Nintendo DS Review: Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy IV gets remade for the DS, how does it hold up?

Four elemental Crystals, each possessing awesome power, lie scattered throughout the realm. Yet men are quick to covet things which offer strength, and easily corrupted by the might which they possess…

Seduced by the promised power of the Crystals, the kingdom of Baron begins a campaign of violence and intimidation, hoping to seize them from peaceful neighbouring realms. The dark knight Cecil – Lord Captain of Baron’s elite force, the Red Wings – is ordered by his king to obtain the Crystals, but soon begins to question the monarch’s motives. Stricken with grief at his own actions, yet burdened by his loyalty to his country and his personal sense of honour, Cecil at last decides to turn from the path of darkness and destruction.

Enraged, the king accuses him of disloyalty, strips Cecil of his command, and sends him off to slay a mysterious beast that lurks in the nearby Valley of Mist. Cecil then embarks upon a fateful journey that will bring trials, betrayals, friendship, loss and self-discovery. Can Cecil open his eyes and become the man of honour that he must be?

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.

The game that broke the RPG mould with its innovative Active Time Battle (ATB) system has gained a host of new features whilst losing none of its original charm. The gameplay advances made possible by the DS hardware make for a deeper and richer experience, perfectly complementing this timeless tale of heroism, betrayal, redemption, love and magic.

Final Fantasy IV for Nintendo DS Features:

  • One of the best-loved Final Fantasy games ever made returns with a full remake for Nintendo DS.
  • A classic tale of heroes, betrayal, redemption, love and magic awaits.
  • Beautiful 3D graphics and reworked audio immerse you in the world of FINAL FANTASY IV like never before.
  • Completely overhauled gameplay with a wealth of additions including Touch Screen control, enhanced Dual Screen usage, reworked boss battles, a dungeon mapping system and the capacity for characters to learn abilities from their friends.
  • Fully-voiced cut-scenes with high-quality 3D characters push the hardware to its limits, setting a new standard in Nintendo DS storytelling.
  • Additional episodes let you explore the previously unseen lives of the main characters.
  • Event Theatre bonus mode lets you replay scenes from the story.
  • All-new mini-game lets you nurture your own summon monster and battle a friend via DS Wireless Play!

    For a series that was originally intended to be just one title, Final Fantasy has become one of the most famous videogames alongside the Legend of Zelda, Mario and Metal Gear Solid. I actually have very little experience with the series other than Final Fantasy VII plus its sequels Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core, I did also finish Final Fantasy VIII and recently reviewed FF Tactics 2 for the DS, so I have a good understanding of the series…so how does a remake of the classic Final Fantasy IV compare to today’s RPGs?

    Very well indeed, mostly because it becomes clear at the start that the original FF IV was already ahead of itself with its gameplay, RPGs now are struggling to meet the same level of quality as this. It’s a simpler game; it tries not to overcomplicate the gameplay and feels like a much needed addition to the DS library. The gameplay of the original is maintained but with some lovely visuals that push the DS to its limit.

    Remaking a classic 2D RPG into a 3D one is a double-edged sword, it either has the potential to be amazing or instantly forgettable. Final Fantasy IV is the first; it’s simply astonishing in its quality. It’s quite incredible to think that even now developers are pushing the DS further than we knew it could, sure it won’t compare to a next-gen RPG in terms of visuals…but for a DS game, it simply looks fantastic. The story is retold with updated character models and text improvements over the original, some scenes even offer voice-acting…but not all of them, which is a small shame but not only that hinders the game terribly.

    FF IV for the DS isn’t just a remake though, it offers new content such as local multiplayer, alas there’s no online play but it doesn’t matter too much. There are also new chapters to the game, telling parts of the story that have never been seen before, I never played the original so I can’t comment on what changes they are but it sounds like any FF fan’s dream.

    The Verdict

    Final Fantasy IV is remastered thanks to the DS; it gives gamers new things to see and do while preserving its classic gameplay. This is one Final Fantasy game that fans should not miss out on.