Review by MostSeriousness
Reviewed: 06/11/08 | Updated: 05/24/11
The Most Captivating Version of Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV was an RPG pioneer when it was released for the SNES. Now, a few ports under its belt, this full fledged 3D remake is a traveler back into a golden age. In an age of RPG redundancies, shoddiness and boredom, FFIV for the DS steps back into familiar, 'old school' territory. The game hearkens back to a simpler time for RPGs and the Final Fantasy series in general.
The overlying plot remains the same as it has since its first iteration - a dark knight by the name of Cecil must fight against corruption and everything he has come to know in order to stand for justice and the people he loves. Along the way he will meet a colorful cast of characters that aid and hinder his quest that travels deep into the earth and beyond the stars.
While cliche by today's standards, FFIV defined the genre with its playable cast and memorable cutscenes. The drama, the epicness and the emotion that they go through is akin to a history lesson for fans of RPGs.
The gameplay remains generally the same. The typical ATB system found in many FF games is back in full force. It is slightly refined to give it less of a randomized feel found in the previous versions. One of the new tweaks is the ability to create custom move sets for your characters by mixing abilities from other characters (Sing, Kick, Twin Magic, etc.), enemies (Tsunami, Blaze) and support skills (HP+50%, No Encounters, etc.) how you see fit. This is a great way to liven up what could be seen as an archaic battle system.
The graphics are similar in style to the remake of FFIII - though admittedly slightly more mature in its presentation. The cutscenes (although no FMVs) are well directed and showcase the game's true emotional impact. The movie direction at Square Enix has only improved since it's trial run with FFX.
The musical score rivals that of the original SNES game, which is impressive for the DS title that already has a full plate. Some songs have been slightly remixed, but only the true die hard fans will notice. The voice acting is plentiful and top notch for a handheld game, and does not disappoint.
The inclusion of minigames is an interesting idea, as is the new summon creature - although neither of them seem too important in the grand scheme of things. The new game+ mode is an excellent idea that is executed well (not as good as it could have been) and makes multiple playthroughs enjoyable.
The major suffering this version has is the exclusion of some of the extra content the GBA version had. I had no problem with the thrown together dungeons in that version being taken out, but there were some important story elements and amazing new items that could have seen the transition into 3D as well.
All in all an amazing game for RPG fans out there. This will certainly be another hit for Square Enix.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Final Fantasy IV (JP, 12/20/07)
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