»

LightFykki's Final Fantasy IV Game Review

Final Fantasy IV game Review

Story & Playability

Year: 1991, 2007 (DS remake)

Company: Square Soft. (Enix)

Genre: RPG

Platforms: SNES, Super Famicom, Nintendo DS, PSX, GBA, Wondersaw color, PSP

Age rating: E – for everyone

Final Fantasy IV (also known as Final Fantasy II in the USA) was a new level and era in this series. It came out on a whole new console and by that it changed not only visuals, graphic and sound quality, but also the new things added to the gameplay and some even changed. This will become one of the most famous FF games and one of the favorite ones by many.

Presentation

World

This game came out just when it need to come. A new gaming console just hit the markets and it was dying for new good RPG games. Final Fantasy IV was one of the first and one of the best to remain there.
What they needed to change first was the world design. It still remains with the same sprite as the previous games, but with added new and more complex map design. This time you get more land and different placements of it. It is not just simple as it was before, you can land with your airship everything, you can't go with your ship everywhere and you have far more hidden things around it.

This time there are three worlds instead of just one. There is the main world, the underworld and the Moon. Moon is done in a very creative way and will surprise many of you (especially by fitting enemies called procariots and eukaryotes, where prokaryotes are stronger ones... there is just so many irony and interesting moments scattered around these worlds).

Plot and storyline

Story is probably one of the strongest aspects of this game. It is so much better developed and worked on that the previous games and while it still has the typical standard plotine character, it still works beacuse it has just so many events, characters, twists and many more. It will definitely keep you entertained.

The story follows a warrior fighting for the questionable cause, ready to loose everything just beacuse of that. The king that was once like a father to him is no more the same and his loved one seems to be more distant from him because of his actions. On his journey he will clear his heart and also clear the world of the upcoming darkness.
The events and twists are what makes the plot more and more interesting. You will find yourself wanting to play more only to find what will happen next and all that in a fantasy fashion set in a fantasy world.


Characters

You will find many many characters along the way, being main ones or just NPCs who will always play a great part and role in all that. Each character is unique to itself and even back then they had personalities that made them unique among each other.

This time not only that party members are different, they also have different jobs assigned to them. You can’t change jobs this time, but still what characters are is what makes them. White mages are more calm and cuter characters, while dragoon one is the one that is usually a lone wolf and likes to do things himself. Of course each of these characters have their own names and personas and it is up to you to find them out.

Such great events and such great presentation definitely makes this the sole top of what games could offer back then.

Pros: great story and an excellent presentation, unique characters
Cons: nothing really, just some quite minor things

Rating: 9

Graphics

Visuals

Again as this game had many ports it also had different visuals and graphics designs to it. I will go on explaining about each of them.

SuperNES version

This version is the original one and it offers a more updated look than from the original NES games. Graphics are still done in the same way in 2D and in mini format of characters and enemies, but that’s how these games worked the best at that time and what keeps its style.

You will find many details and many impressive moments sometimes, especially by the enemies and surroundings and even spells and effects (this time each area has its own background and each spell its own unique animation).

Still the graphics looked like they could take more of SNES power and that will be proved by later sequels.

GBA, PSX, Wonderwise color

Each of these games were either the same or very similar in its style .The style is however different than from the SNES version, mostly by the outlines, resolution and colors. So it is a little different, but not much. It might find to be better or worse than the original version to some, but overall it is still pretty good.

Nintendo DS

This version could be spoken almost all on its own article. It is done completely in 3D, even putting a full CG opening and similar style to that of FFIII remake.
So they are average to good, but even better than its predecessor. It is funny though how even if graphics are 3D rendered they still keep that mini (chibi) style for characters.
PSP

This version is a full upgrade to the original game, with better textures, effects, renders and colors, but by keeping the same classic 2D style. The same graphics were used for remakes of FFI and FFII on this console.

Pros: good and improved visuals on all the consoles and especially over the first three games
Cons: there were still open space for improvements and were not fully taken

Rating: 8

Sound

Sound

OST

Soundtrack is where this Final Fantasy also takes the flight. This has become so much known, I might as well not say anything. It is really top notch and there are almost no flaws about it. What I really found good is the boss battle music. They will keep the intention through the whole fight, but not only that, some bosses have even their own theme music. They make any battle an epic showdown.

Aside from that we have the remade version of original Final Fantasy theme, some really calm music and town themes. Yes, almost each town has its own theme and is especially unique on how you progress. They describe the mood and atmosphere of each town so well.

To mention the chocobo music… fat chocobo… or white chobo… their theme musics are just so catchy and memorable.

Sound effects and voice acting

I included this, even though there are still almost any. For voice acting that is, but there are some for sound effects. They are especially good and noticeable by each attack you do and each action you take. Not bad, not bad at all.

Pros: amazing soundtrack in any way you look at it
Cons: remake versions may seem a little bit outdated and to some even annoying today

Rating: 9

Fun

Gameplay


This game is fun. And I literally mean, fun. There are so many ways to play this game that you will end up trying all sorts of combinations and even playing maybe multiple times. There aren’t that many things choose differently, but the story itself will make up for it. Let’s go actually this way. Instead of writing what you can do in this game, let’s write what is improved in terms of gameplay over the previous installments.

Instead of going through different classes and raising them, this time you get each separate class by each character. Each character also has its own set of abilities where it either gains more by level, game progress or some other means. There aren’t that many other abilities to gain, aside from magic, though each character will always carry around its own portion of skills and the equipment that they can have.

For the first time and not for the last one, this game included not a turn based system like the previous ones had, but active one instead. That means that this time you won’t carefully choose attacks and then go around waiting to see how the battle will progress. That may seem bad at first, but it actually gets better over the time, because battles become more challenging and more intense making them less repetitive and more enjoyable.

There are more summons included in this game and are different than from the previous (which may even be not that good, because this time your summons just act like magic, though more like a special magic).
More magic variations and more different styles of caring on the battles also means more options and fun. Enemies have also gained much more skills and are all unique to in that way (especially bosses where you have to think how to defeat them and not only slash forward seeing who will get down first).

Side quests, side quests and side quests! This game made a revolution with them. While they are not still that much present, there are many of them and each will give you a special reward if you manage to find and complete them. They are always good to take just to relax from the main storyline or to gain some extra levels.

Pros: good and interesting side quests, many improvements over the original gameplay
Cons: lack of different class specialties and later in the game, slow grindings


Final verdict

This is not only a great game, but also one of the best RPGs of its time. Sure, today it might look outdated (especially if you play earlier versions), but it still keeps it own charm and looks like it never will age.
Final Fantasy IV will remain as the first fantasy revolution to change the course in which they are now going. It is truly a game for everyone.

(Note: as always I mostly review the original game, but still keep to touch with the ports and remakes and add that to some of the criteria)

Graphics: 8/10 – big improvement and impression, but still not completely finished
Sound: 9/10 – one of the best soundtracks that a game could offer back in time
Gameplay: 9/10 – it will make you to keep playing and playing it with no stop
Presentation: 9/10 – with almost no flaws, but with no flaws come some wishes for even more
Overall: 9/10 – one of the best Final Fantasy games in general and RPGs that SNES had to offer

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

8.83 (very good)

Reviewed by LightFykki, Nov 29, 2011

Comments

  1. angelxxuan Nov 29, 2011

    wow long winded and in depth review very nicely done. I like how you gave a little bit of history with it and kept the review very professional, you have come a long way in doing reviews ! I remember encountering this ff, I wasn't really impressed with it much because it was so short, I'm use to the long ff, not one I can complete in a few months

  2. SnickerdoodleNinja Moderator Dec 08, 2011

    FF4 was a game I picked up a while back on the DS, and while I got really far into it I have yet to finish it, largely because of the slow level grinding-which drives me nuts. Personally, there were things about this game that I really enjoyed (such as Kain, the classes, etc.) but there were also a number of things that frustrated me about it (level grinding, lack of direction, etc). However, reading your review is making me want to go back and finish it, because it definitely sounds like its worth it!

    Personally, I think you did a great job on being rather thorough, especially when it came to different versions. I might, however, recommend looking at it in terms of modern appeal as well. While I personally would have scored it a bit lower based on my personal experience, but your scores seem justified and strong, given that you were looking at it for its time. Great job, LightFykki! :)

page 1 of 1 2 total items

Only members can post replies, please register.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read more.