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This is probably the best version of Final Fantasy IV
on June 27, 2016
This is probably the best version of Final Fantasy IV. It has content not present in later or prior releases like Whyt and related minigames, as well as the augment system which, while present in later versions, is messed with in the PC/iOS/AND releases.
You can't go wrong with FFIV. It has an ATB system (this is the game that introduced it!) where you have gauges that slowly fill up and allow you to do an action with that character once their ATB gauge is full. If you set the battle system to "Active" in the options, enemies will attack you even while you're selecting spells or items, which forces you to think on your feet.
There's also plenty of unique equipment you can get throughout the game, particularly the incredibly rare and hard (tedious) to get Onion equipment and other equipment added in this version. Only equipment equipped to your hands will show up on your character, for better or for worse. Still, the equipment that does show up looks cool, and the various special effects are exciting.
The visuals are great, and will not make your eyes bleed like other DS games. Some people hate the slightly chibi art style, but I think it works rather well. FFIV DS has colorful and pleasing visuals, and this version is no different!
The OST is amazing. The tracks do a good job of not only setting the mood, but getting an emotional reaction out of the player. Since FFIV DS was my first experience with FFIV, I decided to listen to the original OST to see how different it was, and they seemed to have stayed very faithful. I'm impressed, since usually remakes butcher/change the OST so much it becomes unrecognizeable. Here, it seems like they made higher quality versions of each track, which is what every remake should do, provided that the OST was already good in the original.
(some minor spoilers about the plot here) The plot is not necessarily completely original, but it doesn't need to be. It's still unique enough that I care about it. It could be the world that it's set in, how strange and mysterious the world is, but the plot itself is still entertaining. Fetching crystals, conspiracies about the king, the main protagonist's girlfriend getting captured...oh, and the world of FFIV is larger than it first appears!
The characters, like the plot, aren't original, but you still might find yourself caring about them. The voice acting is likely the reason for this, as while the voice acting is so Shakespearian you might cringe, you find that you like it anyways. It's like how the VA in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is so bad, yet it has charm because of it. You have your angsty ninja, somewhat tsundere summoner girl, pretty/feminine white mage who also happens to be the main protag's girlfriend...again, they aren't exactly unique, but they are lovable.
The previously mentioned augment system was introduced with this version. How it works is that at certain points in the game, places or people will have abilities that you can receive from them and put on other party members. Once you use an augment on a party member, there's no taking it back unless you reset. You may take it out of their command menu so that it doesn't show up in battle, but you cannot assign that ability to another party member, unless you get another copy of said augment and use it on them. Now, previously unique abilities like Yang's Focus can be applied to someone like Kain or Cecil. While this is a good thing, it has some major drawbacks. You can miss certain augments. Also, if you forget to obtain some augments or don't find them before you beat the game once and go onto your New Game Plus, you're forever screwed out of that copy of that augment. So basically, if you want a true 100% run, you'll likely need to hit up GameFAQs or another site that hosts guides.
All in all, do not pass this up if you're a JRPG fan and want to enjoy the best version of a classic. While it's not flawless, it's easily one of the best RPGs ever, up there with Final Fantasy 6 and 7, Chrono Trigger, and Kingdom Hearts.