Review by Gillygamesh
"The Crystals Return Once More"
Final Fantasy IV. Some remember this game as Final Fantasy II for the Super Nintendo. Others remember it as Final Fantasy IV for the Playstation, Wonderswan Color, or Super Famicom. And now, the wonderous video game that changed the face of RPGs forever is back. Except now, we have some changes... and it's portable on GBA!!!
Final Fantasy IV is a very solid game, and here I will walkthrough the different parts of it.
The graphics seen in the gameboy advance version are the same as they were on the Wonderswan color version. While some may complain that they aren't new; that still doesn't change the fact that the US has NEVER gotten an english copy of the game with these updated graphics. They are very colorful, and well done. While Square could've done a bit better, (this is very obvious expecially if you look at the redone sprites of the four elemental lords in the Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls game) it really isn't worth crying over since they still look fabulous.
This is where I started to worry before the game came out. After playing Dawn of Souls, I was incredibly disapointed in how they just killed the music and sound effects. But, when I watched a pre-release video clip of some gameplay I was overwelmed with joy to see the songs sounding even better than they did on the other versions! And that was a low-quality clip! So, after playing the accuall game, I got to hear those old classic songs Nobuo created in an enhanced experiance. The sound effects now are even better. While some could argue on how good the Black Magic sound effect or Meteor sound is now, others such as the holy swords are top notch and really sound like swords clinging. A job well done for those in the music department!
The gameplay is almost the same as many of us remember it. Fast-action ATB battles, tons of spells, many different weapons and skills, and 20-30 hours of gameplay. Square has added the much-needed ATB bar into the battles this time around. However, now Final Fantasy IV has entered "the bug zone". One problem with this port is the evil bugs in the battles. You now have enemies skipping their turns. Once in a while (accually this is quite frequent) you have players getting extra turns. And because of this, battles are cakewalks. Take the first boss for example. It's very easy to beat it before it does its signiture action. Or look at the Calcobrina. You can easily defeat the dolls before they fuse. Sometimes, you even get a bit of a slowdown after attacks (don't worry, this is incredibly minor). In general, don't keep this from stopping your purchase, but be warned that this can possibly drive you insane.
In this version as you have probably already heard; there are plenty of extra features. Late in the game, you now have the option of changing party members, similar to Final Fantasy VI. They've also added a training dungeon where you can acquire new weapons and armor for these added characters. After you defeat the final boss and watch the ending, you will now be able to continue your game and head to a fifty floor dungeon that contains powerful enemies and special trials that can be unlocked by defeating the final boss with certain characters. The dungeon is randomly-generated and don't worry (It's much better than the FFI Advance randomly-generated dungeons). These extra features are amazing and will keep fans of old and new hooked for many more hours than they'd play in the original game.
This is a great game. Period. Everything is solid, and is great for both new and old fans alike. Don't let the minor bugs spoil your fun! It may not be as challenging as the original due to the bugs, but it's worth it! A true classic that just got better.
Final Score: 36/40
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/05/06
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