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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.
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on January 21, 2014
Oh how I miss the era of 90's games, where the JRPG was king. There were many gems during that time, but Final Fantasy IV will always have a special place in my heart. The definition of a JRPG classic, FFIV was a pioneer landmark that truly ushered in an age where video games could tell a complex story just as well as any movie or novel. While many Final Fantasies came after this one, most of which can be argued to be "greater"/better, FFIV's status as a classic cannot be denied, and I'm happy to say this remake of it is worthy of the original in every way.

First off, the original FFIV is a beloved entry in the series for a number of reasons. In many ways, it was the first of its kind in terms of storytelling in games. It has a rich world filled with likable, memorable characters with motives that make each easy to relate to and root for. The story is filled with events both exciting and poignant, many of which are truly unforgettable. The whole experience is saturated with charm and a tangible sense of adventure. The gameplay follows the traditional JRPG formula to great effect, with a wonderful balance in its RPG elements. Nobuo Uematsu's soundtrack for this game is legendary, giving the already exciting story even more grandeur and gravitas. The game is definitely one of the best entries to grace the Final Fantasy series, and I hold it in high esteem in my heart alongside FFVI, VII, and IX. It's a lovely game. That been said, when you get a chance to play a remake with so much effort put into it, and from the same core team that worked on the original so many years ago no less, you take it, and you thank yourself and the gaming gods you did. This is, without a doubt, my personal favorite version of FFIV.

Why is this my favorite version of Final Fantasy IV? After all, you can get the game in its original SNES form (including digital rerelease form for the VC and PSN), as well as ports for the PS1 and GBA, and an even more recent, arguably more retro remake in the form of FFIV: The Complete Collection for the PSP which contains both FFIV's sequel AND a brand new interquel. So again, you're probably wondering why this is my preferred version. Let me tell you...

- The script. The script in the original SNES release, when it was known as FF II in the US, is imfamously known to be terribly botched. The localization team back then had no idea what they were doing. For this DS remake, however, Square went all out and had Tom Slattery translate this new version's script (the stellar Chrono Trigger DS translation was his work as well). The result is a script that finally gives the timeless story of Cecil and his companion the grandeur, depth, and sophistication it has always deserved. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, thee vest best translation of Final Fantasy IV. It has a tremendous amount of depth and nuance to it, and this story has never been more enjoyable to take it. It also has a great deal of levity and humor to the mix as well, including the "YOU SPOONY BARD!" line lovingly preserved. It's a wonderful balance that makes the story so compelling and charming. Complimenting this script in certain places are excellent cutscenes with voice overs from voice actors renowned in the business for their skill and ability, and they hit it out of the park here. Almost every character benefits a lot by their voice actor and new script. Not only that, but some characters' stories have been expanded to include more depth and background, which is also very much welcomed. Knowing that the same core team as the original wrote these new parts makes the entire story in this game feel brand new again. This, in my opinion, is the most compelling reason to view this as the definitive version of FFIV.

- The engaging changes to the gameplay. In order to make this game appeal to veterans of the original game, the development team worked hard to give this game a much increased level of difficulty, and they definitely succeeded. This version is hard as nails in terms of its combat. Enemies hit a lot harder. Bosses are so difficult, you really need to learn the right strategy just to stand a chance at beating them. While some may chafe at the difficulty of this game, I personally thought it made it more engaging. You are required to be quick with your fingers and your mind as you enter battles, employing proper strategies to stay on top. I really enjoyed this myself. There's also a new "Augment" system in place that allows you to teach certain skills and abilities (ones that used to be limited to certain characters) to anybody of your choosing. This new system allows for even more strategy and planning, as you can combine abilities in ways that lead to devastatingly powerful characters. For instance, teaching Cover and Yang's Kick augment to Cecil allows him to retaliate after defending an ally from attack with a super powerful blow to, not just the enemy who attacked, but every enemy. Talk about a powerful combination! This augment system made what was already a fun JRPG into an even more engaging experience.

- The visual enhancements. This tends to be the most controversial aspect to the game that turns people away. No one will deny that the environments and enemies look fantastic. Battle screens look splendid, the overworld is charmingly colorful, the towns all have distinctive personalities, and the visuals shine even in close-up scenarios in the cutscenes. What people seem to have a problem with are the "chibified" models for the main characters, but I personally like them a lot. I don't understand why some think they're untrue to the originals. If you look up promotional art for the game from its release, they looked a lot like the characters do in this game, except now they're a lot more detailed. Heck, they look like the PSP version's do but in a 3-D world. I find they are given more emotional expression in this style. I don't get the hate. I think the visuals in this game are pretty gorgeous, and they really seem to push the DS beyond its capabilities. As far as I'm concerned the visuals are a win in this game.

- The audio enhancements. Like I said earlier, Nobuo Uematsu's soundtrack for this game is splendid, filled with a sweeping grandeur that still sounds great. For this remake, they remade the wonderful compositions with much more lush orchestration that befits such a moving score. Anyone who hears this game's version of Interlude, The Red Wings, the Overworld Theme, all of the battle music, etc. are in for a genuine treat. Wonderful job here! Like I said earlier, the voice acting in this game is another audio aspect that could have been disastrous but turned out great here.

Let me be clear, I am not bashing any other version of FFIV with this review. I love the PSP Complete Collection version of this game a lot myself, but with the aspects mentioned above, it is my personal opinion that this DS remake is, hands down, the best version of Final Fantasy IV available. The original was and still is a wonderful game to take in, with many timeless aspects, but with the DS remake, you get what was already a classic elevated to the level of a masterpiece. Square did great with this one. IF ONLY they would give Final Fantasy VI the same kind of treatment for the 3DS! So buy it, prepare for an amazing tale of redemption, friendship, and adventure, rediscover a landmark in video game history.
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on May 23, 2015
FF series just keeps getting better and better! FF4 might be an old game, but the DS version has crisp graphics, great voice acting, and even mouth movement during cuteness! It may seem like a small thing, but it helps you feel more immersed in the game. During cuteness, there are sound effects too, like Cecil's armor, and footsteps. These are big changes compared to FF 3. Combat has a wait system now, and there is even movement in the enemies! They are more detailed too. The music is great too. There are several memorable characters, and without spoiling anything, there are times when you feel emotionally tied to some of them too. All in all, one of my favorite early FF games.
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on November 13, 2016
I've played most of the Final Fantasy games, and this one is...well, an early final fantasy game. If you enjoy classic JRPG's, then this is another solid addition to your collection. It's a long game, and I remember thinking I was almost done when I was actually barely past the halfway point. It starts off with a good level of difficulty, but eventually reaches the monotony that tends to be typical of turn based/grindy games. The plot starts of strong and has some good moments, but gets a bit ridiculous. Still, it was a very fun game overall.
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on April 16, 2017
Surprisingly, I still like the original SUPER NES version better.

That aside, its pretty similar (not visually though) plot wise.

Maybe I just have less patience from when I was younger, but grinding for levels feels like it takes longer.
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Meaning, if this were not a remake of one of the greatest RPGs ever and just a DS RPG that had come out to stand on its own, this would be an overwhelming 5 star game. Granted, because it is a remake, it is tough to please all of the fans of the original.

As a fan since the very first Final Fantasy, I have enjoyed watching Square fumble around through the years, occasionally bringing American gamers sheer brilliance (FF6, FF7, Chrono Trigger, FFTactics) but often sending us garbage (FF8, FF Mystic Quest, Tobal...). Though the original Final Fantasy was very good, Final Fantasy IV (FF2 on the SNES release) was the game that set the bar just as Secret of Mana set the Action RPG bar.

I have some pros and cons with this version. But note that the original US release was slightly tweaked for American gamers who Square and Nintendo felt would be turned off by its difficulty. I made a note of the changes below. This is a true remake, not a re-release as the GBA and PS1 games were. For a long time fan of the series, I enjoyed the fresh look and feel of this game while it retained the old school charm from the original.

So on to the various versions:
Final Fantasy IV Japanese Super Famicon release (can be played via fan-translated ROMs): much higher encounter rate, exp gained slower, gold gained slower, several bosses were very difficult, Cecil had Darkness ability as Dark Knight, Rosa had Pray ability
Final Fantasy II US release: changed dialogue to be approved for 3 year olds (no mention of death, dead, dying) and included the phrase "you spoony bard", changed some item and spell names (White instead of Holy, Light Sword instead of Holy Sword), reduced encounter rate, lower level gain xp requirements, more powerful black magic damage, no Darkness ability for Cecil, Rosa had PRAY changed to AIM (Nintendo probably felt 'pray' would offend someone)
Final Fantasy IV PS1 release: made the changes back to the Japanese style, tougher bosses, slightly higher encounter rate, better dialogue, some FMV cut scenes, and the annoying battle command window glitch

Finally, Final Fantasy IV DS:
Pros: changed to a 3d graphics style (therefore it doesn't feel like playing through the exact same game as before), enhanced musical score, voice acting (kind of a pro and con), cool cut scenes add more drama, higher difficulty, lots of added content, better battle interface (two screen works well), ATB improved

Cons: the augment abilities (sorry, I felt that they added a bit too much power and I didn't use them - I preferred the higher difficulty), lengthy summon and special attack sequences in battle, mini map (sorry, I don't like them, I end up staring at it more than the actual screen!)

But these cons are minor. I still enjoyed the game immensely. I had hoped for a little more bonus content, maybe some extras for the end of the game (mini-games and such). The other thing that would have been nice: a playable version of the US FF2 complete with silly dialogue (I know you can play on a ROM, but it would have been nice, and wouldn't have taken that much memory, plus many younger players haven't played the original).

Overall: A worthy game for any RPG fan and a beautiful trip down memory lane for those of us who fell in love with the series years ago.
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on September 22, 2010
When I first played this game on Super Nintendo, it was called "Final Fantasy II". I have since played this game to death, but at the same time, it is still one of the best Final Fantasy games of all time. I love the story, the graphics and even the music. At one time, I read a review that stated that the music was dramatic, the plot was lacking, and the whole game is bad. I beg to differ. And now that the game has gotten a much needed makeover, the whole game is excellent.

Let's break this bad boy down.

Graphics:
8 out of 10

Finally! Its in 3D! Seriously though, the graphics do look awesome, and they didn't lose any of the original "feel" of the game. It is nice to see that they took the time to keep the original characters while they made an update to the graphics. All of the characters make nice trasitions to the 3D realm very well.

Sound:
9 out of 10

All of the tracks are now orchestrated,and they have beautiful sounds of fights and of the spells.

Gameplay:
8 out of 10

I would have preferred NOT to have both screens go blank during the Summons. That is SOOO annoying. Other than that, the game plays fine. The challenge is definitely there, and you don't have much in the way items, so you have to level up and get LOTS of Gil.

Overall:
9 out of 10

This game just plain rocks. If you are a fan of the original game, or you want to play it fresh, you can't go wrong with this game.
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on August 14, 2016
This game, along with Pokémon Sapphire, was a pinnacle of my childhood. I am overjoyed to see this classic remade with stunning graphics and amazing video cutscenes. Each time I play I get wonderful deja vu, whether it's seeing what happened to the twins as they sacrifice themselves to save us or simply flying around the underworld. The remake truly is a treat.
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on June 30, 2017
Received the product in a timely manner and in perfect condition. This game is very fun and worth the money. I played this on Playstation years ago and I love the DS version even more! It is mostly like the Playstation version only with several tweaks. If you are looking for a game to entertain you and this catches your eye, I would personally recommend it.
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on May 8, 2014
I've been a fan of the Final Fantasy series since the mid 90's... I remember playing Final Fantasy II (IV) on my Super Nintendo, and it was a great game overall. When I learned that Square released it on the Nintendo DS, I knew that I wanted to play the game again. What I didn't realize was that the game was given a 3D overhaul in terms of the graphical presentation, and I was pleasantly surprised as to how great Cecil and company looked in 3D.

I won't go too much into the story since you can simply find it online.

The music is great to listen to even after nearly two decades. The graphics are great.

I know there's also a Vita version of the game as well, but the characters are re-done, but done so with a 2D look, as opposed to the 3D presentation on the DS.

Overall, great game, I can't wait find the time to actually get past the first 10 minutes of the game... :\
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