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Final Fantasy IV = II

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Final Fantasy IV = II

Post  Bad Wolf on Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:12 pm

In 1990 Final Fantasy IV was released to great critical praise in Japan. It became the second Final Fantasy title to come to America and was called Final Fantasy II, to keep with the continuity of not releasing II or III in America. It was the first majorly successful RPG in America, and opened the door for Final fantasy and RPG's outside of Japan.
Final Fantasy IV had everything a great game, and RPG should have. It was the first in the genre to create a deep, involving plotline, something that would become a a successful trademark for the series. The characters were given solid story, and conflicts to act out, thus creating a ritcher, more engrossing game.

Though the full capasity of the SNES had not been realized with IV, there was certainly new ground broken in terms of graphics, sound, and overall gameplay. The graphics for IV were extrordinary for their time. There was a brilliant world the story unfolds in. The towns, though they are similar in color, were large, and well detailed. the character sprites were done in good size, with a great deal of detail added. Even the battlefields were given drawn backdrops, thus elliminating the "black void" battles.

The score was some of the best music to come from the series, and maybe even gaming all together. There are 40 some themes in IV, and every one of them were a work of art. From the opening airship theme, to the harp solo Edward plays... each is fit perfectly into the story. The only downfall is the midi recording is a bit outdated. Still it is a great soundtrack, and has sponned several compilation cds.
The story, as said before, was a deep involving game for its time. The story line was engrossing, and very solid. By todays standards it is a bit weak, but at the time of release, there was no comparison. The sad thing with the original release, was the American translation was severly butchered. The entire storyline of the game was very poorly translated, thus giving us only a taste of the real story.
This is also the first title in the series to use the ATB (Active Time Battle System). This was a well done system for the time, that was greatly used in several future titles, as well as other games in the world.

Today Final Fantasy IV is considered one of the greatest games, and a bentchmark in the series. The original is something of a rarety, and has been sold new on places like Ebay for no less than $2-300.00 (the original cost in 94 was $75.00). It is what opened the doors of RPG as a legitimate gaming genre. When speaking of Final Fantasy greats, Final Fantasy IV is certainly in the top brackets of that list.
In 2000, Final fantasy IV was released along side another legendary RPG Chrono Trigger, in the Final Fantasy Chronicles collection for the PS1. The game was set in the original hard type version, and much of the poorly translated story was re-translated, giving it a whole new feel for American gamers.
The game was kept basically the same, as far as graphics, and sound. The major changes were in the names of spells, and such that were changed originaly due to cencorships of the time. Things like the White was re-named to it's original name "Holy", like in the Japanese release. The items, and commands that were missing in the American release, such as Rosa's Pray, and Cecil's Dark command were also returned. The CGI clips that came with Final Fantasy Anthology (1999) were present in IV's remake, but they were very, very poor in quality. Still, it was a delight to fans everywhere to be able to get there hands on this great title. And with the SNES version, Americans were able to play both types for the first time.

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