Review by Lord Magus2002

"One of the best games ever made gets a much deserved upgrade."

What can I say? Since the moment I first played FFIV for the great SNES, I fell in love with it. To this day I still think it's the best FF ever made, and a landmark in RPG gaming in general. This new version for the GBA just shows that this legendary game can still hold the attention of new gamers and impact with the same power as it did more than ten years ago.

Let's start with the graphics. Being and old game, the graphics in the original game weren't that impressive, but now they are much more solid and colorful, and the character designs have been altered a bit. Now as the characters speak, their faces appear next to the dialogue box, which is a nice touch.

The sound and music is basically the same as in the original game, but arranged to sound more modern and more defined. You can notice in the battle theme for example, the drumming sound infinitely better. The sound effects are also the same, but like the music, they modernized them.

The story might seem simple and familiar to you: A dark knight called Cecil is tired of stealing and killing from innocent people, and starts rebelling against his king, the king of Baron. After stealing the Water Crystal from the town of Mysidia, Cecil decides to give up on this horrible life. He mentions this to the king, and he immediately strips Cecil of his post as the Commander of the Red Wings (Baron's elite air force). The dragoon Kain, Cecil's best friend, enters the room in that moment and tries to convince the king that Cecil meant no harm, but the king is really upset. He tells Cecil that if he wants his post back, he must deliver a mysterious package to the town of Mist. Kain shall accompany him. That's how it begins, but it evolves into something beyond your imagination as the game progresses, and you are bound to find a few memorable surprises.

Now for the gameplay...It's your classic turn-based RPG, with random battles galore (And good lord, there are tons and tons of random battles in this game). Keep in mind the GBA version was based on the original japanese SNES game, so all the personal character skills that weren't added in the american SNES game, were added here. Excellent touch, because those abilities are very useful.

Is this game fun and challenging you ask? I say yes to both. This game is bound to keep you hooked until the very end, and like I said before, it's based on the japanese version, so it's REALLY hard. Those who only played the american SNES game (Like me) are in for some tough battles. And with the newly added Cave of Trials, we are all in for some extra challenge and fun.

So listen, if you have never played any version of this game, I believe this is the one to get. It's the most complete version, in my opinion. Of course, you can always go way back and play the SNES version to see the differences, and to have a little nostalgia rush as you go.
I must say I'm happy. Happy because my favorite FF game got a much deserved upgrade.

Highly recommended

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/19/05

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