Thanks to the advancements in technology (that I am both for and against), my cell phone has one of the greatest emulators of all time on it: Visual Boy Advance. After downloading this amazing program, I went on a ROM binge, downloading tons of ROMs, some of which I may honestly never get around to playing. One of the ROMs I downloaded was Final Fantasy IV.
Readers, I have this problem. I try not to do it, but for whatever reason, I can’t seem to stop. I tend to compare Final Fantasy games to VII (which is totally unfair) and most role-playing titles to Chrono Trigger (which is really unfair). Interestingly enough, this even applies to the 16-bit games that were released on the Super Nintendo (and ultimately re-released on the Game Boy Advance/Nintendo DS). I know it’s wrong, but I guess I spoiled myself.
Anyway, Final Fantasy IV tells the story of Cecil and a rag-tag band of heroes who try and stop an evil sorcerer named Golbez from destroying the world. Typical Final Fantasy plot. What makes IV interesting is that this installment is really what began laying the groundwork for the explosive Final Fantasy games of the late-90’s/early-2000’s. The biggest series contribution this installment gave the franchise was the “Active Time Battle” system, which would be used through the next five installments as well. FFIV also features a wide variety of characters, many of which fall victim to the troubles commencing in the story, giving Final Fantasy IV one of the highest body counts of any game in the series.
I’m not going to spoil anything about the game, so no more information regarding the plot or the characters will be published here, but I will say that the story is very engaging and definitely keeps you interested. It’s one of the best in the series, hands down, probably only paling in comparison to VII, X, and VIII, and being pretty much on-par with VI. The characters in the game are very intriguing and well-fleshed out, beginning the tradition of characters with different personalities, which itself is one of the best things about the Final Fantasy franchise as a whole. IV has an amazing mix of lightheartedness, action, romance, and comedy, and like certain installments that would follow, definitely has an almost cinematic (or dare I say, stage-like?) feel to it.
Overall, it’s definitely a classic for the franchise.