Review by AnalyticalGamer

Reviewed: 06/20/13 | Updated: 09/12/13

Excellent version of a solid game

Story: Final Fantasy IV is an overall mixture of both awful and great story. While a strong story and character development were previously experimented with in the black sheep of the series, Final Fantasy II, FFIV takes it a step further and delivers. It was revolutionary in the way it delivered the story and characters, and overall set the standard for future RPGs. However, the story has not held up against the sands of time, with many story elements coming off as cliche. Many side characters do not get a great deal of development. The list goes on. Regardless, FFIV redefined a genre that was overall careless in plot elements and character development. 6.5/10

Gameplay: FFIV saw a departure from the turn based battle system that other franchises and previous Final Fantasies used. Instead, FFIV featured an Active Time Battle, ATB for short. Characters moved in real time, bringing an entirely different level of strategy to the table. It should be mentioned that FFIV can be argued to be the most difficult placement in the series, which may scare away new players. FFIV allows you to control five characters instead of four. While this is an appreciated addition, this can become extremely overwhelming and slow down combat at times. The DS version faithfully recreates the combat system, but with the addition of Augments to further customize characters. 7.1/10

Sound/Music: The soundtrack, per usual, is absolutely fantastic. The DS version takes the Super Nintendo music and beautifully recreates it into an orchestrated masterpiece. Every track sounds excellent. FFIV DS comes with the bonus of voice acting, which is mostly well done. Overall, the sound department is fantastic. 9/10

Graphics: FFIV got a complete redesign on the DS, with the original visuals no longer being present. Instead, the world is now rendered in 3D. Surprisingly; for the DS, this looks absolutely fantastic. The 3D is very nicely rendered and is one of the best looking games for the DS. Aside from some slight frame rate drops and encountering a crash or two, FFIV does a great job with visuals. 9.1/10

Replay Value: Unfortunately, FFIV suffers immensely in replay value, even with the DS remake. There is a superboss, bonus dungeons, rare equipment, minigames, sidequests, and a New Game Plus option. However, some may find the minigames, sidequest, and the New Game + to be extremely unrewarding, tedious, and not worth your time. The rare equipment is extremely arduous and boring to even attempt to collect, which leaves you with a superboss and bonus dungeon to tackle. Final Fantasy has seen better replay value. 3.5/10

Overall: Final Fantasy IV is a highly dated game, yet one that revolutionized RPGs and storytelling in video games. It has become the foundation that holds up the very pinnacles of RPGs today, and is a game that all RPG diehards should play at least once.

Final Score: 6.8/10

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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

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