Breath of Fire IV was released by Capcom in 2001. It was the fourth entry in the RPG series and just like its predecessors, starred a main character named Ryu and a winged companion named Nina. Ryu begins the game with amnesia and the ability to transform into dragons, Nina convinces him to assist her in trying to find her missing sister, along with her cat-like companion Cray. From here the journey begins and they find more members to join their party the further they progress.
Breath of Fire IV followed the typical RPG format with turn based fighting and the story gradually building up to a battle to save the world from Fou-Lu, a dragon god. The interesting twist on this was that you periodically got to take control of Fou-Lu, battling and journeying through the world, seeing it through his eyes. This made the final confrontation more interesting since it wasn’t a clear good versus evil fight, you could understand Fou-Lu’s motivations.
The ability to turn into a dragon during fights added depth to the turn based fighting. The further you got in the game, the more dragons Ryu could transform into. Ryu’s powers changed while transformed and each dragon had different abilities. There was an short but impressive cut-scene each time Ryu transformed. The game had a colourful design, each character was drawn in an anime style and had a 2D sprite which moved around a 3D rendered background. Each character could also interact with the world in their own way, Ryu could cut down items in your way and Nina could briefly fly up giving you a better view of your surroundings.
Another game in the series was released on the PlayStation 2, Breath of Fire V, but this was the last one. There are currently no plans to make another Breath of Fire game which is a shame as it was an interesting series that reminded me a little of The Legend of Zelda in how each game was about a new adventure but the characters you came across resembled those from previous games, such as the hero always being a man named Ryu.
Breath of Fire IV was released on the Japanese and American PlayStation Network in 2011 but has yet to be released again here in Europe.