Final Fantasy IV Advance
Review by Shivan Reincarnated
"Square decides to port some games to the GBA. It's about time."
Final Fantasy IV is the fourth installment in the popular Final Fantasy series. It was originally known as Final Fantasy II in America for the SNES and was ported to the PS1 in Final Fantasy Chronicles. I've seen a lot of complaints about the port to this game.... I do agree it could have been better, there were a few glitches like the extra turn glitch but overall I didn't feel it was terrible. It was nice replaying this classic game on my portable handheld.
Story: You start out with a dark knight named Cecil. Cecil is considered to be one of the best heroes of all time. Cecil goes on these missions for the king but soon realizes that he can't do the evil deeds for the king. I won't spoil anything important, but Cecil ends up leaving the kingdom and once he climbs Mt. Ordeals, he becomes a paladin. From there you'll find yourself in a race against Golbez who wishes to use the crystals for evil deeds. Final Fantasy IV does have an intriguing storyline. It is quite simple compared to most of the later Final Fantasies but it's still good. The characters are decent. Cecil is a great character, in fact, he's one of my favorite characters period. Kain is one of the original RPG badasses but he's not as good as Cecil. Rydia is a little bit more than your generic summoner and everyone else is really just mediocre. 7/10
Game Play: Final Fantasy IV is known for simple game play. You can purchase and equip weapons, shields, helmets, vests, and other accessories to raise your stats and you acquire new moves by getting to a certain level. Simple, no? I think the system could have been a little more complex but you may like the simplicity. 8/10
Soundtrack: Ah, Final Fantasy IV and it's music..... it's quite nice. The boss battle music is awesome. Super Mario RPG fans may remember it from the Culex fight. The final battle music is quite, the dungeons and towns have appropriate soundtracks to them. For an early Final Fantasy, FFIV does manage to contain several of my favorite FF themes of all time. The sound quality on the GBA is slightly worse than FFIV on the SNES and PS1 but honestly, it's negligible. 9/10
Graphics: You must remember that these graphics are not today; it was at the very beginning of the SNES. The graphics were good for their time, the towns and world map were drawn good, the creatures you fight were out of proportion but I liked it as it allowed you to see a creature with vivid colors and shapes. I was impressed; this game was a notch or two above the NES Final Fantasy games. However, after playing Final Fantasy VI, I noticed that it was possible for Square to do a better job for the graphics on the SNES but you have to give this game credit. They weren't quite familiar with the SNES engine yet, this was an early game. 8/10
Difficulty: Final Fantasy IV is one of the more difficult Final Fantasies actually. Not quite as tough as Final Fantasy V but still can be challenging. This is a good thing because legendary titles such as Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X are all extremely easy. You will need to level up for this game. 10/10
New Features: Final Fantasy IV Advance features some cool new little additions such as the Bestiary as well as a brand new dungeon that features monsters harder than anything you've experienced in the Final Fantasy IV realm before. The dungeon is new, fresh and did improve upon Final Fantasy IV. I'd say it at the very least nullified the porting problems.
Game Play: 8/10
Overall: 8.4 (Rounds to 8)
It truly is good to see Square porting games to the GBA. Final Fantasy V and the legendary Final Fantasy VI are on the horizon. All we need to do is wait for Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG. Final Fantasy IV could have had some more effort put into it but I honestly don't see what the big fuss is. I still had a lot of fun playing this game again.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/06/06
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