Final Fantasy IV
Game Boy Advance
Reviewed: 06/20/2006


Just about everyone in the “old guard” of RPG players knows what Final Fantasy IV is about, though at the time they would have known it as Final Fantasy II for the Super Nintendo. For many it was even their first RPG. This game is one of the major classics of the genre, with beloved lines like “You spoony bard!” that have ingrained themselves into the fan culture to the point that even in the third translation of the game that line remains the way it was over a decade ago.

The battle system is classic Final Fantasy at work, though this game enjoys being the only Final Fantasy to ever have a five member party. Every character has their set class and special abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. In past versions of the game, however, there was no option of choosing the party members–the story dictated the characters in play. This new version allows the player to actually select from the entire pool of characters at a certain point in the game.

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Nothing like your girl showing up in the middle of a fight to subtract any intimidation you might have had over your enemy….

With these characters come new weapons for them to wield, since the best weapons in the main game were always reserved for the traditional final five party members. A new dungeon was made to house these weapons and act as an area to level up those in the party that have been neglected during the main story.

The Game Boy Advance remake of Final Fantasy IV sports the best graphics of any of its various incarnations. Both backgrounds and character portraits have received upgrades in color, and environments seem more smoothed out. The font, however, is much too small in places and can be hard to read. The dialogue boxes were mostly all right, but the menus could be a bit of a challenge.

When dealing with a game this old, the story usually doesn’t stack up in the present, but in this case we have a game with awesome characters and a well-told, if at times clichéd, story. All the characters are inbued with personality and have a part to play in a story of epic scale.

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Famous scenes like this one, now portable

The musical score of Final Fantasy IV has often been praised as one of Uematsu’s best. Though most are a little on the short side, they are very memorable and stay in the mind long after the game is complete. Even with the Game Boy Advance hardware, the music shines through very well.

There aren’t many other RPGs out on portables today that are worth your time more than this one. Old fans who want to experience the game fresh with new improvements and features must have this game. Likewise, those who’ve never experienced the game owe it to themselves to see what all the fuss is about, and this is as good a way to do so as any.

-Orie House

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Great
Story Great
Graphics Great
Sound/Music Excellent
Replay Value Very Good
The Verdict: 8