Final Fantasy IV has been re-released many times, especially over the last few years. Originally released on SNES as Final Fantasy II, this title has graced the Wii Virtual Console, been ported to the PSOne, seen an enhanced port on GBA, and was even remade with polygons on the DS. But even if you played this game in other formats, it is hard not to acknowledge the appeal of having the entire FFIV experience in one place with one consistent look. And if you have never played FFIV before, this is the disc you have been waiting for.
FFIV is regarded as one of the best Final Fantasy titles of all time so this name alone would probably be enough to sell some UMDs. The kicker with this package is the inclusion of The After Years, previously released as episodic content on WiiWare, and the exclusive Interlude. The After Years takes place a couple decades after the conclusion of FFIV and focuses on the child of Cecil and Rosa. Although it is not new, players neglected this initial WiiWare release because each element of the story had to be purchased as separate DLC. Because not as many fans had the chance to experience this content, it is bound to be a main selling point for this disc.
The Interlude, which bridges the gap between FFVI and The After Years, only takes a couple hours to complete and is a linear experience that reuses the same environments from the main game. However, I am still glad I played it as it sets the stage nicely for The After Years.
One of the best thing about this disc is the ability to access all the content right from the first time the game is powered on. Being that I played through FFIV many times now, having immediate access to the Interlude and The After Years is a welcoming feature. But if you have not played FFIV before, do yourself a favor and play through this content in order. This will provide the most enjoyable way to experience this classic title.
This disc also contains music options and an extensive bestiary that will please any fan and even casual players. The CGI cutscenes are also a nice touch.
The game has received a complete graphical overhaul to support high def output in 16:9 ratio. Also, the same graphical presentation carries through all three chapters on this disc. The consistent look and feel works well, especially considering the game’s 16-bit roots. And the music is created with such high quality that not using headphones is a disservice to both you and your PSP.
Although this is the best way to experience FFIV, it is still an old-school RPG. With this said, it might not please certain gamers. Grinding, managing armor and items and fighting random battles are the main points of gameplay. Annoyingly, it is very possible to run into three random battles when only walking four steps, and bosses sometimes require plenty of trial and error before they can be defeated, which means restarting back at an earlier checkpoint. Again, this is a classic RPG so you should understand what you are getting into even before you play it.
There has never been a better time to jump on the FFIV bandwagon. The extras and lower price point more than justifies the content and quality in this collection. More added value is included with the purchase of the game as it ships with a download code for Dissidia 012: Duodecim (a new skin for Cecil) and character cards. Fans and newcomers should eat this one up.
Better Than: the original SNES version
Also Try: the DS 3D remake
Wait For It: a sequel to FFVI
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