I've not played the PS1 version, but I have played the GBA one. I own the Japanese version and am nearly finished. Amazon won't let me preview this, but I can tell you the DS version is WAY, WAY harder than the GBA. It has a better design, sure, but man is it difficult. Let me put it this way: you deal less damage while taking more, grinding works well in the beginning but plateaus at a point, rare items are miraculous to come by, it lags like mad, characters have fewer weapons options, enemies have far more HP than before, etc. I don't mean to scare you off this, but if you don't like to grind, you're not going to like this. Hey, I don't mind grinding, but being forced to kinda takes the fun out of it. It is only easy if you return to an easy area or grind like mad to get the very rare items. The SNES version is by far the easiest, the GBA was a bit tougher.
Here's a bit more of what you can expect: voices for the movie scenes, fewer monsters in the bestiary, an infinite item capacity (or should I say max. 99 of each item), 'Decant Items' which let your characters learn 'Decant Abilities' (meaning you can have Rosa and Rydia cast Twin, or give Kain the Tsunami attack... Not kidding), wireless battles using a new summon monster called Pochika in the Japanese, mini-games (depending on who you have in your party) to boost Pochika's stats, 5 new tails to trade in for Onion equipment, and extended scenes into Cecil's background. There's more, but I can't remember, nor am I bothered at this point. Let this be my review.
In Japan Final Fantasy IV had to releases. Easy Type and Hard Type. Both versions were released in Japan. The original Super Nintendo version released in the US (as Final Fantasy II) was the "Easy Type" while Japan got both. The "Hard Type" was released in the US with Final Fantasy Chronicles.
As for the DS, it's harder than the Final Fantasy IV "Hard Type". Final Fantasy IV has often been described as one of the hardest RPGs out there (certainly the hardest in the series), and Square-Enix made the DS version harder. But I welcome the challenge as the "Hard" version of Final Fantasy IV is among my favorite video games of all time.
I agree with you on the hard bit. going into the second cavern after getting Rydia I kept getting wasted by these mini mages that kept group casting Thunder. other than the slight grind it takes to make it from one plot point to the next I've noticed a few things along the way that does make it easier (more or less) for the player.
-Augments allow you to utilize the special abilities of characters that have left your party for good (You even get Palom and Porom's Twin Casting) -Spells now do more damage without having to buffer your magik stats. -Drain and Osmose for Mages hits more frequently -Paladin Cecil doesn't cover people at crit hp if he is (which annoyed me to no end in the hard mode versions) -Twin Casting does damage upward in the thousands early on in the game making it much more worth it when you get the spell off. (hint: Cecil and Rosa Twincast Ultima.)
so yes there are plenty of new and even tougher obstacles to get through in this game, planning your battles and dungeons ahead of time will make them far more bearable while playing.
Dreggor Gade, I think Amazon didn't let me do a review because when I tried it was before it was released in the US. Which is strange, because I've posted early reviews on DVDs without any problems.
Also, I've since finished my Japanese edition. There are three monsters left in my bestiary, all after Zeromus, or whatever the final boss's name is. Once you finish the game, you have the option of playing again, this time with your Decant Items and Abilities (I'm sorry, I don't know the American names), and, thank goodness, any Onion equipment or Adamant Armours you managed to obtain (those uber-rare items you get by trading the various tails), and item drops are more frequent. However, you now have to go through the entire game all over again. Granted, I wasted much time grinding to get those uber-rare items, but the whole thing has left me spent. I'll give it another go later.
Right, so I'm going to try posting an early review on Dragon Quest IV. Recommendations have popped up because I rated it, so who knows?
EDIT: There's a sequel in Japan called 'Final Fantasy IV - The After (Moon's Return)' that's only available on mobile phone. Square-Enix has released so many games for mobile only in Japan it's obscene.
I agree this one is fairly hard. I've only been playing 3 days and have gotten fairly far(back to the castle after Cecil become a paladin) but yeah hard. I recommend staying in a battle area and gaining a x number of levels more before you go up against the bosses.
The "EasyType" and "HardType" claim is false. These were simply misnamed. The only major difference in the USA version of FFIV "EasyType" was that they removed the special abilities of the characters in the beginning to make it more simple, (ironically, in some ways it actually made the game harder that they did that) Other changes include the removal of a secret room in the dwarf castle, and I believe slightly different items. Otherwise, I noticed absolutely no difficulty difference between the two versions.