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DS Fanboy Review: Final Fantasy IV

It would be very difficult to not recommend Final Fantasy IV. Even though it's not the very best in the franchise, being second-best for Final Fantasy is often far better than any other comparable game, and this particular installment ranks pretty highly among the franchise's titles.. That also makes it hard to criticize a remake, as Matrix and Square Enix would have to take some pretty severe steps in the wrong direction to spoil the experience. That said, let's just get it out of the way: this is a great game.

That doesn't mean that this particular version is great -- it just means that the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV is built on an excellent foundation. But it's not exactly the game you remember, and if you didn't play it, it's also pretty far removed from many of the other RPGs on the system. The result is an odd hybrid of old school and new.

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Final Fantasy IV

Metareview: Final Fantasy IV

Square Enix's latest remake has been on the minds of gamers for a pretty long time now. With it finally releasing, many of you have likely wondered how it would compare to the original, let alone the previous remake, Final Fantasy III. Who else could be better to weigh in than the critics? So, without further delay, let's get to the reviews!
  • GamePro (95/100) says the game is still an epic experience: "Ultimately, Final Fantasy IV remains the same epic experience it was seventeen years ago, and the DS's improvements are a welcome treat for fans of the series and newcomers to the franchise alike. With an engrossing story, ambitious characters, and challenging yet rewarding gameplay, I can't help but recommend Final Fantasy IV as a worthwhile purchase, especially if you missed it the first time around. Even if you aren't a huge Final Fantasy fan, this is still one fantastic role-playing title worth checking out."
  • Gamespot (90/100) thinks the game is great, despite some minor issues with the voice work: "Although it has been rereleased several times throughout the years, this full remake of one of the most celebrated stories in video game history is in many ways more poignant and impressive than it was all those years ago, despite minor irks with the voice acting. With a cast of memorable characters and villains, a more accurate and authentic translation, a new skill-customization system, and a few important new story elements that help to better explain key plot points, this is the definitive version of Final Fantasy IV that everyone should experience."
  • IGN (87/100) is of the mind that FFIV is quite impressive: "It's a rush in the most traditional way, and it's an RPG that makes you feel for your characters, fight for every level, and strategize before battles in ways new role-playing games don't bother to do anymore. For fans, FFIV is an impressive resurrection to an awesome, pioneering RPG. For newcomers, you're about to get a lesson in "hardcore gaming 101," but if you put in the time, and put up with the difficulty, you'll have a chance to really "get" what Final Fantasy is all about."
  • 1UP (75/100) scored the game the lowest of this bunch: "It's not a bad little game -- it is, after all, an upgraded version of a 16-bit masterpiece -- but it's needlessly redundant for anyone who picked up FFIV Advance. Of course, die-hard Final Fantasy fans will want to test their mettle against the crazy-hard new difficulty level while checking out the new voices for old favorites: Cecil is appropriately wussy, Kain sounds as tough as you'd expect, and Golbez now sounds like Darth Vader instead of just looking like him. But everyone else might want to wait it out a few years for that inevitable, definitive next-gen remake. When it comes to Square Enix, what goes around comes around. And around. And around."

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

DS releases for the week of July 21st

It's a tough week. Not only are we coming off the excitement of E3, but we're faced with several great releases this week, too. Will you be shelling out for more than one game? At least in Australia, the choice this week is much, much simpler.
  • Final Fantasy IV
  • Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
  • Nancy Drew: The Mystery of the Clue Bender Society
  • New International Track & Field
Check out the rest of the major markets after the break.

Continue reading DS releases for the week of July 21st

Promotional Consideration: Circuit City savings with Cecil

This week's installment of Promotional Consideration comes with an excellent bonus -- a Circuit City deal for the Final Fantasy IV remake, which ships to stores next week. The electronics retailer is offering a $10 gift card with any purchase of the 3D RPG, on- and offline. Factor in free-shipping for orders totaling over $24, and this makes up for "the Square Enix tax," that extra $10 the publisher often adds to its DS games.

Now that we've done our part to sell the game to you, let's look at how Square Enix has been pushing Final Fantasy IV.


Final Fantasy IV

Continue reading Promotional Consideration: Circuit City savings with Cecil

E308: Final Fantasy IV speaks our language -- probably yours, also

If you've already played the SNES version of Final Fantasy IV and think you'll find the DS remake a breeze, then here's one way to make things tougher (which doesn't involve remixed bosses): try playing it in a different language.

Siliconera's Spencer Yip discovered that the North American version of Final Fantasy IV will ship next week with the French, German, Italian, and Spanish dialog from the European edition included. Accessing any of these is easy -- just change the language setting on the main DS menu. Perfect for anyone in the States who doesn't use English as a first language, or any non-English-speaking Europeans who want a cheap import!

Join us after the break, where we'll teach you how to say a popular and useful phrase in many languages!

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

Continue reading E308: Final Fantasy IV speaks our language -- probably yours, also

Comparing the old and the new: Final Fantasy IV

A comparison video between the original SNES game and new DS remake of Final Fantasy IV is available for your viewing pleasure above. As one might expect, the DS title dwarfs the SNES game graphically, showing us a much more alive game world and bringing the events to life in better fashion. But, hey, we're not knocking the SNES game. We're all for the retro around here.

With the release of Final Fantasy IV getting closer and closer, who's ready to ignore their responsibilities for a week to play through this one?

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

[Via Go Nintendo]

Square Enix fulfills your FFIV screenshot fantasy

With FFTA2 now shipped and out of its hands, Square Enix has turned its attention to building up the release of its next summer title, Final Fantasy IV. The publisher has fired out over two dozen new screenshots for the RPG, all of them in our gallery below!

For those of you who aren't sure what the 3D remake promises to add to the almost 17-year-old game, here's a quick recap: touchscreen controls, a dungeon-mapping system, additional episodes, a system with which characters can learn abilities from friends, fully voiced cutscenes, an Event Theatre mode for watching past cutscenes, and a minigame for raising your own summon monster. So, there's quite a lot of new stuff!

Look for Final Fantasy IV to ship out to stores on July 22.

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

More FFIV media than you can summon a stick at

It's okay if you weren't that into Final Fantasy III. As Final Fantasy games go, it's down near the bottom of the list for many people, and even though grinding-on-the-go can be easier than doing the same in your living room, FFIII required a lot of effort.

Final Fantasy IV, however, should totally be pinging your radar in a big way. It's got it all: drama, tension, great characters, epic battles, and it was the first of the triumvirate of awesome (FFIV, FFV, FFVI) that really put the franchise on the map, and next month's remake looks to be doing the classic ultimate justice. The payoff is so much bigger, and in this version, it's beautiful, too. Not convinced? Not only do we have more than forty brand new, English-language images for you in our gallery, we've got new videos hidden away after the break as well. So mount up, get comfortable, and start watching. Next month is going to be a fabulous time for RPG fans.

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

Continue reading More FFIV media than you can summon a stick at

Final Fantasy IV videos bring July a little closer

This summer promises to be both funtastic and packed with great Square Enix titles, and now you can have a little sampling, right from the comfort of your monitor! It's like that first big barbecue of the year, except without the greasy fingers and the flies. Or the food. There's no food here. We checked.

What we do have, however, are three videos, neatly lined up for you after the break. Dive right in and get your taste of Final Fantasy IV a month and a half early -- but don't forget your napkin.

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

Continue reading Final Fantasy IV videos bring July a little closer

FFIV announced for Europe, screenshots released

Making up for the three pitiful images it sent out when announcing Final Fantasy IV's stateside release, Square Enix has accompanied its FFIV announcement for Europe with twenty translated screenshots! The RPG remake doesn't have a firm date yet, unlike North America's July 22nd commitment, but the game should reach PAL territories this summer.

Those of you who've followed its development and release in Japan last December know that Final Fantasy IV DS includes a wide range of additions unavailable in the SNES, PlayStation, WonderSwan Color, or GBA versions -- 3D graphics, touchscreen controls, dungeon-mapping, fully-voiced cutscenes, an expanded storyline, an Event Theatre mode for replaying cutscenes, and a minigame for nurturing your own summon monster.

Hit the gallery below for an English preview of some of those new features!

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

[Via press release]

A tiny peek at Final Fantasy IV

Square Enix, we'd like to introduce you to our good friends at Atlus. When they announce a game, we get dozens of screenshots. Heck, when it comes to Atlus games, we get dozens of screenshots just because it's Tuesday or the sun is shining, and we like it. You guys formally date Final Fantasy IV, one of the most anticipated DS titles this year ... and we get three English screenshots, and one of 'em doesn't even have any English (see above).

And yet, in return, Square Enix will have all of our money this summer, and sometimes, they don't even bother making new games. It almost doesn't seem fair. While we consider making a few protest posters, you can check out the screens in the gallery below.

p.s. Beef aside, we love you anyway. Kisses!

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

[Via press release]

It's official: Final Fantasy IV on July 22

You can go ahead and just accept that the next few months of your life are likely to belong to Square Enix. Now that we have an official release date for Final Fantasy IV, we're looking at:
  • The World Ends With You this month
  • Space Invaders Extreme and Arkanoid DS in June
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 in June
  • Final Fantasy IV July 22
And that's just a sprinkling of what's to come. There's so much else to consider, from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days to Valkyrie Profile: The Accused One, and maybe even Itadaki Street. And to think, some people are convinced that third parties have a tough time on Nintendo systems. Not so with Square Enix on the DS, that's for sure.

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

[Via press release]

Final Fantasy IV coming in July

Did you miss the date for Final Fantasy IV in the last issue of Nintendo Power? We did, and so did many others; we were all too busy reading the incredible ten page spread on the game to look at the chart on page 18. Now RPGFan is also reporting that the game will ship this July, so it should be only a matter of time before Square Enix confirms the release. At this rate, we can expect Final Fantasy VI (also known as the one we're waiting for on the DS) in July of 2009. Can we get on that, guys? Not that we aren't excited about Final Fantasy IV (we are!), we're just ... uh ... looking ahead.

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

[Via Gemaga]

SecondSpin sale offers extra cheap prices for used games

Starting today until March 16th, preowned media retailer SecondSpin is offering customers free shipping and 20% off its used items. Unlike GameStop and Electronics Boutique, SecondSpin sells every game with the manual and box, so you won't have to worry about receiving an incomplete package. All you need to do to take advantage of the deal is use this coupon code: TWENTY314.

SecondSpin has too many available Nintendo DS and GBA titles (450+) for us to list, but we've put together a short tally of games that you might want to pick up.

Nintendo DS:
  • Custom Robo Arena - $13.79 $11.03
  • Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney: Justice for All - $12.99 $10.39
  • Scurge: Hive - $10.39 $8.39
  • Spectrobes - $14.99 $11.99
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass - $26.99 $21.59
  • True Swing Golf - $9.99 $7.99
GBA deals:
  • Final Fantasy IV Advance and V Advance - $14.99 $11.99
  • Gunstar Super Heroes - $7.99 $6.39
  • TMNT - $14.99 $11.99
If you don't see anything you're interested in, SecondSpin updates its inventory every day, so check back again tomorrow!

[Via CAG]

Another Week in Japan: Hardware and software numbers 2/11-2/17

The DS reclaimed second place for hardware, managing to inch past the PSP on this week's chart. A bunch of new releases helped the handheld's sales, as fifteen of the top thirty games last week were DS titles.

  • Wii: 78,583
  • Nintendo DS: 62,362
  • PSP: 59,645
  • PlayStation 3: 17,637
  • PlayStation 2: 11,266
  • Xbox 360: 2,198
The top contender for the dual-screened portable last week was the Japanese dating sim, Tokimeki Memorial: Girl's Side 2nd Season, which beat everything except Smash Bros. and Wii Fit. Meanwhile, After-School Boy and Doraemon Baseball were knocked out of the top thirty, but remained in the top fifty (along with Rune Factory 2). Overall, though, it was a great software week for the DS. If you want to see why, check out the numbers after the break.

Continue reading Another Week in Japan: Hardware and software numbers 2/11-2/17

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