Final Fantasy IV is a Nintendo DS remake of Square-Enix's classic role-playing game (RPG), which was released in 1991 as Final Fantasy II for the 16-bit Super Nintendo. The remake, which is often referred to as Final Fantasy IV DS to differentiate it from the original game, utilizes fully-animated polygon character and enemy models instead of static 16-bit sprites.
Final Fantasy IV DS retains much of the original's story, as well as its character roster, medieval themes, and menu-based battle system. The reworked graphics and remixed soundtrack are big draws for RPG fans who are nostalgic for one of Square-Enix's most beloved titles. But the high difficulty and archaic battle system might scare off players who lack the patience for a long, often frustrating haul through an old-school RPG.
A Legendary Story
The events of Final Fantasy IV DS center around Cecil Harvey, a disgraced dark knight who is sent on a special mission to regain his honor. When the nature of the mission reveals the murderous intentions of the monarchy's once-peaceful king, Cecil abandons his post to uncover the source of the darkness that's corrupting the land. Along the way, he makes new friends who fight alongside him. He also endures treachery, discovers his heritage and redeems himself for his past atrocities. Final Fantasy IV's story is simple, but timeless because of its themes of good versus evil, and light versus dark. Final Fantasy IV DS adds voice acting to cut scenes, which breathes welcome life into the familiar tale.
Old Game, New Look
The graphics for Final Fantasy IV DS retain the spirit and retro charm of the old game, but still manage to look fresh and impressive. It's a treat to see the characters and enemies talk and move. The cast even emotes, displaying surprise, happiness and remorse in ways that were impossible on the Super Nintendo. The original soundtrack has been remixed as well, bringing a new twist to old favorites like the Red Wings' military anthem and the haunting theme for the mysterious Lunarian race.
Familiar Fights, But Different Too
If you've played Final Fantasy IV in the past, you can expect Final Fantasy IV DS to reunite you with hated enemies like the Dark Elf, the Demon Wall, and the villainous Golbez. While the enemy roster in Final Fantasy IV DS looks familiar, many of the baddies move in mysterious new ways. Don't expect old tricks to work anymore: enemies are wilier, faster, and seem to have a counterattack for everything you throw at them. Fortunately for players, the heroes have a few new tricks up their sleeves, too. The new “Augment System” allows previously exclusive skills to be transferred to any character in the party. For instance, Edward the bard can “Sing” to lull enemies to sleep or transform them; when story events push him out of the party, “Sing” can be taught to another party member. Additionally, other special skills, like Rosa's “Pray” (which restores hit points to the party) are more powerful and useful than they were in the original game.