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About the product
- Witness the dramatic and thrilling story of this mythical game world brought to life through astounding 3D graphics, gorgeous CG cutscenes and top-notch voice acting
- Create a versatile party using the all-new Augment System - a dynamic system that allows the player to assign special abilities to characters
- Dive into the first RPG to incorporate the innovative Active Time Battle system, now further enhanced and refined for the Nintendo DS
- Navigate effortlessly through the game with Nintendo DS Touch Screen functionality and stylus-driven controls while receiving vital assistance via the dual-screen presentation
- Train and customize Whytkin by playing a variety of mini-games and challenge another player to head-to-head battle via local wireless connection
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The dark knight Cecil, stripped of his command of the Red Wings, set out for the distant Valley of Mist. Together with Kain, commander of the Dragoons, he would pursue a faceless quarry―and a chance for redemption. The advent of the airship had marked the realization of mankind's most ancient dream. But man is a creature seldom sated, and he was quick to dream anew. With the unparalleled might of the Red Wings, Baron's military soon reigned supreme. Why, then, does its king now seek the Crystals? And why have fearsome monsters suddenly begun to overrun the once calm land? If the Crystals know, they share no answers―only their pure and silent light.
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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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
The graphics are very nice. I liked the voice acting.
I played the original version many years ago. Known in the U.S. as final fantasy 2.Read more
That aside, its pretty similar (not visually though) plot wise.Read more