Breath of Fire IV Hands-On

Yet another Breath of Fire title is cranked out of Capcom's development studios. Check out our hands-on impressions for the inside scoop.

Breath of Fire returns to gamers, this time on the PS with a combination of 2D and 3D graphics. Each character has whopping 3000 frames of animation, and the screens seamlessly switch between the two different styles. The magic system has been tweaked: In this game, you can combine different types of magic for different results. For example, using "sever" and "frost" alone will cast the two respective spells, but if a spell is cast by a party member and then the second immediately follows, the two will combo into a lightning spell. Also interesting is the use of two rows when fighting. Any character placed in the back row will be impervious to damage until moved to the front row. All characters will continue to gain Action Points, however. The game plays well, with an intuitive interface and the usual customizable options. The graphics are colorful and clean, and the sounds continue the series' aural success. The game is set for a release in September, so Capcom will doubtless continue tweaking and adding features to it until then.

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