Review: Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV (DS)

Final Fantasy IV (DS)

Continuing with my goal of playing each single-player Final Fantasy game this year, one per month, I primarily played Final Fantasy IV. As mentioned in my original post, I was not sure if I would go with the PlayStation Portable version, which included two additional added post-game bonus sequel packs, or the Nintendo DS version, which was completely redone in 3D and included voice acting (but not those two extra episodes). I opted to go for the Nintendo DS version in order to have a completely new experience with a game that I was already familiar with anyway. And I loved it.

First of all, the voice acting was awesome. Right from the initial iconic scene of the Red Wings flying home to Baron, you could hear the voices of the characters and the updated 3D graphics were great — better, in fact, than Final Fantasy III that had come to the Nintendo DS and was the previous game I had played.

As I mentioned, I was already familiar with the game, as it is one of my favorites in the series. This new version introduced a new gameplay element called Augments, which were ways of giving your party members abilities learned from encounters with other party members or other plot-related sequences. The difficulty was also tuned way up, but it wasn’t as bad as Final Fantasy III, and I found myself adapting to it fairly quickly, eventually getting to the overpowered state that I prefer in my JRPG adventures. I even found Edward to not be as useless as I remembered him to be, and I enjoyed each of the characters. Getting to hear them speak added emotion to what would otherwise have merely been text to read on the screen, and really brought each individual to life.

The game also added some new rare gear, which I spent a good deal of time trying to obtain, given that I breezed through the main game in quick fashion. Another element of the DS version of the game was the ability to play through a second and even a third time, carrying over earned Augments as well as some of that aforementioned rare gear. I actually started replaying it on a New Game + once I obtained the rare gear and had made it fairly far into the game before the month was over and it was time to move on to the next game in the series, Final Fantasy V — also the only game in the main series that I have never beaten.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed Final Fantasy IV the most of the FF games I’ve played thus far. Updating my ranking, we are looking at:
1) Final Fantasy IV
2) Final Fantasy II
3) Final Fantasy III
4) Final Fantasy

By the way, thinking ahead, once I hit Final Fantasy VII, I am fairly familiar with all the games and can therefore pretty much rank them all in my head at the moment, give or take some slots (which will probably vary as I replay them, naturally). That being said, I can see that Final Fantasy will probably stay at the bottom of the list (though it is quite possible that Final Fantasy XIII would bottom out the whole series). Now, that is not to say that FFI is a bad game; rather, being the first in the entire series, it was the very first effort from which all subsequent games improved upon with various elements here and there. I say this because, at the end of the year, when FFI appears near the bottom of the list, it is still a game I recommend playing through for the sake of seeing where all in this series originated.


Final Fantasy IV (DS)

Final Fantasy IV (DS)

Continuing with my goal of playing each single-player Final Fantasy game this year, one per month, I primarily played Final Fantasy IV. As mentioned in my original post, I was not sure if I would go with the PlayStation Portable version, which included two additional added post-game bonus sequel packs, or the Nintendo DS version, which was completely redone in 3D and included voice acting (but not those two extra episodes). I opted to go for the Nintendo DS version in order to have a completely new experience with a game that I was already familiar with anyway. And I loved it.

First of all, the voice acting was awesome. Right from the initial iconic scene of the Red Wings flying home to Baron, you could hear the voices of the characters and the updated 3D graphics were great — better, in fact, than Final Fantasy III that had come to the Nintendo DS and was the previous game I had played.

As I mentioned, I was already familiar with the game, as it is one of my favorites in the series. This new version introduced a new gameplay element called Augments, which were ways of giving your party members abilities learned from encounters with other party members or other plot-related sequences. The difficulty was also tuned way up, but it wasn’t as bad as Final Fantasy III, and I found myself adapting to it fairly quickly, eventually getting to the overpowered state that I prefer in my JRPG adventures. I even found Edward to not be as useless as I remembered him to be, and I enjoyed each of the characters. Getting to hear them speak added emotion to what would otherwise have merely been text to read on the screen, and really brought each individual to life.

The game also added some new rare gear, which I spent a good deal of time trying to obtain, given that I breezed through the main game in quick fashion. Another element of the DS version of the game was the ability to play through a second and even a third time, carrying over earned Augments as well as some of that aforementioned rare gear. I actually started replaying it on a New Game + once I obtained the rare gear and had made it fairly far into the game before the month was over and it was time to move on to the next game in the series, Final Fantasy V — also the only game in the main series that I have never beaten.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed Final Fantasy IV the most of the FF games I’ve played thus far. Updating my ranking, we are looking at:
1) Final Fantasy IV
2) Final Fantasy II
3) Final Fantasy III
4) Final Fantasy

By the way, thinking ahead, once I hit Final Fantasy VII, I am fairly familiar with all the games and can therefore pretty much rank them all in my head at the moment, give or take some slots (which will probably vary as I replay them, naturally). That being said, I can see that Final Fantasy will probably stay at the bottom of the list (though it is quite possible that Final Fantasy XIII would bottom out the whole series). Now, that is not to say that FFI is a bad game; rather, being the first in the entire series, it was the very first effort from which all subsequent games improved upon with various elements here and there. I say this because, at the end of the year, when FFI appears near the bottom of the list, it is still a game I recommend playing through for the sake of seeing where all in this series originated.


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Jason L. Hubsch

Jason L. Hubsch

I love music, video games, comic books, pro wrestling, politics, and God -- and not necessarily in that order! If you like any of these, chances are we'll get along.

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