Review by VdeBoule

"Quality SNES-to-PSX ports of RPG classics"

Final Fantasy Chronicles is Square's second collection of Super NES games released on the US PlayStation, the first being Final Fantasy Anthology. FFC consists of the ever-popular Final Fantasy 4 and ChronoTrigger.

FINAL FANTASY 4— Released on the Super NES as Final Fantasy 2 in the US (as the US did not get the Japanese FF2 and FF3, in case you didn't already know), FF2a was actually a port of the Japanese ''Easytype'' version. Quite a bit of the game was censored, certain items and attacks were deleted, and the game received what is one of Square's worst translations to date. Fortunately, all of these problems have been remedied for the FFC version, which is the complete ''Hardtype'' version, completely retranslated by Square. I have not played too much as of this point, but Square's new translation is excellent, although it seems to be SLIGHTLY below the level of J2e's unofficial translation.
While many gamers (myself included) were disappointed to see that the PSX version of FF6 was somewhat sloppily ported from the SNES, this is not the case with FF4's port. It runs smoothly, maybe even moreso than the original SNES version. I'm particularly impressed by the quick transitions into and out of battle, something that the ports of FF5 and FF6 lacked. The quality of the music is the same, although the sound effects seem to be somewhat muffled. The loading time when saving your game is a tad long, but this is a small price to pay for the near-absence of loading times throughout the rest of the game.
As for the game ITSELF, I'm not particularly a large fan of FF4, but many others are. The plot is beautifully written, and some of the characters are quite complex. However, while the game starts out very well, it tends to get horribly boring later on. The dungeons suffer from a severe lack of variety, and although you control many different characters at different points during the game, you use the same five for most of the time. As there are no changeable job classes, Espers, or Materia, your characters (for the most part) remain as they are, causing the battles to be very monotonous. While FF4 is a great RPG, it just can't compare to the other games in the series (with the exceptions of FF1 and FF8, which were simply horrible).

CHRONOTRIGGER— A quality port of the SNES classic. There are loading times, but they're not apparent enough to be annoying. There are several FMV cutscenes which play during the course of the game (as opposed to just at the beginning and end, as in Final Fantasy 4, 5, and 6), and, as in the Super NES version, multiple endings. Unlocking the different endings in the PSX version of ChronoTrigger allows you access to different hidden options, making this one of the most replayable RPGs ever made (although STILL not one of my absolute favorites).

I highly recommend Final Fantasy Chronicles to fans of the two games, and above all to those who have never played them. You won't be disappointed.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/01/01, Updated 07/01/01

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