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Final Fantasy IV (DS)

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10 Reviews

Genre: Role-playing / Release Date: 2008-09-05 / Published by Square Enix

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    10 Reviews
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      29.08.2010 10:46
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      The first real story based entry in the series gets a 3D makeover.

      The Final Fantasy series has proven itself to be on of the most durable Role Playing Game (RPG) franchises still running. From the birth of the genre on the Nintendo Entertainment System to this year's Final Fantasy XIII on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, Final Fantasy has always been there. It's fair to say that it is also the most successful RPG franchise; Final Fantasy VII on the Playstation is one of the best selling and most beloved games on the platform. For me however, Final Fantasy had its best years on the Super Nintendo. The three titles released for the system; IV, V and VI are easily the most original, intelligent and significant offerings Square produced and truly developed the style that later entries in the series would follow.

      Final Fantasy IV represents a significant step for the series, offering the gameplay the series had become famous for while including a storyline a lengthy and detailed as some novels. The sheer amount of dialogue contained in this game was remarkable for the time, it was one of the first titles to really push concepts of character motivation in games. While it is a little primitive, many of the characters in the game still represent archetypes, they're significantly more sophisticated than the cookie cutter heroes and villains that came before. The hero, Cecil, is a dark knight serving the King of Baron. While he is loyal, he his troubled by his king's recent, uncharacteristic behaviour. The story builds upon this and follows Cecil as he finds himself fallen from the king's favour for questioning his orders. He is stripped of rank and sent on a quest across the world, initially seeking to redeem himself and restore his honour, Cecil becomes embroiled in a dark conspiracy that challenges his loyalty and his convictions.

      It isn't Shakespeare by any means but it is compelling, characters are fleshed out even by today's standards and Cecil's plight moves the story along in a natural and believable way. The series also experiments with a few more ideas that would become part of the genre, despite maintaining the team of four characters as the series had established previously, Cecil is very much the central figure with secondary characters arriving later. This gives the game a single character feel, again focusing on very strong narrative. The secondary characters themselves feel like more than simple character classes while still representing a broad range of skills, we are connected to these people in a manner quite unlike other RPGs and so it seems far more evocative when they succeed or fail.

      It's not all new though, beneath the story and character elements Final Fantasy IV is built on the basic gameplay established in the first games. A giant world map is yours to explore, taking you from town to town in your adventure. Often you will find the paths between towns are rarely simple to navigate and some obstacle must be cleared or puzzle solved before you can move on. You will also find yourself regularly challenged by monsters, largely necessary for building up your characters. Combat is turned based and generally identical to most turn based combat systems, each character will choose an attack; normal or magical, then choose a target. Then your opponent takes his turn. This continues until either your party or the monster is defeated. Once the battle is over, your characters receive experience points, eventually levelling up and learning new skills and strengths. It's a pretty standard system, clearly devised during the days of more limited systems but effective enough.

      In many ways Final Fantasy IV is an ideal example of the genre. It takes the gameplay the series is famous for, presented without unnecessary complications, and uses it to tell a compelling story with some interesting and enjoyable characters. It lasts at least fifteen hours, working through the main story and in that time offers some great moments. While it doesn't offer a storyline as intricate as later offerings, it's sufficient and is a breath of fresh air after the pompous nonsense we've seen in recent years from games such as XIII and X.

      So, what's new about the DS remake specifically? Firstly, the entire game has been reconstructed around a 3D engine. Gone are the top down, big headed sprites. Instead we're presented with a very polished 3D game that looks excellent, really making the most of the DS' abilities. Characters are all distinct, reasonably expressive and well animated. The only drawback seems to be the environments, taken authentically from the old 2D backdrops, unfortunately they lack the texture and feel I would expect. The effect was somewhat akin to exploring a barren, cardboard world. Castles in particular are very grey and dull. However, given that this is a remake of a very stylised, simple looking game, I'm willing to forgive it. It certainly doesn't look unpleasant and I was generally very impressed at how it did look.

      The game also offers a little new in the way of sound, the music remains identical to the original SNES version. While it did feel a bit rough around the edges, a resampling would have been nice, it was quite a nostalgic feeling for me. I think I was most impressed to see that there are large sections of the game including voice acting. Due to the limitations of the Nintendo DS cartridge size, this is often left out. It was a nice inclusion and seemed very appropriate for a game that always placed such emphasis on characterisation.

      In terms of the control system, the game wisely keeps touch screen control subtle. The stylus can be used for menus and battles if you choose but the buttons can also be used. For those of us who have sunk far too many hours into Final Fantasy games, it's nice to just pick up and play in the manner we're accustomed to. Neither system is inferior however and has been implemented with care. Should you choose to use touch screen control to move your character, you will also have access to full 360 degree movement, a nice touch but not necessary if you'd rather stick to the D-Pad.

      Final Fantasy IV on the DS is an excellent remake. If you played the original and are looking to experience it again then I can recommend it highly; the story and gameplay is the same here and the updated graphics have not influenced that negatively. If you're a Final Fantasy fan that only joined the series recently, then it's also worth picking up. The SNES era titles are excellent and while this isn't quite as wonderful as Final Fantasy VI (but then, what is?) it is the best of the pre-PS1 era titles available at the moment. For general DS owners who might never have played a Final Fantasy title or RPG before, this is a good one to test the water with. The gameplay is easy to pick up and the story is a nice, accessible adventure. Hints of the darker elements that would dominate the later games are here but there's a still a nice Lord of the Rings feel to the world that make their last appearance here. It's also worth checking out for being one of the most technically accomplished DS titles, offering excellent graphics, detailed and heavily populated worlds and some of the most robust sound and video options on the system.
      It's worth noting though, this is still a remake. No matter how well it's done it still feels like the original and it's only fair to say that some elements have dated a little, it is also relatively difficult and does not hold the player's hand too much.

      If you're considering buying Final Fantasy IV for a child, a few considerations should be made. Firstly, this game is dependent on a degree of reading ability. If your child is reading Roald Dahl or Dick King Smith on their own, they'll probably be fine. In terms of difficulty, it requires a bit of puzzle solving skill and creativity to get through to the end, though I feel this is a good sort of game to grow up with. Another developer, Capcom, recently responded to the trend of making games easier for children by saying "we want to make games children aspire to be good at." It's a philosophy I think works and one that creates games ultimately more satisfying for everyone. Final Fantasy IV is one of those games, a child of twelve will probably work through to completion the first time; a child of seven will come back to it over and over for a while. In the end though, I think these are the games that we remember the most when we grow up. The ones that kept us coming back, that took us what seemed like forever to work through and how rewarding it felt when we finally reached the end.

      Finally, there is the question of suitability. This has been rated 12+ by the PEGI rating, frankly I don't understand why. The combat is as far from graphics as it gets, the turn based element keeps any concept of "violence" largely abstract. The storyline is one of wicked kings and noble nights, a few villainous wizards die alone the way; the kind of stories we all read as kids. I don't have children but if I did, there's nothing in this game I'd be concerned about them seeing.

      Final Fantasy IV on the DS is available from Amazon and eBay, expect to pay around £10 to £15. It will run in any DS or DSi console from any region. However, beware of sellers dealing in bootleg cartridges. Bootlegs will not play in DSi consoles which feature better copy protection, dodgy dealers will attempt to pass these off as "import" games and blame the compatibility issue on region locking. If you own any DS cartridge that will play in a DS or DS lite but not a DSi you have been sold a fake, I'm afraid.

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        07.04.2009 01:47

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        Excellent Remake. Best so far and I Recommend all FF lovers and RPG fans to purchase this.

        Oh boy, where to start with this one. Now I had never played this one all those many years ago, however I did play the port on playstation 1. This was good but it didn't keep me occupied enough to complete it. The very first time I seen a trailor for it being remade on DS I was like "wow!! I need this now!!". I waited several months for this to come out. I was so excited and it lived up to it's expectations. I don't know what to say about it, I mean it's perfect in every way, the graphics just work and look really great. The voiceover are the best voicerover on a Final Fantasy game that I have seen yet. Cevil and Kain are just great in it, they sound so dramtic when they speak their lines and it's really them two that made me buy this on DS. I remember playing the playstation version and I liked them 2 in it also. I won't say why as it may be a spoiler. On to the gameplay, now this I found very fun, and at some points very challenging. There is always things you will miss in this one, I missed a lot, but it's a good thing as when you complete it you can start a new game plus, and there is certain things you can only get this way (mainly abilities that you learn).

        I could go on and on forever but I won't. I have to mention how fun some of the side games are though, some of the side games I had more fun playing than some full DS games haha.

        Sqaure Enix really did a good job on this remake, well done to them!

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        24.02.2009 17:25
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        Definately worth buying but don't expect the earth!

        I have played many Final Fantasy Genre games, as an introduction to the series it falls down in some areas, some of these are due to console restrictions and some to the fact that the game itself a revamped version of the original. If you have never played a Final Fantasy game before and don't have the ability to play Final Fantasy X or XII on the PS2 then this game serves as a good hand-held introduction but no-where near as easily playable as the PS and PS2 games. The graphics are good with some brilliant cutscreen animation that really captures the spirit of the other games in this series and the Real-time battle system is good. However the ability learning system is difficult and it doesn't use much in the way of the DS's touchscreen feature, bar a few mini-games.

        If you are new to the Final Fantasy series, please enjoy the game, it is fantastic but don't judge the rest of the series on it's shortcomings. If you have played Final Fantasy Before then all of the things you love are here, collecting items, fights, puzzles, leveling, special abilities, summons and a fantastic story, and it is well worth the money but don't expect an all singing all dancing game because in the end its an old game given a good revamp.

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          17.02.2009 20:07

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          Great RPG.

          The name final fantasy is one of great expectations. The series has had many successes with interesting stories and intriguing characters. Final Fantasy IV (4) has been realised many times and playing the original and this (the latest one) I am really in love with the product. The characters have been remodelled as well as the rest of the game giving it great graphics within the DS standard.
          The story line contains many characters for you to control and fight with and the story is very much like a rollercoaster, never too sure of what may happen. The game also includes new adventures, a new custom summoning guardian for Rydia, whom you can train, plus more. Out of all the Final Fantasy games that are on the DS or Nintendo series (not including the later games on the PS consoles), this is the best by my standards. This is definitely recommended to a RPG fan.

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          03.02.2009 00:20
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          A good game that could have been even better!

          I'm a big fan of Final Fantasy games and have played quite a few over the years on various consoles. As I really enjoyed playing Final Fantasy III on Nintendo DS I decided to buy Final Fantasy IV as this game is said by reviewers to be the best thing since sliced bread! Anyone who's played Final Fantasy III will remember how the characters, spells, items and menu options were all easily controlled using the DS's stylus; this made the game very smooth and enjoyable to play. Unfortunately SQUARE ENIX have done away with FFIII's excellent stylus control system which means characters, spells, items and menu options are now controlled with the D-PAD which does take 3-4 days to get used too. Some parts of the game (such as puzzles) still use stylus though; so it isn't obsolete!

          The graphics in Final Fantasy IV are "IDENTICAL" to Final Fantasy III's which isn't a bad thing, although it would have been nice so see a slight graphical improvement so it doesn't feel like you are playing through Final Fantasy III again!!!

          Once you have mastered Final Fantasy IV's dated control stytem you will really start to enjoy the game, so I reccommend a purchase to all RPG fans......especially if you can buy it at half price like I did!!!

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            26.01.2009 14:03
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            Fantastic game

            Final Fantasy 4! Fantastic game for the Nintendo DS. This really is a must have for people that like role playing games and a game that everyone should purchase.

            This is the 4th time this game has been released now and I feel this is the best one of them all.

            Great 3D graphics compared to some of the other Final Fantasy games that have been released. I also couldn't believe how great it is that the cut scenes for the game are fully voiced which really draws you into the game and can keep you playing for hours.
            This game has a simple turn based battle system which is great and so easy to use for anyone.

            The only down side to this game would be the fact that sometimes you really don't know where you are supposed to be going so you can be wandering around alot searching but at the same time, this means lots of leveling up which is fab for when you actually find the boss fights.

            Overall a fantastic must have game!

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            24.01.2009 01:31
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            Great must have game for the DS

            Final Fantasy 4 on the Nintendo Ds. The 4Th (yes 4Th) re-realise of Final Fantasy 4 (1st on re-realised on the PlayStation 1, then the Nintendo GBA, then the PSP now the DS) and lets just say its 4Th time lucky.

            This is a fantastic RPG that is turned based (you hit then wait for your timer bar to fill to attack again). The battles are very well played out Square-Enix have gone all out to impress DS owners of this classic tale. The simple and easy battle set up works a treat on this mighty machine.

            The graphics are some of the best I've seen on the DS and the music is great and i cant forget the fact that there's voice talking in this release(SHOCK!) and there pretty good.
            One of the only downside i found with this game was there is sometimes no real clue where to go next you can spend 15mins talking to everyone until you find the right person to give you directions.

            There is the option of Wi-Fi play to train and fight a summon you get with your friends. Its good but a bit pointless I found there is much better summons to use in game...when i did use them which was a little bit of a let down.

            There are plenty of treasures to find and hidden areas to explore for the die hard adventurer which can be rewarding with great items.

            The story is a great one that i enjoyed you start at the end of getting a crystal and you are then given a mission to take a ring to a village which turns out to be a trick and the village is destroyed. After that you and your party start a adventure to stop the evil king who sent you and is taking all the elemental crystals. But of course in typical Square-Enix fashion things always spiral into a even bigger story.

            Now for the scores!

            Story-8/10 Great story a little confusing at times but still great.

            Graphics-9/10 Great graphics on the ds but i have a feeling the could have pushed the graphics a little harder.

            Music- 9.5/10 Fantastic music score.

            Game play- 8/10 Great game play if you don't get lost or forget where your going.

            Over all - 9/10 Fantastic game with a long life and lots to do. A must buy for the DS!

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            11.01.2009 02:16

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            One game for DS owners

            When Square Enix announced they were remaking Final Fantasy IV for the DS I didn't think much of it until I played it after receiving it as a present at Christmas. The ATB System is back and is well encorporated in to this game. You are able to play with 5 characters in battle.

            The graphics remain the same as earlier versions but a bit more advanced and there are cutscenes that play with voice overs and motion.

            Stylus control remains a minimum and are used mainly in Mini games such as personalising Whyt which is an Eidolon.

            A new feature to this game which has also been used in Final Fantasy X-2 is New Game +. This allows the player to start a new game with certain enhancements carried over from the previously completed game.

            The storyline is the same as the original version although some extras have been added to fit in with the updated system.

            This game has a great soundtrack aswell and overall is one game you should buy if you own a Nintendo DS.

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            25.11.2008 11:55
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            A truly epic game that should be crowned DS game of the year

            FINAL FANTASY IV
            Review
            MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

            Final Fantasy 4 on Nintendo DS is a remake of the game with the same name originally on the SNES. The game has been remade numerous times before, but this remake has broken the mould when it comes to handheld RPGs.

            You start off playing as Cecil, a dark knight in the service of the King of Baron, commanding the Red Wings, a powerful force of soldiers and dragoons. You are first treated to a cut scene using in game graphics and astonishingly good quality voice acting. There are many similar cut scenes in the game helping to involve the character more in the story.


            \-*-*-*-*-\ GRAPHICS /-*-*-*-*-/ ***** 5 stars


            The game features truly stunning graphics for a Nintendo DS game; this has been achieved through the use of an enhanced version of the game engine used to make Final Fantasy III on the DS previously. This engine allowed Square Enix to create a fully 3D world with 3D characters. All of the environments from the original have been greatly modified to enhance the experience.

            Another thing to mention in terms of graphics is Summoning. There is a playable character in the game known as Rydia who has the power to summon Eidolons to aid her in battle. Each Eidolon has a cut scene linked to their summoning. These scenes really do their best to show off the games graphics.

            The two screens have also been used to great effect. When in a dungeon or travelling across the world the bottom screen displays a map of the current area you are in. Maps start off blank but reveal areas as you access them. These maps aren't very detailed and aren't always completely accurate but they are very helpful throughout the game. The two screens are also used well during battle, with the action on the top screen and all the relevant statistics on the bottom screen.


            \-*-*-*-*-\ GAMEPLAY /-*-*-*-*-/ **** 4 stars


            The game has an enjoyable story. This may be the same story as it was 17 years ago but this review isn't about the original, it is written purely for the purpose of informing those who have never played Final Fantasy 4 about the game. I had a completion time of 52 hours for the game, and after completion you have the choice to start a new game +, this is basically the same game again but you get to keep all the augments you received the first time through. Augments are items that can teach new abilities to

            There are around sixteen different Eidolons to summon in the game, many of which are story based. Some however are obtained by chance when slaying certain enemies. There is also a new eidolon for the DS version known as Whyt, although this name can be changed early on in the game. This eidolon is unique due to the fact that it can be made stronger through playing some fun minigames. These games are unlocked as characters join you. The games range from tapping on oncoming goblins to slay them to making the number 10 out of four other numbers. The games are quite fun and work well. By getting higher scores you can improve Whyt's attributes in certain areas. He can eventually become a useful ally in battle when summoned. When you call him for aide he will replace Rydia in battle and use the abilities of other characters that you set for him. He acts on his own and so can be unreliable but you'll soon find him useful when starting a new game with the same Whyt data. You can also draw him a new face with the stylus by talking to Fat Chocobo. Costumes can also be unlocked by doing certain tasks like completing the bestiary or getting the highest score in a minigame, these costumes can help to customise Whyt even further. Once you feel Whyt has become strong enough you can fight a friend's eidolon over DS wireless communications. Doing this can improve Whyt's attributes further.

            There are many dungeons to traverse in the game. Many of these are unique and interesting. One dungeon has the conditions that each party member must not use metal equipment to prevent being magnetized to the walls. Each dungeon rewards the player for completing a floor's map by giving them useful items like potions that heal HP or Phoenix Downs that can revive a character when they lose all HP. This helps give the player something to achieve while travelling through the game's many dungeons.


            \-*-*-*-*-\ SOUND /-*-*-*-*-/ **** 4 stars

            The game features an amazing musical score. These tunes have been taken from the original and remade with a full orchestra. The games many tracks can also be replayed by visiting Fat Chocobo in the game. The different battle themes are good because they distinguish battles, for example, when fighting an average boss the boss theme will play but when facing off against a group of goblins the normal battle theme will play. There is also a special boss theme for very important bosses known as archfiends. This track helps to set the atmosphere of these battles.

            Final Fantasy 4 also features a wide array of sound effects such as the striking of swords during a battle or the casting of magic spells. There are also separate groups of sounds for different weapon types. These sounds help bring variety to the gameplay.

            The voice acted scenes have been done particularly well. The acting is believable and the quality is high. These cutscenes help bring life to the story through the use of sound and graphics and does it extremely well.


            \-*-*-*-*-\ GAME INFORMATION /-*-*-*-*-/

            The game has a completion time of between 40 and 50 hours for most and offers a solid adventure.
            There is also a new game plus after initial completion that allows the use of the augments you had in the previous play through.
            There are twelve different playable characters in the game each offering something unique to the team.

            MEDIA: 1024 megabit DS cartridge

            MODES: Single player, wireless multiplayer (2 players), WFC multiplayer (2 players)

            GENRE: RPG (Role playing game)

            DEVELOPER: Square , Matrix Software

            PUBLISHER: Square Enix

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              05.09.2008 13:18
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              Final Fantasy IV is imbued with an undeniable charm but it does not offer anything truly unique

              To a gamer familiar with the RPG (role playing game) genre, the words 'Final Fantasy' carry a certain level of prestige, representing a franchise of games that have always performed consistently and have managed to win hearts of many a gamer. The company behind the series, Square Enix, has exploited this popularity greatly by marketing a seamlessly endless number of spin-offs under the Final Fantasy brand name. Since the 20th anniversary of the FF series, Square Enix vowed to bring some the older, unsung classics of the series to the portable gaming market. Final Fantasy I and II were soon released on the PSP and were declared a disappointment by the critics of the gaming world. Final Fantasy III for the DS quickly followed and enjoyed moderate success.

              Now fifteen years after it was first unleashed upon unsuspecting gamers, Square Enix has brought the first Final Fantasy to enjoy widespread fame and commercial success, Final Fantasy IV, to the DS. And while the classic is revived in true 3D splendour with subtle touches of voice acting and a revamped battle system, it has begun to show its age.

              Story and setting

              Cecil is a man with a dilemma. Though bound by his duty as the lord captain of the Red Wings of Baron to serve his king and country, his conscience is heavy with the sins that he is committing in their name. The loving and caring king who took Cecil in as a child and taught him the ways of the dark sword has become a sinister and greedy tyrant who covets the sacred crystals of the world for reasons unknown. Upon returning from a mission to Baron's friendly neighbour Mysidia, in which Cecil and his men were forced to steal one of the crystals like common thugs, he finally dares to question his king's motives. For his insubordination, Cecil is stripped of his rank and sent on an errand north to the village of Mist, where his destiny is revealed to him and his journey of atonement begins. On his journey, Cecil is joined by an unforgettable cast of characters, each with their own story and motives to foil the evil plans of the King of Baron and bring peace to the world. Yet all is not what it seems in this epic journey of love, betrayal, friendship and redemption.

              Final Fantasy IV (FFIV) represents one of the most ambitious stories of its time and currently one of the deepest and most entertaining one to be found on the DS. The strengths of the characters, their weaknesses, their secrets, sorrows, and overlapping ambitions which pit them against one another makes them some of the most memorable characters to be found in an RPG. Cecil's human feelings, his heavy conscience, his love for Rosa brings the game to life in the player's hands. FFIV also has the power to stir the player's feelings as we realise the difficult choices faced by the characters. For instance, it is impossible not to feel sorry for Kain who has to fight his best friend, Cecil, out of loyalty to his King and his envious nature.

              The only problem is that if you've played any modern RPG or Final Fantasy game, it is likely that it follows the same line as this game but does everything better. The characters themselves, while very original, can feel a bit shallow as they join and leave your party of characters at random and their absence is sometimes completely ignored. Some of the plot twists are actually quite predictable. It is easy to see that the King of Baron is actually under someone else's control. The larger than life villain of the series, Golbez, seems unrealistic. The game 'feels' old. It consist of a simple straight forward quest (for the most part) which may not be up to everyone's taste. In addition to all this, the story moves very slowly and can sometimes cause boredom attacks.

              For those that have played the many reincarnations of Final Fantasy IV on the Playstation and Gameboy Advance, this game will not add anything new to the plot.

              Graphics and visual presentation

              The game has been rendered using the same 3D engine first seen in the Final Fantasy III remake, and that is by no means a criticism. The colours are crisp and clear, and the subtle shading effects look nice. The 3D engine runs smoothly and everything is rendered using a large and vibrant colour palette. There are no jagged edges, no glitches or slow downs experienced during the general gameplay.

              The beginning FMV (full motion video) is stunning, approaching the quality of a low-end PS2 game. The cutscenes in the game are also very impressive, with good shadow detail and bright colours, allowing the player to gauge the graphical capabilities of the DS.

              The animations and special effects have improved drastically since Final Fantasy III and all the pre-rendered graphics such as those that follow magic spells and monster summoning all unfold without problems.

              The characters are well drawn and detailed and everything fits together seamlessly.

              Sound

              The remixed musical score is not one of the best of the Final Fantasy franchise and not quite as memorable, but it still compliments the story well and provides a fitting backdrop to a good storyline. There are a number of themes and nearly every character and location in the game has its own theme which certainly adds variety.

              The voice acting is utilised quite a lot in this game. Many of the cutscenes in the game are in fact acted out by real voice actors, a first for a DS game. This really sets it apart from the other titles available on the DS. However, I thought that the overall quality of the voice acting was actually quite low. Cecil's voice, for example, doesn't really fit the charisma of such a character, and even if some voices are actually in touch with the character they were assigned to, others aren't that good.

              Gameplay

              Each of the characters that make up your party have a set class that they grow more powerful in as they gain levels. Each class has its own unique abilities, such as the dark knight's darkness, which casts a self-buff that doubles damage for a few turns at the price of the wielder's own HP, or the sage's recall, which randomly casts an otherwise unavailable high-level spell. Though class-specific abilities aren't anything new, in this DS remake you now have the power to customize your characters by giving them additional abilities called augments. Augments can be found throughout the world, given to you by leaving party members, or even stolen from certain enemies, and they can do everything from passively increasing stats such as HP and MP to granting class-specific abilities like darkness or recall to normally nonqualifying characters. If you look hard enough, you may even be able to learn the abilities of the elemental archfiends, such as Cagnazzo's tsunami attack. Another interesting addition is the unique new monster named Whyt that can be summoned whenever you please. It can be completely customized by conversing with Fat Chocobo, a bird-like creature found only in certain areas. You change it's appearance, draw its features and choose the abilities it uses within the game.

              The levelling up of characters takes a lot of your time as is typical of old-fashioned RPGs. You level up when you are able to get a certain number of EXP (experience) points which are gained through fighting monsters in random encounters. This usually translates into seemingly endless fights which are usually all conducted in a similar manner. Boss fights, however, require the use of intelligence and often have to be pre-planned as you need to know exactly what to hit the enemy with or otherwise can end up in trouble. While combat can get repetitive, it is made interesting by the sheer number of skills and abilities available to your players and actually quite addictive.

              The level of difficult is punishing in some cases as you can expect to lose at least some of your characters to bosses during boss fights. The random encounters themselves can often be much tougher than they ought to be and ordinary monsters can easily pulverise your party. The other major flaw, especially for newer players, is that nothing is sign posted for you. You have to pay attention during cutscenes and other communiqué with the people of Final Fantasy IV as missing a key detail can prevent you from progressing in the game.

              The dual screen mechanism works well. The top screen is usually used to control your characters while the bottom screen displays the map of the area you are in. The use of the stylus is kept to a minimum.

              Lasting appeal

              The main quest is quite long and you should easily manage to squeeze about 20 hours out of the main story. There are a number of side quests within the game which can be completed if and when you want to do them. Their completion is rewarded with gaining a new summon, more experience points and powerful in-game items.

              After completing the game, you will have another new option called 'New Game +' which adds certain interesting features to your game, allowing you to keep certain key items, complete any side quests you missed out on and retain your prizes from the quests that you managed to complete.

              A wireless multiplayer mode allows you to battle between your customised version of Whyt and other people's Whyt which means that you can test how good Whyt really is. However, the lack of a online wifi mode lets the game down here.

              Conclusion

              All in all, FFIV is a game that will most likely be enjoyed only by those who've played the original version and hope to find some nostalgia in the remake. Fans of old-school RPGs will probably also dig into this one, but the simplistic plot and predictable twists might not appeal to all. This is a remake for hardcore fans, and people who want to enjoy an old classic. It was a really great game for the time, and it's still a great game, but simply does not really carry well into today's new generation of RPGs.

              To be honest, I had a lot more fun with the remake of Final Fantasy III, which even though not as good as FFIV technically, wasn't trying to disguise itself as modern game while it is in-fact quite a dated one. FFIV just ends up paling next to the modern RPGs sold for the same price. There is just nothing very memorable about the gameplay, and the only thing worth remembering will be story. It would have been different twenty years ago, but not in this day and age. If you want to play a good modern RPG on the DS that offers a more complicated, yet engaging and memorable plot with much more innovative and fun gameplay, try Square Enix's 'The World Ends with You', which remain unchallenged as the definitive RPG experience on the DS.

              I wish Square Enix will stop distracting us with these remakes and hurry up with the highly anticipated Final Fantasy XIII for the Xbox 360 and PS3. It looks like a very promising game and one that will take its place as one of the juggernauts of the RPG scene along with Final Fantasy VII, VIII, X and XII.

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            • Product Details

              FINAL FANTASY IV, one of the most highly rated games of all time, makes an impressive return on Nintendo DS. With improved 3D graphics, fully-voiced dramatic cut-scenes and an inspiring remixed score, there has never been a better time to lose yourself in this masterpiece of interactive storytelling.