Review by Xhunter11

Reviewed: 09/09/08

Play it again, for the first time.

Originally released for the Super Nintendo in 1991, Final Fantasy IV is known as one of the best in the series and set the bar for how RPGs would be made in the 16-bit era. Now, seventeen years later, Square has remade FFIV for the Nintendo DS. Does the game still hold up today or has it succumbed to it's age?

Probably the most important aspect of an RPG, the storyline in FFIV is not only classic FF, but classic fantasy. You play as Cecil Harvey, Dark Knight of Baron and commander of the airship fleet The Red Wings. Cecil has always been loyal to his king, but recently he has been commanding Cecil to perform acts that conflict with Cecil's sense of morality, causing him to doubt and confront his king. In an act of anger, the king of Baron strips Cecil of his post as Red Wing commander and sends Cecil with his best friend and Dragoon Kain Highwind on a mission to deliver a ring to the village of Mist.

That is only the beginning, and the story is full of twists and turns that will leave you wanting to find out more and see the conclusion. There are several characters that are well-developed. Cecil's inner conflict and guilt, Rosa and Cecil's relationship, Kain's jealousy of Cecil, and many other characters have great development and character arcs.

The sense of adventure is also very well-done. The game becomes more and more of an epic as the story continues, and you really end up feeling for the characters and the world around you.

Overall, the storyline is very well-done and is one of the game's strongest points.
Story Score: 9/10

The gameplay in FFIV is simple. You move around in a field screen talking to people, looking for treasures, navigating dungeons, and searching for treasures. As you wander the world, you will eventually encounter a random battle.

These battles use the Active Time Battle, or ATB system. An iconic battle system that made it's first debut in this game. Each character has their own time bar and they can take an action when the bar is full. The ATB system makes the battles faster, funner, and more interesting than the previous three games and is very enjoyable.

A new feature to the DS version of the game is the Augment system. Throughout the world you will find Augments, which are items that you use on your characters to have them learn new abilities. You can then pick which abilities your characters will have in battle and basically customize your party to the way that you want them to be. There is also a New Game + feature which lets you keep all the rare items and augments you found, a cutscene viewer, a music player, and a bestiary.

The gameplay is great and if you get tired of the battles, then you can always put it on Auto-Battle.
Gameplay Score: 8/10

The graphics in this game are amazing. Everything is render in 3-D and it really makes me wonder how FFVII would have been done on the N64. Spell animations, summon animations, and attack animations all look great, and the cutscenes are also very well-done. Finally, the opening FMV is spectacular. Square has really shown what the DS can do with this game.
Graphics Score: 10/10

Music & Sound:
The soundtrack in this game is also amazing. Unlike FF3, none of the songs in this game are annoying and you'll find yourself humming Cecil's theme, Theme of Love, The Final Fantasy Main Theme, and several other classic songs. The soundtrack has also been updated with new instruments so it sounds even better than it used to.

Sound effects are crisp and clear, and there is also voice acting! All of the voices match the characters perfectly and greatly enhance the experience. The actors for Cecil and Golbez deliver spectacular performances, and I hope they reprise their roles for Dissidia.
Music Score: 10/10
Sound Score: 10/10

Final Fantasy IV was one of the best games for the SNES and has earned it's place as one of the best RPGs in video game history. I was a bit weary when I found out about the DS version, but having played it to completion I can safely say that Square has outdone themselves. Even though I've played it all before, FFIVDS feels like a brand new game and is well worth the time and the money.
Overall Score: 10/10

Story: 9/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 10/10
Music: 10/10
Sound: 10/10

This is a game that should not be missed. Not only is it the best version of Final Fantasy IV, but it is also one of the best RPGs and best DS games on the market. I greatly enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Product Release: Final Fantasy IV (US, 07/21/08)

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