Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is an RPG compilation for the PSP developed and published by Square Enix which includes Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy: The After Years as well as a new game called Final Fantasy IV Interlude which takes place between the two.
Because the game is a compilation I plan on reviewing the first game as detailed as I possibly can without being over the top and then comparing it to the second game while also mentioning the prelude (which is honestly just an extra).
Seeing CGI opening movies for both games was pretty awesome although its the sort of thing that makes the games pixelised graphics sort of disappointing without even mentioning the fact that the PSP doesn’t actually run at a very high resolution kinda making the obvious work put into making it pointless
The music was definitely good though, like most remakes it comes with arranged versions of all the old tunes although it also includes the ability to use the original. There is even a Gallery mode which has a music player so you can listen to the soundtrack although you seemingly have to unlock the arranged soundtrack which is a little bit disappointing although does make sense. You also have illustrations to unlock and the CGI movies can be rewatched.
Despite what I said earlier I still like the graphics as someone that likes playing older games although there were a few graphical glitches that bugged me like when cecil and Baigan walk ON the castle doors
when going in to see the king. I liked how you could use L and R to switch between people in your party to walk around as even if its pointless.
As for how the story starts, its actually quite good especially since like most RPG’s you can learn little extra things if you take the time to talk to everyone. In fact the game seems to actively encourage it at points.
Before actually going on a journey and getting into battles I felt I should check out the menu, I was bugged at first at how it was set to triangle but luckily you can change it to start. Stats were easy to view, items and magic were easy to use and equipment was easy to view and change although its interesting to note you already have equipment.
The settings aren’t really simple though, as well as a few battle options there’s a lot of small things like whether you want the character art on and what music you want to use. The battle options were mostly just speed but you could also set it from Wait to Active which essentially makes the game harder and more realistic by having enemies potentially attack you while in the middle of picking an item (which is what I chose). There’s also a small Window Design option to change the color/pattern of the menu windows but I didn’t really like any of them.
Like a lot of old games the map seems a little bit empty and there doesn’t seem to be anywhere you can go at the beginning as if the game was using a false sense of openness. Not like that was a bad thing, going to high level areas early would be stupid and you seemingly get most of your information from townspeople. It was obvious that travelling would be made easier at some point considering you were travelling by air ship in the intro but at the same time there’s not really any point going anywhere except for your destination unless you plan on grinding in battles.
At least the game makes up for this with various locations, loads of cool looking enemies and a Bestiary that lets you look at their stats (as someone that used to play Pokémon a lot I definitely wanted to complete it). Each entry has not only the stats of each creature but also the weaknesses, resistances, possible treasures you can get and something called leech.
The battles at the very beginning of the game start off very boring although this is ultimately due to a plot point. The idea being that Cecil and Kain were both powerful figures and therefore killing enemies with ease made sense even if it devolved the game into mashing attack. The first boss gives a good idea of future battles though even if I solo’d it with Kain and strategy started getting more important immediately after thanks to Rydia. Rydia was a summoner so she could be both a useful support for Cecil or an overpowering force if you know the enemies weaknesses (which as I said are recorded in the Bestiary).
All characters from then on had their own strengths and weaknesses. Unexpectedly there were times when simply attacking with characters you think of as weak (physically) was actually the way to go. Edward is useful from the start since his attack can put enemies to sleep but I never expected a time when Rydia could do more physical damage than cecil (although thanks to a type weakness).
For now I’m currently enjoying the game, I believe I still have a way to go and therefore there’s much more to add to this post although I thought I’d post what I’ve written so far as I can already recommend it to people and I’m not really in the mood to let my blog die.