Review by BrakZero

"One of the greatest RPGs of all time..."

Final Fantasy 4 (renamed as Final Fantasy 2 in the US) is recognized as one of the greatest classic RPGs of all time. It packed an amazing storyline, a great soundtrack, and simple yet enjoyable gameplay. It completely revolutionized the whole role-playing industry because it was the first RPG to have a very good, twisting storyline, as if it were a movie.

The graphics in the game were not the best, but there’s an explanation behind it. This game was originally going to be released for the original Nintendo. However, a decision was made that FF4 would come out for the Super Nintendo rather than the NES. Square desperately tried to update the graphics as much as possible, but they didn’t have that much time. So the graphics got better, but not as much as they hoped for. Yet the graphics were quite good compared to the other SNES games at the time. The sprites can only put their heads down to show sadness, and could walk. The environments weren’t bursting with detail, but they still had nice, healthy amounts of detail put into them. The enemies of the game looked nice and sharp.

Overall, the graphics would be considered bad by current standards, but of course this is about 10 years later. Also, graphics don’t make the game, they could only make the experience a bit better. Don’t let the graphics affect your thoughts of the game.

Final Fantasy 2/4 had one of the best, if not the best soundtracks for the Super Nintendo. The music in the game made the storyline so much better, and more emotional. Think about it. Think of an RPG you’ve played with a really good story. Now, think about an emotional part from that RPG. Now, picture that emotional part without the music playing. Isn’t it dull? The music makes everything so much better. All the music from the game fits extremely well into all the situations of the story.

Now, Final Fantasy 2/4 had lots of great things, but the story is what shines the most. It had an amazing storyline with kept players sucked in. To me, the story of FF2/4 is still one of the best storylines I’ve seen in a role-playing game. It starts out with Cecil, the main character. Cecil is the commander of the airship force in Baron, a strong ruling country. He and his crew went to steal the crystal of water from a town called Mysidia. Cecil was sent by orders from the king, but didn’t understand the king’s objective. He questions the king upon his return. However, the king is a freak and fires Cecil from his post. From there, Cecil and his friend Kain go through many adventures, meeting new people. If this sounds boring to you, just try playing the game. It’s full of surprising plot twists that just make you gasp and say, “No way, really!?” It’s truly an amazing story.

The gameplay is the old traditional Final Fantasy battle system, before the big changes starting taking place. You’ve got different character classes, which are predetermined and can’t be changed. Each character, with his or her class, has their own abilities. For instance, a Dragoon can use the Jump command. Unfortunately, MANY abilities were taken from this easytype American version. Anyway, the battles are played traditionally... you take a swing, your enemy takes a swing, you swing again. You’ve got normal attacks, special physical attacks, plus your basic white and black magic. In addition, there’s also a type of Ninja magic. The ATB gauge seen in most Final Fantasy games is not visible in Final Fantasy 2/4, but it’s still there. It’s simply invisible, because the HP numbers is taking up that room. Overall, the gameplay is simple and fun. I love it because I’ve always loved that classic system, and I always will. There’s no special unique addition to the battle system, (such as Materia, Espers, Jobs, etc.) just a normal, everyday system. Yet it’s so fun!

I don’t know WHAT I was thinking when I wrote my last review for this game, because I stated that there wasn’t much to replay. That’s totally wrong. There are a TON of hidden items in FF2/4! More than any other FF, that’s for sure! There are a very high number of weapons, armor, and items that can only be obtained from enemy battles. The numbers for these items are often 1/64, so it ensures a ton of battling to do this. People trying to master every Final Fantasy game almost always have the most trouble with this one, because of these items. Surely if you’re even somewhat familiar with FF2/4, you’ve heard of the Pink Tail. That’s a famous rare item in this game, in which players only have a 1/64 chance of encountering an enemy called a Pink Puff. When they finally find this enemy, they have a 1/64 chance of getting a Pink Tail from them. Do the math. People spend hours upon hours upon hours searching for this item. It won’t keep you bored, I guarantee it.

This game is lots of fun to play, for two main reasons. The first is that the story is so good, so it’s pretty fun to get involved and come across surprise twists, and all that stuff. Ya know. The other reason is those rare items. Well, that may not be fun for some people, but it’s a lot of fun for me. You should see me when I get a new rare item... err, never mind. The bottom line is that this game is fun. Very fun.

Final Word
Final Fantasy II/IV is a true old school RPG. Just because the graphics aren’t like Final Fantasy IX doesn’t mean a game sucks. It holds a fun, traditional battle system, an amazing soundtrack, and best of all, an excellent story. If you claim to be a hardcore Final Fantasy gamer or a “Final Fantasy Freak” who hasn’t played this game, stop lying about yourself. If you didn’t play FF2/4, you’re just another new-schooler. This is a must-play game for any RPG fan, especially those that love old 16-bit ones.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/01/01, Updated 06/27/01

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