One of RPGamer's first stops at E3 was the Square Enix booth where we had a chance to get a hands-on demo of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light on the DS.
The demo begins with you getting a look at all four of your characters and giving them names. I was disappointed to find that I could only name my characters and could not customize them individually. After you have named all four of your characters, you begin playing the game as the first character you named. In the game, you wake up in your house and learn that you need to talk with the King. The King gives you better equipment and says that you have to defeat a Minotaur in the caves just north of the town before you can begin helping him. Once you exit the town, you are brought onto the world map, which is a nice 3D rendition of the area. I thought it was a nice touch when I saw that all four of your characters were walking in a line, following the leader.
I wasn't able to defeat the Minotaur before we had to move on to the next game in the Square Enix booth, but I got a good idea of how the game play works. Unfortunately, The 4 Heroes of Light has random battles. The battle system is really simple, and you can choose from attack, magic (or boost), item, cover, bait, avenge, and cure. In order to use magic, you need to boost your character first for one turn. It's a good thing that anyone can use cure without having to boost. The action and damage inflicted are displayed on the top screen. However, if you want to get a good description of what just happened, you have to quickly read the bottom screen. This was quite annoying to me since I wanted to watch the action occurring on the top screen and read a description of what just happened.
After you have won the battle, you get gems and other loot like any other old-school RPG. You can sell gems or use them to put in crowns, weapons, or armor. There are a total of 8 different gems. It is really easy to distribute weapons, armor, and other items to your characters since the game automatically pairs them up with the correct character.
Overall, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light is a really simple RPG where you just go out on an adventure. Here are some quotes I got from fellow RPGamer staff at E3:
Mikel: "It's simplistic and fun. It's my second RPG."
Chris: "It's this generation's Mystic Quest."
Manny: "I like the pastel shaded graphics?"