Dark Age Iron Savior: basically it doesn't feel the same as the previous three games or the fifth game but more like something that would happen if you took Xenogears
, stripped it into it's component parts, and then tried to make a new game out of just the positive elements, but the only guiding principles you had are vague descriptions of the previous Breath of Fires and hours spent looking at screenshots of Chinese DOS & Windows RPGs
on Mobygames. It is rigid, aimless, beautiful, chunky, mesmerizing, grating.
It has great towns that are a pain to navigate and have cute NPCs, sometimes with their own unique little sprites just because they are a person being in a place.
Every 5-20 minutes the game will delight you in some small and joyful little way and it will constantly endear you over every flaw you run into, but when you stop playing it for a while and someone mentions it or you otherwise think back to how it was, you'll kind of shrug and be all “it was okay I guess”. You may make fun of elements that seemed totally pleasant while you were playing, and struggle to recall what made you keep playing for as long as you did. But…something did make you keep playing…
The game has two regular battle themes and two regular boss themes, and they change depending on whether you're in the more European-style Western countries or the more Oriental-style Eastern empire. Until a significant amount of progress has been made, these themes and areas are separated by two distinct storylines, and as the overarching plot develops, the player will begin to perceive the forces that cause these two fates to be intertwined.
Also the song A Raging Emperor's Banquet
(that's a final boss theme, though).