Review by BlackBladeRune
"Two legendary RPGs make for a package you can't miss!"
Ah I’m finally reviewing this! I would’ve gotten around to it a bit sooner, but I had a couple of other games to tend to. Anyway, I’m splitting up the review for the two games. Read on.
Final Fantasy 4
It’s been awhile, a long while since I’ve played FF4. It’s the game that got me started on RPGs when I was nine, so how could I resist the chance to play it again? First up, graphics. Ok…even back in the day, FF4 didn’t have amazing graphics. But surprisingly, they hold up quite well even today. At least in the eyes of an old school RPG player. FF4 also has one of the best soundtracks of any FF. None of the tracks are at all annoying and the boss battle music is one of my favs of any FF. Now despite what some people say, I think FF4 has the best sound effects of any FF. And thankfully, the music and sound effects have all been emulated perfectly.
The plot in FF4 is also one of the best of the series. You’re Cecil, a dark knight that leads an elite airship force. Well you used to until you complained to the King that taking crystals from people is bad. Now you’re just another dark knight. But you’re assigned to bring a bomb ring to some Mist Village. Things get more interesting than that of course, but I wouldn't want to spoil anything. FF4 allows you to have a total of 5 party members at given times, but you don’t get to choose your characters. As the plot progresses, you gain or lose party members. This makes for an extremely linear quest. I’m not complaining.
Gameplay is also smooth in FF4. Although a few magazines have clamored about the game being slow, FF4 only slows down when you need to save (might as well get a refreshment while you’re waiting for it to save) and when you fight an enemy in the end that puts a timer on all your characters. The item menu is a tad slow, but not to the point of it being annoying (as in FF6…grr). Although the main menu could use a bit of work, it does its job well enough.
The new features in FF4 don’t affect gameplay much but they really help. The new translation is great. The dancing girls in our FF2 are now stripping girls (they’re only a few pixels, don't get excited now). The developers room is accessible. The game also takes a step up in difficulty. Some abilities have been restored…mostly useless, but it’s nice to know they’re there. Great game overall
Final Fantasy 4 rating: 8.5
Weeee! Another classic from the day! Chrono Trigger came out a few years after FF4, so it’s graphics are a lot better. Some of the spell effects even attempt to put a little 3D into the game. Akira Toriyama, of Dragonball Z fame did the character designs (although DBZ sucks…anyway). Mostly all the enemies animate and walk around freely during battle, so it’s a little more interesting than FFs British soldier approach. The sound effects are a bit off from the original but not enough for me to really complain about. The music is also slightly off compared to the original, but not as much as another remake (FF6 again…grr). The soundtrack is an awesome work by Yasunori Mitsuda (Xenogears and Chrono Cross). Nobuo Uematsu also worked on a few of the tracks.
The plot is rather simple really. Crono and his buddies catch a glimpse of the horrible fate of their planet in the far off future, and decide to change it somehow…that’s all I’ll say. Of course that’s not going to be easy. One thing abut CT is that it’s really short… I beat it in roughly 24 hours. That’s with all the side quests completed, all the techniques learned and bit of leveling for good measure.
The battle engine in CT is interesting. They play out a lot like any FF battle would, but you can avoid some battles by simply walking past an enemy. And when you do run into an enemy, the battle ensues on the spot. This unfortunately is a bit of the problem for the PS since it has to load the battle and you’re forced to watch everyone just stand there waiting. But after a few hours I got used to it and didn’t find it a problem. What WAS a problem was loading the main menu. It takes its sweet time loading. I never fully got used to that, but it was less painful as I kept playing. The anime scenes are scattered throughout play and are a nice addition. In all CT is another great classic that everyone should play.
Chrono Trigger rating: 9
Chronicles in general
I’ll try to make this simple. If you can put up with the archaic graphics, BUY THIS. These are two pieces of RPG history that still function quite well. If you can’t play a game without cinemas every 3 minutes then don’t buy this. You might want to rent or borrow it though. At the very least everyone should give this a try. Although both games have their flaws, together in one package they are an excellent value and I highly recommend buying it.
Final Fantasy Chronicles OVERALL rating: 10!
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 07/26/01, Updated 07/26/01
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