Final Fantasy IV Review (SNES Version)
Super Nintendo, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Wii, PSP
Super Nintendo (November 23, 1991)/ PlayStation (June 29, 2001)/ GBA (December 12, 2005)/ DS (July 22, 2008)/ Virtual Console (March 8, 2010)/ PSP (April 19, 2011)
T (Fantasy Violence)
The second Final Fantasy to come to the U.S is actually the fourth.
It’s a blast from the past back in the day when Final Fantasy games use to have a simple concept. I stumbled upon my Final Fantasy IV cartridge when I was looking for something to play and do you want to know something? I’ve never played this game once even though I had it for about 12 years. A shame really since I consider myself a fan of the Final Fantasy series. For my very first playthrough, I must say that I am thrilled to have finally played it.
As with most Final Fantasy titles, this one has nothing to do with any of the others that came before it. Instead, it tells a tale about the new hero, Cecil and his journey. At first, he may not seem like a hero because of his job title and who he serves. Cecil is a Dark Knight who is ordered by his corrupt king to retrieve all of the mystical crystals. However, Cecil senses that something is wrong and takes a stand against the king. This is where the hero’s story begins and through many twists and turns, you as the player must guide the dark knight through his redemption.
Now, if you are familiar with the Final Fantasy games in general, you should know how the game plays out. By walking from point A to B, players must navigate the environment to progress. As you travel between towns, you can stock up on items like Cures, Ether and so on. It would also be wise to equip weapons and armor to allow Cecil and his party to survive the vicious creatures they will encounter. Speaking of party members, up to five members can be in a party. The game dictates who is in the party through events and sadly, death. Each member has his/her own job title such as Black Mage or Ninja, so keep that in mind when organizing the group. What I found interesting about this particular game is that Cecil’s job title changes halfway through the game. I won’t give any spoilers away but just know that it is a very exciting change.
The combat system is where the meat lies in all Final Fantasy games and this one is no different. In order to fend off all waves of creatures and enemies, it would be wise to equip the best weapons and armor that you have. Also, placement of each member is crucial to the battle plan as well. For example, you wouldn’t place the White Mage on the front lines but rather in the back to avoid taking too much damage. You put the ones that can take the hits and deal them back up front, while your spellcasters and healers sit back to provide backup. All battles happen in real-time, so you have to be able to think quickly and formulate a plan especially against stronger foes.
As I said before, you won’t always have a full party to fight with so that is when you may have to change tactics. This isn’t a game where you can just mash the attack button and hope to succeed. Some fights it is possible to do that but other times, that’s just asking to be killed. Players will also have to watch out for status affecting attacks like poison or weak. If you allow yourself to get bogged down with too many aliments, that will just make the battles much harder. If you keep a straight head and fight smart then you shouldn’t ever have to worry too much. Oh, and I cannot stress this enough but each battle is important for experience points. Party members that are low in level will not be able to handle fights with stronger foes.
That would be the gist of how to play Final Fantasy IV and as long as you have patience, you should be just fine. However, just as much as I enjoyed my time with the game, I also noticed a few problems as well. Most obvious would be that time hasn’t been an ally here. It definitely show how much it aged over the years and only fans of the series or retro gamers will probably be interested. Other than some occasional glitching, two party members that were almost unbearable and poor English translation, the game is pretty solid.
- Complex, engaging story
- Amazing graphics for its time
- Great soundtrack worthy to be called Final Fantasy music
- Memorable characters
- Easy to learn yet complex battle system
- Bad English Translation
- Some Glitching
Seriously, if you consider yourself to be a fan of RPG’s or Final Fantasy, you don’t want to miss out on this one. There are so many consoles and handhelds that this game is available for, that it would be a shame if people don’t take advantage of this knowledge. The cheapest I’ve seen Final Fantasy IV (or Final Fantasy II as they call it) would be for the Wii’s Virtual Console at $8.00 or 800 Wii points. Hope you enjoy your classic RPG gaming.
Value Verdict: I recommend buying this at anytime. No need to wait for a price drop or anything of that nature.