then turn out to be a dud; fortunately, SO: TLH hasn't been one of those games. It's definitely worth every penny of the price (I just wish amazon.com wasn't taking 2 weeks to send me strategy guide).