Review by UnderratedGamer

"I see dead people...nope never mind...came back to life"

Everyone has been victimized by nostalgia. It takes a hold of the young and the old. Yes, it may have been a good experience. But what most don't know is that it doesn't explain WHY it was a good experience. You may not have truly remembered what you were playing. Maybe you were thinking of the context from the time you were first progressing through the game as a kid and had no idea what was going on. Usually nostalgia takes a hold of the good feelings that you were having when playing. It may not even be about the game itself. Maybe you had that fond memory of your mother bringing down cookies as you were playing the game. Then that exact context leaped into your head for YEARS and you initially glued "best game ever" to Final Fantasy IV. Because why not? You can get away with it, right? It's not like anyone is going to question why you like it so much...are they?

-Story-
So begins the tale of Cecil. Some may tell you that Final Fantasy IV holds a decent plot. I can somewhat agree. However, when you're reaching the halfway mark, you'll get bored knowing that crystals make up about 70% of the story. A bland mixture of crystals with a touch of unique distinction between a couple characters. If not for Cecil's back-story to shed some light on the tedious protecting/collecting quests, the crystals would be fully inherent as the story.

The prologue is however the first (obviously) of many good things to come. Cecil is portrayed as a Dark Knight that is seeking redemption. Baron (where he resides) is a Monarchic town under martial law by the air fleet known as the "Red Wings." These air cavaliers have been loyal to the King for a while, but Cecil (captain of the Red Wings) feels discontent with his King's harsh orders. So the King of Baron strips Cecil of his power and gives a personal task to him instead.

This may seem promising, but it certainly gets a lot worse as time spent goes on.

Results: 5.5/10

-Characters/Development-
Yeah...it gets worse. So you know how I told you how awesome Cecil was, right? Well there's only 2 or 3 good characters left that really make a difference. Some of the others aren't that well written and developed. Some of them also have bland personalities. That's Doomsday happens. Dialogue in Final Fantasy IV some characters look like stone statues. Yeah, you can see what their saying, but it's almost as if they don't submit to their own emotions. One good example is Rosa. She is supposed to have this theme of love and nurturing personality. Instead, she seems more like Kristen Stewart's twin sister.

Results: 4/10

-Gameplay/Balancing-
This and Final Fantasy IX have with out a doubt are the most balanced in the series. No job classes that break the system, no overpowered skills until the very end of the game, and amazingly hard boss battles that are excessively fun and worthwhile. Considering the game chooses who is in your party, you'll actually experience the intention of what game designers WANTED the enemies to do to you. The game in no way excruciatingly difficult, but it'll throw tidbits of challenges here and there.

I absolutely love the game's dungeons too. They actually have depth to them. And there's a lot of different designs for each place too.

Results: 10/10

-Music-
The soundtrack isn't the greatest, but by no means is it bad. There's just not that many special songs on it unlike every single Final Fantasy after IV. You have a few scarce good ones like "Giant of Babel", "Main Theme", and "Four Elemental Fiends", but nothing too extraordinary.

What really lacks in this soundtrack that a ton of later entries do better is the emotion of the themes. FFIV's emotion is heavily absent in the music as well as certain characters. If you want really good themes, Character themes in VI and VII are leaps and bounds better than IV's character themes. Take Cyan's theme in FFVI; a much more intricate and exquisite song than any other in FFIV.

Results: 7/10

-Graphics-
Stunning graphics and colorful landscapes. Visually, I do have say it's astoundingly good. It's much better than Lufia which came out 2 years after this game. The world of Final Fantasy IV definitely isn't dull if that's what you want to know.

Results: 10/10

-Replay Value-
Not much to replay in Final Fantasy IV. The only guys that seem to replay this a lot are the nostalgia-nuts that have the sole need of playing this every year. Not much to replay in it. The story isn't warranting anything special to play and neither is the music. But it is a fairly quick game to squeeze some hours in.

Results: 7/10


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/20/11, Updated 03/11/13

Game Release: Final Fantasy II (US, 11/23/91)


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