Ask any fan of the series and they tell you the same thing: Final Fantasy IV is awesome. Epically awesome. Thus, it seems only natural that Square Enix would want to remake one of its most popular Final Fantasy titles for the DS system, complete with updated graphics, gameplay and voiceovers.
Ask any fan of the series and they tell you the same thing: Final Fantasy IV is awesome. Epically awesome.
Thus, it seems only natural that Square Enix would want to remake one of its most popular Final Fantasy titles for the DS system, complete with updated graphics, gameplay and voiceovers.
The story in Final Fantasy IV DS centers around the dark knight Cecil, captain of the Red Wings army of Baron, who is deeply troubled by the cruel and vicious acts his once-compassionate king commands him and his squad to undertake.
Cecil’s search for redemption leads him into direct opposition with king and country, throwing him together with some unique allies.
Important storyline scenes have been redone into fully-voiced animation sequences that at times work powerfully to draw players into the storyline, subtly tugging at emotions in the unique style of Final Fantasy.
However, while the newly added voice acting adds a more cinematic feel and certainly does its job to enhance gameplay, it has a tendency to overindulge in the melodramatic tendencies of the Final Fantasy saga.
New 3-D versions of the character models are expressive and highly stylized, with bodies that taper down into comically tiny feet. Facial expressions are emotive and throughout the game characters will voice their inner monologues in thought bubbles above their heads, giving you insight to the character and, from time to time, a little prompting as to what you should be doing.
Game designers managed to make the updated characters more engaging versions of themselves through stance, expression, design and voice acting. Cecil is still just as emo and Rydia, the green-haired summoner, is even more adorable than she was in previous incarnations.
The dungeons have also received a well-done makeover. Fresh environments to slash and summon your way through are absolutely beautiful, pulling you further into your surroundings and utilizing the DS’s limited viewing space to maximum effect.
Character leveling has received an update as well, through the use of new abilities called augments. Augments have a wide range of uses, from general stat boosters to granting job-specific abilities to characters otherwise ineligible to use them. Augments are given throughout the game, in the course of story sequences, battles and good old-fashioned thievery.
Other additional features add the perfect final touches to this masterpiece for the DS. Rydia, for example, is given an entirely new Eidolon (referred to as “summons” in other Final Fantasy titles), named Whyt.
Whyt is fully customizable by players, from his appearance to his skill set. Further, players can pit each other’s unique Whyts against each other, Poke battle-style.
Even the ever-present rabbit/moogle thing, Namingway, gets a new role in the game. As you progress, Namingway appears from time to time with a new name for himself and a new quest for you to take on.
All in all, it’s hard to find fault with the remake. Final Fantasy IV DS is a great addition to the game libraries of newcomers and those who are returning to restore harmony to the world for the nth time.
Final Fantasy IV DSSquare Enix for the Nintendo DS$39.99****1/2