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Final Fantasy IV Advance

by Stan Ferguson - November 10, 2005, 10:53 am EST

One of the best Final Fantasies heads to the GBA with several new enhancements.

Widely considered to be the breakout Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy IV introduced players to a vast world with characters that had greater depth than in any RPG prior to its release. It was the first Final Fantasy for the SNES, and while the graphics looked fairly dated even for the time, the story sequences and incredible sound design more than made up for it.

Now it’s being released on the Game Boy Advance, preluding a series of releases including Final Fantasies V and VI. This is certainly welcome news to die-hard fans of the series, and Square-Enix isn’t skimping on the extras. Though, there is a certain bit of weirdness that desperately needs to be clarified (more on that later).

Final Fantasy IV’s story involves a Dark Knight named Cecil who ditches his kingdom after committing several atrocities in the king’s name. He begins a quest for redemption that leads him to discover his true destiny and a great horror that is threatening the entire world.

The game is the first in the series to introduce Active Time Battle, which injected a sense of urgency to each skirmish, as your party would be attacked regardless of whether or not you’d decided on your move. You couldn’t just dilly dally in the menus, you had to think fast and proceed. It’s pretty crude by today’s standards, but it still serves to keep the battles exciting.

As per all Final Fantasy games (save XI, which is online, and XII, which is promising to change this) all battles are random, and you go dungeon hopping throughout an overworld. This is the second game in the series to introduce summons (the first in the US) and there are plenty of secret sidequests to gain more. The amount of sidequests in this game in general should keep any RPG fan busy for weeks.

Of course, this being a re-release, Square-Enix isn’t content with simply giving fans a port of the game. Graphics and music will be enhanced, the storyline will be expanded, and the usual Bestiary will be included. But wait! There’s more! Included will be a 50 level dungeon to show off just how great you are, a training dungeon to help you learn to become great, and a soundtrack player to listen to Final Fantasy IV’s excellent score.

Now here comes the weird bit. From recent information, there are two bits that don’t quite make sense, but could be simply phenomenal given the context of the game. According to this information you may, “Experience never-before-seen story sequences as party members are switched.” If you’re familiar with Final Fantasy IV’s plot, then you know that your characters enter and leave your party as deemed by the story; so what this means for the story and the gameplay within the GBA version is uncertain.

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Genre RPG
Developer Tose

Worldwide Releases

na: Final Fantasy IV Advance
Release Dec 12, 2005
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: Final Fantasy IV
Release Dec 15, 2005
PublisherSquare Enix
RatingAll Ages
eu: Final Fantasy IV Advance
Release Jun 02, 2006
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