Genre: Role Playing
Platform: Nintendo DS
This is a Nintendo DS remake of a classic game originally released way back in 1991. The Final Fantasy franchise is well known for its engrossing storylines and detailed character development. This game focuses on the character Cecil, who is burdened by his conscience as he carries out unspeakable acts in the name of his king. This king that Cecil once looked up to has become corrupt over the years and sends him away on a dangerous mission to the village of Mist. And so begins the epic story of Final Fantasy IV.
Turn-based role-playing games (where your character must take turns to act during battle sequences) aren’t really my thing. I prefer the faster pace of real-time gameplay, but the newly improved ATB (Active Time Battle) system has drastically altered the game mechanics so that you can input orders for your characters in real-time. This new system truly enhances the gameplay experience and the battle sequences feel more fluid and dynamic. However, one of the things that bugged me was manually inputting commands for the same action. Traversing through various areas on the map also felt a little sluggish at times.
The graphics engine is definitely worth a mention, as this part of the game has received a major overhaul from 2D to 3D graphics. The improvement is most apparent in the amount of detail in the characters and environments; colours are more vibrant and the characters appeared more animated.
FFIV has everything you want in an RPG: an engaging storyline, action sequences that will keep you on your toes, magic, monsters and highly believable characters. It’s fantastic to see such deep gameplay on the little Nintendo DS. I guess good things sometimes do come in small packages.