So here I am after almost exactly a year of the original post, I took the decision to play FF4 on Nightmare with no NG+ upgrades practising at the same time my Japanese abillity. I finished the game before some days and it really moved me. I guess nostalgia was a huge factor for that but FF4 always gives me that feeling that it's the most exceptional of the series,despite its (many) noticable flaws.
Anyway when it comes to difficulty, it still wasn't that much of challenge and I felt that the weakness of the non-upgraded equipment made some fights feel too long when some ghosts didn't give you many chances to "Fatal Frame" them, suprisingly especially at the (in other cases overpowered) flashlight, it was the first thing I upgraded the damage of cause it really felt as a chore. I foolishly died on chapter 3 one time and also once at the Utsuwa/Kanade fight. To complete the game without being in any hurry it took me around two hours longer than my first playthrough and I guess that's the result of the longer fights. When I'll replay it in the future I think that I will choose to play it again like this cause I prefer balancing the "chore" with some minor damage upgrades here and there later on the game than killing everything with 2 hits. In other words it felt more balanced thus more enjoynable to me.
No one asked for but I guess its worth mentioning my experience as an around N3 level of Japanese learner playing it on Japanese for practice. The navigation of the game (options,menus,controls) is pretty easy and understandable. Also the examinations of the enviroments,thoughts of the characters,cutscene dialogues were mostly understandable to me. About the numerous texts,diaries,papers we come across i think that I got around 30% of it and that is a very generous percentage cause the fact that I knew what was going on ( had played the game in English before) helped me get the context of many things that I probably wouldn't have done without that. Especially the medical texts about a non existant illness were hell for me,with some I didn't even bother. I would definetly suggest to someone around my level to play it also in Japanese only, I found it helpful!
These days I'm thinking of replaying FF3 cause I have ages to play it and one side of me wants to try it on Nightmare without the NG+ upgrades but I think that it will be way too hardcore and I kinda wanna enjoy the playthrough after so many years and not struggle.
Update: So I finished FF3 on nightmare mode without using NG+ stuff. It was quite challenging I have to say especially in some spesific parts of the game. I got the game over scene many times and I always had to be careful with the film and the health items. Returning back to the real world to refil everything up was a necessity. Fighting some ghosts required really high attention and precise shots. The stranging ritual ghost and ofcourse Reika were pretty hard . Kei's camera was dreadful, I hated fighting with him cause the battles were taking such a long time. It took me around 17 hours to complete it but that's not only a result of the difficulty, i was taking my time a lot looking around. If you are looking for a challenging playthrough FF 3 really offers that. With that being said, I didn't like that I had to visit the same spots again and again to get film/health or go back to the real world so often . Taking care and counting every single film made me not risk so much to make combos during "Fatal Frame momments" which was good in terms of the "survival aspect" but less fun for me. So when I'll replay it again I'll probably go for NG+ so I can have more fun with Fatal Framing in battles and not having to backtrack for items,in a game that its 1/4 is basicaly already backtracking.
Edited by GregZerO, 03 April 2020 - 01:44 PM.