Kyle here, gaming aficionados.
This time, our "distinguished panel of experts" reviews the fourth in Capcom's RPG series, Breath of Fire IV.

Here's a little primer on Kyle's RPG Roundtable Reviews rating scale:
0-1 is the lowest of the low. Basically, don't even touch the game's box.
1.5-4.5 is below average. You might still like it, though.
5 is absolutely average. Most games are a 5, so don't think this is bad. I mean it.
5.5-9.5 is above average. These are damn good scores, even a 5.5. Definitely pick it up.
10 is the ultimate. If you can't afford the game, consider selling body parts.
Breath of Fire IV
Laguna LoireWell, uh, I really didn't think Breath of Fire IV had that great of a plot, you know? I kinda like it when there's some stuff that just sort of happens, 'cause that's really interesting. BoF4 wasn't too intricate of a story, so that was good, but it was a little bit too consistent and stuff - it went more one step at a time, you know, with not enough sub-plots?
I like 'em all, but this one's a 3.0.
AlfonsoI truly had high hopes for Breath of Fire IV. Though I knew that I myself would not put in an appearance, it seemed unlikely that the game's cast would be over-developed, and the main character would of course be silent. Sadly, my expectations were not met. Almost every cast member has far too much development, and far too much annoying 'personality.'
I suppose these fellows deserve a 2.0.
GauGau think this OK. There lot of random battles, so me like that lots! Me like monster, so battle good thing. Me no like change party in battle - it too much strat'gey. And there lots too many puzzles. Gau no like puzzles, they too hard. Battles turn-based, so me like that. Also, me like fetch quests, and there lot of those, 'specially in start of game.
Gau give this 3.0.
LacanOn the bright side, at least Capcom hasn't succumbed to the convention of using 3D graphics for everything. Only the ridiculously detailed towns and dungeons are a concession to this trend. The characters themselves are sprite-based, but each one supposedly has over 3,000 frames of animation. Is it just me, or is that a little extreme?
If I had to judge, I'd give it a 2.5.
NikkiUh, I didn't, like, think this music sucked as much as most RPGs' tunes do, dudes. There were some bodacious tracks here and there, and not so much of that most heinous orchestral stuff. But, like, there were some totally regional type tunes, with a more Eastern flavor to the music, and I just couldn't jam to it, dudes.
I'd crank the volume up to 3.5.
KyleWell... their opinions basically suck! Here's the catch:
If you take their scores and reverse 'em, you'll get a pretty accurate picture.
Like that moron Nikki, he gave the music a 3.5? I'd say more like a 6.5 - maybe not the best, but still damn good. And as for Lacan and his 2.5... 7.5 is low, and those 3,000 frames add more than you might think.
Now, for the real low-down on Breath of Fire IV, I'm your man. This is one of the toughest games to rate, because taking a look at any given score, it just doesn't look that good. But somehow, Capcom put together a real piece of work - fun to play, looking and sounding good, and with a story that really hits the mark. Both in the serious and funny bits, one of the main things about BoF4 is that it really seems to hit all the marks. There's some real wit to the jokes, a real different kind of humor than what you mostly see in games - not really my style, but hell, I tip my hat to excellence anyway. And for some reason, the emotional scenes just get you right in the old ticker. I wouldn't be surprised if girls get to crying in parts of this one... not that I ever would. The graphics are maybe the best sprites I've ever seen - only Castlevania: SotN can even hope to match up. Musically, it's unusual, but nothing special.
3B-wise, things don't look so hot. The gals just aren't the babe type, well, other than one returning cast member who BoF fans will recognize but who is kind of a spoiler. Blood isn't much better for most of the game, though the gore factor picks up toward the end. The beasts are cool all the way through, but there are a few recolors.
All told, this one is a lot greater than the sum of its parts, and it's one of the best games I've ever played.
Put together, it's about a 8.0!