Final Fantasy IV wasn’t my first RPG. Sure I played the original Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior on the NES back in the day, but it was at a friend’s house. And while I had fun playing those early RPGs over there, I never felt compelled to buy them myself. But then, early into the Super Nintendo’s life, I played Final Fantasy IV (called FF II back then). I was totally enthralled with the story, characters, and gameplay. So even though FFIV wasn’t my first RPG, it was certainly the first one that got me into RPGs in the 16-bit days. Now you can relive or discover that special game with Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection on PSP. It includes the original game, The After Years follow-up, improved graphics and sound, and more extra goodies than you can shake a Chocobo at!
FF4 is your typical RPG. Gather clues and items in towns, then explore an overworld and venture into caves and fortresses to fight monsters, gain experience, and move the story along. While the narrative may seem cheesy and cliché now, back then there really wasn’t another game like it in terms of storytelling. Play as Dark Knight Cecil, captain of the Red Wing airships, as you go on an adventure to gather powerful crystals sought after by evil forces. Along the way you’ll team up with a host of memorable characters, including monster summoner Rydia, mysterious Dragoon Kain, boisterous Cid, twin kid mages Palom and Porom, and many more.
While FF4 may have been remade more than any other Final Fantasy, this PSP version is the definitive one to get. It includes all the bonus dungeons and extras from the GBA game. The graphics and soundtrack have been enhanced, but still retain their original charm. Picky FF4 expert Cary Woodham (that’s me) approves. I especially like some of the smaller graphical effects: sunlight beams down on the desert town, while smoke billows up in the burning village of Mist.
The Complete Collection also included The After Years, a FF4 sequel of sorts that takes place about 20 years after the events of the original game. You’ll play as old favorites as well as new ones, like Ceodore, Rosa and Cecil’s son. The only way to play The After Years before was through WiiWare or Japanese cell phones, so it’s a nice addition here. It’s not near as good as the original game, but still fun for FF4 freaks. This collection even includes a totally new, separate story game that bridges the two together! Not only that, but the game includes trading cards and a code to download a special outfit for Cecil in the new Dissidia Final Fantasy fighting game! Wow!
So, yeah, this is definitely a great collection to get if you loved the first game and want to relive the fun. Or if you’ve never played it before, it’s a fun way to learn why RPGs back then were so neat in the first place. Highly recommended for FF4 freaks and old-school RPG fans.
In the comments section, let me know what YOUR favorite Final Fantasy games are. Mine are FF6, FF4, and FF9. I like ‘em old school.
Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Alcohol Reference, Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence, Language, and Suggestive Themes. Most of these descriptors are found in the text only, and the rest are pretty mild, considering the more simplistic graphics. I’d be OK with any kid playing this, but good reading skill is required for all the text. Older kid fans of games like Pokemon would probably really get into this.