Final Fantasy IV
The Final Fantasy series is one of the longest running game franchises and also, unsurprisingly, one of the most popular. Final Fantasy IV was always one of my personal favorites with one of the best stories of the series. It’s been re-released a number of times starting life on the Super Nintendo, later to be released on Playstation and then given graphical makeover for the Nintendo DS and now, brought back again for iOS with new visual enhancements and for the first time, voice acting.
Final Fantasy addicts like myself will already be familiar with the gameplay, it’s a tried and tested formula that has stood the test of time and been the template for countless RPG’s since, for those unfamiliar, it’s a story driven RPG adventure with a turn-based battle system. When it’s your turn, select an action and then wait for your next turn… simple, battles occur randomly as you walk around in dungeons or on the world map broken up by the occasional boss fight at key story locations. There’s also an auto attack mode to save time in random battles, however you will need to take direct control in harder fights and as the story progresses you encounter more powerful enemies but your party gains in strength as well and gain new abilities as they do.
The controls took me a while to get a hold of, not because they’re difficult, just because I have never played Final Fantasy on a touch screen before, I had to learn to control things all over again. Movement is straight forward, using a virtual joystick, it’s not ideal but it gets the job done and it’s not fixed in place so you can use any point on the screen. The menu can be a little tricky to get used to but if you’ve played any Final Fantasy game before, you should have no trouble finding what you need.
This version of Final Fantasy IV has had a huge graphical upgrade, everything from the world map to the characters has been reworked. If you’ve ever seen the original game, it’s almost unrecognizable, Square Enix have done an amazing job bringing this title into the modern era without changing the core of the game, perhaps my favorite addition are the short video story sequences which are able to convey emotions like the original title never could. Major events are voice acted, and acted well, you can tell they’ve really put some time and effort in here to get it right. All the sound effects and music are taken directly from the original title, for old gamers, this is a nice nostalgic touch but it may be a little dated for new gamers.
This is a pretty costly app and that could deter many from purchasing however it’s a one time cost, there are no in app purchases and this is the full game so there are no additional contents. As far as content goes, there’s at least 40 hours of solid gameplay, making this great value for money. I haven’t encountered any bugs but this game is a battery killer, you’ll chew some serious juice, I ran my battery flat a few times, but was relieved to discover that by tapping continue at the main menu, you can start off where you left off, so no progress was lost.
It’s nice to see an old classic get a makeover like this, the visuals alone make it feel like a new game and most importantly, the core gameplay has not been altered. I have played Final Fantasy IV on three different platforms but I still had a great time playing again and reliving the story, the characters are all well written and easy to identify with and the plot is one of the best in the series. This is easily worth 5 stars but I think it’s a little on the pricey side. Very highly recommended.
Final Fantasy IV Achievements