The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Since its initial SNES release as Final Fantasy II, this RPG has seen
re-releases on PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, and Wii’s Virtual Console
– plus a full 3D remake on DS. Even though I’ve played Final Fantasy IV
more than any other game in the series, I never get tired of it.
Whether you’re a longtime fan like me or a newcomer who can’t tell Kain
from Cecil, you can’t go wrong with Final Fantasy IV: The Complete
As the name implies, this compilation gathers
everything related to FF IV in a single package: the original game, the
sequel (called The After Years), and a brief interlude bridging the gap
between the two. Thankfully, you can access all three installments from
the main menu right away, so you don’t need to start at the beginning if
you’re already familiar with the base game.
Final Fantasy IV is
great by itself, so the addition of the extra content just seals the
deal. The After Years wasn’t received well as a downloadable episodic
game on Wii, since doling out the story piecemeal over several months
and charging gamers for each chapter isn’t a good way to keep them
interested. This collected format suits the plot much better; when
played as an uninterrupted adventure, After Years held my attention like
it couldn’t before. The graphical upgrades (which the base FF IV
shares) also make the experience better, forming a consistent visual
style across the entire saga.
Since FF IV and After Years are
already available in other forms, Interlude is the only new piece of the
puzzle. Unfortunately, it’s the biggest disappointment on the disc.
Calling it a full game is a stretch; the story took me less than four
hours to complete, and most of that time was spent in three dungeons
repeated from FF IV – identical layouts and everything! Even so, I’m
glad I played it, since the tale ties neatly into the events of After
If you’ve somehow managed to overlook Final Fantasy IV over
its numerous incarnations, this is the best way to get the whole
experience. Though not every facet is airtight, The Complete Collection
is an addictive mix of traditional RPG mechanics, character-focused
narrative, and pure nostalgia.
Email the author Joe Juba, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.