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Final Fantasy IV Advance [GBA]







A huge step up for the Final Fantasy series!

9.5

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"

Summary

I'm here to review one of the greatest SNES / GBA games ever created (I beat it on my GBA, so I will be reviewing it in this section).
Basically, North American gamers saw this game as Final Fantasy II, meaning two of the original sequels from the Famicom Disk System never made it across seas. So it was a HUGE leap forward since the first game.

I don't really know how to explain the story, it's easy to understand, but I'll try and explain it simply. Cecil, a dark knight and commander of the Red Wings, he is stripped of his rank, and is forced to figure out what happened to the king. It all ends up being a journey to the moon, meeting new friends, and Cecil becomes a Paladin. After the last battle, you get an extra dungeon which makes things much harder. The final boss wasn't even THAT hard, and people say he is extremely difficult.

The gameplay is awesome. The battle system is really simple and easy to understand unlike these new games in the series. The battles can be overly excessive at times and frustrating, but it's all worth it in the long run. The game deploys a good difficulty setting, but it can be pretty tough at times.

Final Fantasy IV looked much better than it's predecessors at the time, and still looks amazing to this day. It's basically just a medieval setting style with 16-bit graphics.

The music is some of the best I've ever heard. The Theme of Love has been taught to Japanese school children as part of their curriculum, which is an amazing feat to achieve.

The lifetime in this game isn't too high, and isn't at all low. It will take you fifteen to twenty hours to plow through the main quest, and maybe a dozen more to complete everything else.

The replay value is average. I would love to replay this game someday, but sometimes things can be a little frustrating which drags you away from replaying it right away.

Overall, this is one of the best games on the Super Nintendo / Gameboy Advance. I like everything about it, although it isn't perfect. It definitely deserves a replay someday though. Looking back at this game makes you realize why you started playing video games in the first place.

Story: 8.3
Gameplay: 9.5
Graphics: 9.2
Sound: 10
Lifetime: 8.0
Replay Value: 7.1
Overall: 9.6





With all the original Japanese names and an extra dungeon, it still just seemed too easy.

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Solid"

Summary

I am the biggest fan of Final Fantasy IV that I have ever known. It all started when my dad and I used to rent the game over and over. I don't know why we didn't just buy it... maybe it was hard to find. I wasn't very good at first, and I didn't really understand all the undertones in the dialogue since I was just 7 at the time, but I loved the game more than any other, and that love for Final Fantasy IV has stuck with me for nearly two decades now.

The music is slightly off compared to the original soundtrack, but I feel that some of that may be coming from the under-powered speakers of a GBA rather than a fault on the game itself. The extra dungeon is fun, and the ability to switch out party members adds an extra challenge to the game, as to access the secondary characters challenges in the new dungeon, you have to kill the boss of the game with them in your party.

All of the secondary characters (Yang, Cid, Palom, Porom, Edward) have new weapons and armor that they can make use of, so it's not like they are stuck with the under-powered equipment that they had on when they left your party in the first place. (Or DIDN'T have on if you were quick/smart enough to empty out their inventory before they left your party for some extra gold!)

There is still the Yang HP bug, where his hitpoints get stuck around 6000. I'm not sure why that bug was developed, but I suspect since Yang had more HP than other party members, it was a quick fix to keep him from getting over the 9999 HP limit due to a quicker HP growth, since they never expected anyone to level him up past 30 or 40 at most.

The game does have some issues that make it easier... your characters randomly get two attacks in a row, which can help out a lot in sticky situations, or just speed up the fights in general.

Overall, an excellent port of one of the best games known to man.




A great, portable version of an RPG classic.

9.5

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Amazing"

Summary

Final Fantasy IV Advance is a fun, excellent RPG. It's a port of the 1991 RPG classic for the SNES. It's a good starting point for anyone looking to get into the Final Fantasy series.

It tells the story of Cecil, Kain, and many others who try to stop Golbez from stealing many powerful crystals (a common theme in FF) and destroying the world. The story changes a lot and there are many spoilers so I won't get too far into it, but believe me, it's amazing. The graphics are still good ol' fashion 16-bit greatness, and the sound is still just as good. Nobuo Uematsu's compositions sound just as outstanding as it did 20 years ago, despite some limits from the GBA soundchip (like static). Controls are standard: A is confirm or select, B is going back, you use the control pad for everything, basic RPG stuff. It's addictive gameplay and leveling will keep you playing it and replaying it for days. The difficulty is decent, too. It's not like the DS version where it can be easy at points, then suddenly spike and seem impossible.

All I have to say is: if you haven't already played Final Fantasy IV, do it now, you're missing out. Try this version, the original, the PSP one, or maybe even the DS one if you want a challenge.




Honestly, it's the guideline for modern RPGs

9.5

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Amazing"

Summary

Well, I got this for Christmas and really it's one of the best RPGs ever,really I could go into it for a while but let me break it down, The story was and is amazing by today's standards, and the art style is classic but still charming and expressive. The combat is easy to begin with, but stick around and towards the end it becomes brutal and at times, unfair. But don't let this turn you off, just fight most of the random encounters and you'll be okay(I didn't, had to grind a lot) Many people will try to pin VII as the best in the series, but VII is overrated, and this gem of an RPG is almost forgotten today, and is sad at how little recognition it gets today, It practically invented the active battle time system and it's script was incredibly well translated for the JRPG SNES days, "You spoony bard" is a classic example of a translation mishap that actually was quite funny, So enjoy this masterpiece, it will be one to remember for a long, long time




Final Fantasy IV on the GBA is a nearly faithful port to it's SNES counterpart with several extras that make the game...

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Don't believe the hype"

Summary

Game Title: Final Fantasy IV Advance
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Fantasy Role Playing Game
Age Rating: 7+ PEGI
Release Date: NA December 12 2005, JP December 15 2005, AUS February 23 2006, EU June 2 2006
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Game Score: 7.5/10
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Summery:
Final Fantasy IV on the GBA is a nearly faithful port to it's SNES counterpart with several extras that make the game hold up well.
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Back in 1991 on the SNES Final Fantasy IV was originally known as Final Fantasy II in North America and the original SNES version never made it's way to Europe. Final Fantasy IV becomes ported to the Gameboy Advance and it contains extra content and a twinkled script from it's original counterpart.

Final Fantasy IV follows a Dark Knight named Cecil who he and his men return to their Castle in Baron after raiding a defenseless village with their Crystal. He questions his Majesty only to be striped of his rank and then is sent on another mission which results in demolishing a peaceful village. Cecil then leaves his home to embark on a quest to find out the answers to why his kingdom has become corrupted and but his Dark past behind him. Cecil becomes into contact with many of the games memorable characters such as the Dragoon Kain, his love interest Rosa, the lost summoner Rydia and many others which each of them come and go through Cecil's adventure. One of the many strong points with the story was about delivered it was back in 1991, showing many side twists and turns during scenes of drama, betrayal and heart breaking moments. Each character played their roles well even back then as well which made them most memorable including Cecil who was the most unique protagonist of it's time. The Script in the game has had an improvement over it's SNES counterpart which brings out more of the story, it does however retain the famous quirky lines like "You Spoony Bard" and "Lali Ho".

Final Fantasy IV takes the player around an over-world map where you fight a group of monsters, stop by at a friendly area to heal up, Buy Items and Equipment to keep you going or to watch sequences which most of the time gives you clues to your next objective. In each Dungeon you'll follow a simple to follow but along the way you'll find some treasure that's either out in the open or inside hidden passageways. Anyone who remembers playing through each area on either the SNES or the PlayStation port will feel familiar with the games terrain. Final Fantasy IV's got a great deal of pacing of each of these events and exclusive to the GBA release are extra dungeons for when you complete the main quest. These new areas called the Lunar Ruins and the Cave of Trials give you extra bosses to face off against and new rewards for accomplishing them. The game will take around 30 or 40 hours to complete the main quest and will take an extra 10 more hours to do the optional content. Most of the time however will be spent on either following the storyline or fighting the games encounters which still appear at an extreme frequency. It can still be a pain if you're going through the Dungeon only to make only 5 steps to jump into another within some moments of the game. Other and that problem Final Fantasy IV is still a well paced game that keep you thrilled.

Final Fantasy IV focuses on turn based combat using it's 1991 innovation called the Active Time Battle system. With this system your enemies don't wait, they carry on attacking till you input commands to your allies to either Attack, use an item or use a magic spell to either heal your allies and boost their stats temporally or to damage multiple enemies. If you find the default Active to be difficult in trying in inputting commands you'll have the option to set the battles to wait and set the speed down so that you can take the time you'll need to input commands. Each character has their own abilities that they can use in battle, Kain uses a powerful Jump attack which helps dodge magic attacks aimed at everyone, Yang does a mighty Karate Kick, a defense grid and a powered attack which does twice the amount of damage he can do, Rydia can summon monsters to the party's aid and Cid can use his study ability to see the enemies stats. This version retains some abilities that where removed from it's US release on the SNES like Cecil's Dark Wave attack which damages all but drains his Health and Rosa's Pray which heals the party by a tiny bit. Although you do spend most of the time in the game with the extremely frequent encounters but the battles remain to be as engaging as they were before along with it's challenging boss encounters. The game doesn't too much grinding to advance until much later on where the game gets a little harder.

Final Fantasy IV's production values retains much of the SNES details along with some tweaking towards Battle backgrounds, spell effects and character sprites. Each of the characters still look great as well as their portraits in the menu and during cut-scenes. The only minor issue with the presentation is the frame rate problem which occurs during battles and on the menu as sometimes you'll witness some lags in between selecting commands which becomes annoying if you accidentally select a command you didn't want. The soundtrack is excellent showing off the best moments of the game and it still is to this day with many show off impressive remixed versions of the original along with decently done sound effects.

Final Fantasy IV is indeed 15 years old but on the GBA it holds greatly well to any RPG fans all around. Final Fantasy IV on the GBA is a nearly faithful port to it's SNES counterpart with several extras that make the game hold up well. If you're at least looking for another worthwhile Role playing to play for a while on either your GBA or your DS then other then Tales of Phantasia this one is worthwhile for Old-School RPG Fans.
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The Pros:
1. Impressive storyline with memorable characters and plenty of twists.
2. Excellent music Tracks
3. An impressively lengthy quest that has plenty of extras

The Bads:
1. Mild Frame rate issues
2. Frequent Random Encounters
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Reviewed by: Anthony Hayball (BlaZer91)
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8.3

Superb
8.5