Review by HikaruHana
"FFVIA a remake of a classic, how does it stand up?"
Final Fantasy IV Advance
An Unlimited Review
Overview: Fifteen years ago the SNES was graced with Final Fantasy IV (2 in the States), with it came what some belief was the defining of the classic RPGs.' Fifteen years later it has been remade on the GBA and has served to be one of the most excepted titles this year, however remakes generally aren't all that good, how does the remake stand up fifteen years after it's original release? You'd be surprised.
The graphics have been improved and reformatted for the GBA, all the characters have updated face sets most of which look very good and stay true to the original, however they also have some bad ones, Kain's original face set looked very well done and he looked like a Dragoon, in this one his face set looks somewhat deformed but that could just be me.
By today's standards for the GBA the graphics of FFIVA stay true to the original however I can't help but feel a lack of real detail has been added, battle sprites and normal walking sprites look the same as they did in the original and don't offer any real improvements that are noticeable, the monsters look exactly the same as does each town and world, making it seem like the only thing (graphics wise) they tried to improve were the face sets.
The music in the original was fantastic and the remake doesn't disappoint, you're treated to remix's of the original BGM that makes it still feel classic and yet has a new type of Edge' you could say. I was surprised that it's different from the originals yet all of the parts that you loved going though during the original remain the same, the mysterious cave dungeons, the Tower of Zot dungeon, as well as the normal world music remain to sound like they did before yet offer wonderful remix's.
The original storyline remains and not much else has changed (except that it's been correctly translated), the game offers a brilliantly told story should you have played the original game or not, FFIV at the time was the game which offered more twists then any other game at it's time and to this day it remains as one of the best told stories of it's time.
You play as the Dark Knight Cecil who serves as the commander of his kingdoms airship force the Red Wings' the task assigned to Cecil is to collect the Crystal of Water from another town, in the process he kills and jails many innocent people, as Cecil begins to question his kings actions he is stripped of his command and is given another duty, joined by Cecil's best friend Kain the two of you vow to complete the mission and earn back the Kings trust, but upon completing your mission the Dark Knight Cecil's doubt turns into rage and he vows to stop his King no matter what the cost, joined by many different characters from a ten year old girl to a very old sage to a prince ninja to a loyal monk, Cecil must not only stop his kingdom Baron but soon even greater enemies await him.
The cast of FFIVA remains the same as it did in the original, no new characters have been added but the core cast never needed anyone new, the game offers many different and interesting characters with unique personalities. Cecil makes a great hero and is joined by a wide range of interesting characters such as the Summoner Rydia, to Cecil's girlfriend Rosa, to twin mages Palom and Porom, as well as many other characters. Each character has interesting development and grows over the story very well, one thing I do like is that they have added some extra character development for characters like Kain in the special dungeon the Lunar Trails' in Kain's trial it helps to show his personality much better then how the original game did.
The original core Gameplay of the ATB system remains, like most FF games the game split screens when you enter a battle and begin fighting. Each character takes turn as the ATB bar fills up so they can attack again. Of course battles aren't that simple you have to use different abilities and skills in order to keep your party alive and still defeat the enemies, although generally most battles aren't that challenging but some really interesting places still remain such as the Dark Elf's cave where you can't use any metal weapons.
One nice addition' you could say is to some of the characters special skills, in the US FF2 Cecil's Dark Knight character could only attack and use items, however in the Japanese release he had a special attack which could damage all enemies, that has been kept in this attention, other characters has similar new moves as well as updated skills, Yang no longer just has attack and kick but he also has a skill called Power' where you can charge up an attack to deal the enemy double damage. Rosa gains the Pray' command, Edge's Ninjitsu spells are now actually worth using.
One very nice addition to the game is that before the final dungeon you get to be able to change your party with any party members from the game (- one person), this feature makes it much more interesting during the final battle because you can pick those who go with Cecil (yes you have to use him but it's not like you wouldn't want to, he's a great tank!). This feature also forces you to go to a special 8 floor dungeon to get the extra party members strongest normal weapons/armor. Besides that dungeon, after you beat the game you unlock the Lunar Trials, which is a 50floor dungeon which has a trail for each of the party members, in order to play these special trials you must beat the final boss with these characters, so after you beat the game twice you unlock the best and most interesting dungeon of the game where you unlock some seriously awesome items.
People may say this isn't the so called Easy Type' which was the US release of FFIV (2) on the SNES but I beg to differ, some things are changed but overall the game feels just as easy as it did in the original Easy Type' which for me is disappointing, besides some quick changes in the game if you fight naturally you should never have a problem beating any boss fight if you know how to fight it, which is easy to know by just trying to figure out it's weakness. Of course the Lunar Trail is a great addition to the difficulty which forces you to majorly power level in order to actually fight the bosses within it but besides that it's not that much harder then the original.
Upon completely the game you get a clear data which you can continue to use to play the game, using the data unlocks the lunar ruins, of course this also means that in order to perfectly clear the Lunar Ruins you must go back to one of the towns and change your characters and beat the game again with a different set. This majorly adds onto the replayablity factor but also doesn't mean you have to completely replay the game from start to finish.
Overall: FFVIA is a great remake and easily has offered a great service for fans of the original, fans of the FF series in general or people who have never herd of the game at all. To anyone this game can seem like it's somewhat outdated but it's a remake of a game from fifteen years ago, what are you expecting exactly? If your looking for a FFVI-2 then your mistaken that doesn't exist, the game offers fans from the original a touch of nostalgia as well as a chance to replay what can be considered one of the greatest RPG's of all time.
Final Score: 49/60 B-
Gamefaqs Score: 8
Rent or Buy: Buy the game, you won't by any means regret it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 12/19/05
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