Fantasia Sango 4 (Huanxiang Sanguozhi 4)!

Discussion of other Three Kingdoms games (e.g. Destiny of an Emperor and Dynasty Tactics) and other games by Koei (e.g. Samurai Warriors).

Fantasia Sango 4 (Huanxiang Sanguozhi 4)!

Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:22 am

Coming out in Taiwan on 19 Dec, 2007. >_>

Official site

Amazing they didn't continue the trend and go back in time to the pre-Yellow Scarves rebellion. >_> The 3k characters page shows a grey-haired Liu Bei, and even Lu Xun! Whoa! Could this game actually be in the three kingdoms period??

I love the new Sun Quan look (though can someone give him the green eyes + purple beard already, please?), and their characterization of Lu Xun seems something to look forward to (he likes books but is kinda lazy, going by the principle of "never stand when I get to sit, and never sit when I get to lie down" <-- I like!). Looks like Empress Fu will have an importantish role as an NPC, and everybody's favourite villain, Sima Yi (what's with the mask, anyway?) is back!

The backgrounds look as beautiful as in previous installments, but I'm a bit disturbed by the ratio of fantasy vs. historical scenes show in those pages. Here are some videos of the animated backgrounds.

The music is wonderful. The music in the FS series has always been a highlight for me (except for the occasional crazy piece like the final battle theme in FS1, which was basically a nauseatingly dense rearrangement of Dies Irae). It's nice to have good Chinese-sounding music in a game set in China (Koei, are you listening??)

PS: LOVE their R&D Journal! They really do have a sense of humour there...

PPS: Xiahou Ling is back!! But probably not my sweetheart Du Yan... :cry:

PPPS: Cao Cao's headdress is just... wrong.
Last edited by Lady Wu on Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby LonelyStrategist » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:25 pm

I still think the first game is the best. Right mix of character, right play on the storyline. I just dislike the introduction of demons and stuff in the later series. The switch to 3D irks me slightly. What, only a 4x4 formation? Geez I want all my party members to be on the battle field.

That said, this is one of the better Chinese RPG series out there. I play Part III halfway only. Guess it's time to go back to it:)

The rate that they are making games is fast too. Fantasia Sanguo III came out like, earlier this year?
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Unread postby Niahak » Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:29 pm

Cool :) I hope Falcom keeps translating these into Japanese so I stand a chance of understanding things. Looking forward to hearing how this one is.

I love the music for FS2. The extra Japan-only "super arranged" CD is pretty good but there's not much of it... while the original tracks CD is really nice to listen to, and they fit as much as possible on there.

The music samples on the site sound great too, though. Feel more polished than FS2's.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:06 pm

Of course, music sample 1 is pretty much a rehash of the previous main map music. But I'd much prefer a rehash of something that works than introducing new, but inappropriate, music.

Correction: Release date is estimated to be 19 Dec, not 14.

Time to use up my remaining credits at YesAsia...

PS: Ok, ordered the limited edition. The very first special edition anything that I've bought. :shock: (Don't think I'd have done it if I didn't have all these store credits and didn't know what to do with them.) Wonder if it'll get here by the new year?
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Unread postby Scribble » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:13 pm

Heh, talk of the devil. I won't ever get to play it, but I'm looking forward to hearing impressions and looking at beautiful screens.

Sun Quan's design looks neat, too.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:41 am

O frabjous day! My game arrived in the mail.

The game CDs say "Copyright 2008" on them. Hahaha. I'll probably post some pictures tomorrow.

Edit: Boo. It doesn't run for some reason. And it wouldn't even let me uninstall! *cries*
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Unread postby Starscream » Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:12 pm

Lady Wu wrote:O frabjous day! My game arrived in the mail.

The game CDs say "Copyright 2008" on them. Hahaha. I'll probably post some pictures tomorrow.

Edit: Boo. It doesn't run for some reason. And it wouldn't even let me uninstall! *cries*


Would you install the game if I had not reminded you? :lol:

Maybe you'd like to check the User Joy forums to see if other players face the same problem. From the FS3 experience, game problems are seldom unique. Hopefully there are some game patches released... :roll:
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:08 pm

The "uninstall" function is broken. :( Downloaded patches but still some crazy corruption error.

Tried to install on desktop, no dice either. It just wouldn't run!

And the launcher annoyingly sends a popup reminding you to fill in their questionnaire (but you must register first) every time you start...

PS: After hours of dealing with it, I finally got it to run on my laptop. Bleargh. Starscream, where's the forum where you submit bug reports? I found a minor bug in one of the scenes. But otherwise, I've played for 3 hours and it seems ok so far.

The graphics are delicious. I haven't played FS3, but the 3D sprites have improved dramatically from FS2. The main characters so far are very likable and don't feel recycled from previous games. The music is also very nice, though they did lift a couple of the tracks "verbatim" from FS2.

More after I eat :P
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Unread postby Starscream » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:08 pm

It's been hours since you "went to eat", any updates yet? :lol:

Is the gameplay system more stable than FS3?

Here's the discussion forum for players to voice their feedback:
http://www.uj.com.tw/uj/bbs/bbs_msg_lis ... d_no=00003
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:14 pm

They're on patch 1.0.0.7 now, and it's pretty stable. I'm about 1/5 way through the game, and it has only crashed once (probably my computer's own memory problem), got a character stuck in a weird part of the map once, and done something weird in a battle once (i.e., it lets you attack a boss that's behind a bunch of minor enemies after a certain point in the battle; nothing big).

I haven't played FS3 so I can't compare, but here are some of the features that I think are improvements from FS2 anyway:

- Multiple autosaves (1 min ago, 5 min ago, 10 min ago, and right after the last major event). It's great for those times when you're so immersed in the story that you forget (or don't want to) go save.

- From the main menu, you can access the "Treasure Box", which documents all the events/movies/stills you've triggered, as well as all weapons and enemies found (plus their detailed information). So if you want to watch a movie again or make a screenshot from a still, you can go directly to that instead of having to find the last saved game.

- Simplified weapon upgrade system: No more visiting strange worlds to get your items upgraded! In the regular in-game menu, there is a function for you to "crush" existing items into "magic sand", and to combine the "magic sand" with another item to create special items.

- Streamlined item/gear system. When you buy a new piece of equipment from the store, you get the option of equipping it directly. This automatically transfers gems equipped on your old gear onto the new one. This little feature actually saves a lot of time.

- Skills are presented in a tree system. You can see which skills your character can learn, and which skills are prerequisite to others. (Avoids those dead-end, useless skills in FS2.) You get one skill point per level, and each skill upgrade requires just one point.

- Character "development": Just like FS2's pets can develop into either fairies or demons depending on which skills you develop, the main characters in FS4 can also develop along 2 different paths.

- I forget whether characters "die" or not in battles in FS2. But here, if someone's HP reaches 0 in battle, they simply withdraw from battle and don't get experience points. After the battle, they have 1 HP (no need to waste revival items).

New features that are "chicken tendons":

- UJ keeps touting the colour customizing option. You get to design the background and frame colours of the in-game menus (pick your own RGB combination). Whoopie-do. Their "suggested defaults" all suck, though.

- Voice acting. While everyone but Zi Cheng's voice acting is well done (Zi Cheng's sounds like a commentator reading off a script, and sounds too old for his age. I was originally worried that they'd all have Taiwanese accent, but it turned out that they all had very standard Mandarin/Putonghua), I didn't feel the VA added a lot to the game, since it only comes on during movie interludes.

- The new formation system. The formations are simplified and it looks like each person only knows one formation. The formation area is also increased to 3x3. It's nice, but I didn't particularly feel that it's much better or much worse than previous systems.

- You can change the angle of the camera in battles. Not that it's any useful...

- Limited pets (I've got two, and it looks like I might get one or two more). They just show up as part of an event/plot, and then behave just like another character in battles. No more transformations or whatnot. And when they die, they get revived just like anyone else. The good thing is, ALL pets receive exp points, not just the one that participated. So you don't have to worry about switching pets around to develop them. But really, do you really need that many pets?

- Battles are more challenging than in FS1 and FS2. I can't put my finger on why, but even playing on Normal (at max speed, though) I find myself busy clicking things and looking at health bars instead of enjoying the special effects of the attacks or keeping track of who does what damage.

-------

Can't tell you much about the plot/characters just yet, since I'm not done. But so far it seems like a fairy tale that's set in the Three Kingdoms period, rather than a fairy tale that's about the Three Kingdoms. I think this demonstrates a certain level of confidence and maturity in story-telling. They also broke away from the traditional RPG characters/skill types. None of the main characters wield an oversized sword, yay! Instead, we see a zither, a giant ink brush, and a football/soccer ball (don't ask me how it works). (The other two characters are more stereotypical---a big guy with twin sabers, and a delicate female river spirit with twin fans.)

Here are two nonrepresentative screenshots:

Image
(Yes, Liu Da.)

And Starscream, this one is for you:
Image

I wish they stop giving female characters oversized boobs and indecent cleavage...
Last edited by Lady Wu on Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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