Review by gamelover5678
"One of the best Final Fantasies of all...now portable! What's not to love?!"
I'm sure we all remember Final Fantasy II on the SNES. This was the Final Fantasy to play for the longest time...at least until Final Fantasy III for the SNES was released, and Final Fantasy 7 for the PSX came about. Still, this game can hold it's own against even the games of today's age! This Final Fantasy was the first to include a very engaging plot, a system in which your abilities are consistent, and many of the elements that are used in today's Final Fantasies, such as Chocobos, the ATB battle system, and my personal favorite, summoning! And the fact that it's portable...a slice of heaven! Okay, enough rambling from me, let's go to the review! (Which is, by the way, my first ever.)
For it's day, Final Fantasy IV had a soundtrack like you wouldn't believe. Those who have played this game in it's past forms know what I'm talking about. From the awesome battle themes that had you itching to fight, to the melodic themes that pulled at your heart, the music in this game was, and STILL is, superb. The sound effects are great too, you can actually enjoy hearing them and not get annoyed by them, and they fit the action that goes with them perfectly.
You take the role of Cecil, captain of Baron's airship force, the Red Wings. The Red Wings have just gotten back from a raid at Mysidia, the town of mages. This raid make Cecil feel very uneasy, and when he tries to question his king about it, he is dismissed from his position as Captain. Kain, Cecil's best friend, tries to stick up for Cecil, but instead, Kain is forced to go along with Cecil to deliver a little "something", to a nearby village of summoners. This is the beginning of a very dramatic and epic tell, filled with heartwarming romance, powerful friendship, and plot twists like there's no tomorrow. I consider Final Fantasy IV's storyline one of the absolute best in the series.
Final Fantasy IV is an RPG. What do you do in RPGs? You explore towns and dungeons, and fight a helluva lot of monsters, of course! Thing is, this game does that better than most RPGs. Final Fantasy IV introduced and uses one of the more popular battle systems in the RPG realm, the ATB (Active Time Battle). When a character's time gauge is full, they can perform the action you choose for them. The higher a character's speed rating, the faster their gauge gets full. This helps create a sense of urgency for those really tough battles. Also, each character in the game has different skills. Cecil, as a Dark Knight, has the powerful Dark Wave attack; Kain, as a Dragoon, can Jump in the air, making himself immune to attacks while doing so; Rydia, the young Summoner you meet early in the game, can cast a huge variety of magic once she learns it; the list goes on and on. This game, in true Final Fantasy fashion, starts off easy, but it does get harder as you progress. REALLY, REALLY, harder. You'll have to put on your thinking caps if you want to survive the later parts of this game.
For it's time, Final Fantasy IV's graphics were amazing. With this version, the graphics have been polished, and they look better than ever. The character portraits have also been slightly redone, and for the most part, they look very nice. Some of the attack and spell effects have been slightly redone as well, and unless you're a die-hard purist, you'll love seeing them.
Perhaps the 2 (3, if you count the fact that this awesome game is PORTABLE!!!) new best things about this version of Final Fantasy IV is that you can switch your party members at the near-end of the game, and the new 50-level dungeon that's been added. You see, Final Fantasy IV's storyline has kept you from picking party members as you please. Now, you can pick and choose from your members before the final area, meaning that you can make a fierce challenge, or total dominance. Also, the new dungeon has trials for each character that are available once that character has helped defeat the final boss. Not to mention, this dungeon houses the ultimate weapons, plenty of powerful monsters to test them out on, and a boss that's even more powerful than the final boss. Think you got the mad skills to complete this place???
In the past, this game could only be described in 1 word only: EXCELLENT. And, even by today's standards, you can still describe it with that same word. There's just not a weak link...BUY THIS GAME!!!
Final Score: 9.4/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/05/06
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