Final Fantasy IV (2007 video game)

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Final Fantasy IV
FF4DS NTSC front.jpg
North American box art for Nintendo DS release
Developer(s) Matrix Software
Square Enix
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Director(s) Takashi Tokita
Producer(s) Tomoya Asano
Designer(s) Takashi Tokita
Hiroyuki Ito
Artist(s) Akira Oguro
Composer(s) Junya Nakano
Kenichiro Fukui
Series Final Fantasy
Platform(s) Nintendo DS, iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows
ReleaseDS
  • JP: December 20, 2007
  • NA: July 22, 2008
  • AU: September 4, 2008
  • EU: September 5, 2008
iOS
  • WW: December 20, 2012
Android
  • WW: June 4, 2013
Windows
  • WW: September 17, 2014
Genre(s) Role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Final Fantasy IV [lower-alpha 1] is a Nintendo DS role-playing video game and an enhanced remake of the 1991 SNES game, Final Fantasy IV , also known as Final Fantasy II in America for the SNES. It was released as part of the Final Fantasy series 20th anniversary celebrations on December 20, 2007 in Japan, on July 22, 2008 in North America, and on September 5, 2008 in Europe.

Nintendo DS Nintendo handheld game console

The Nintendo DS, or simply DS, is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and released by Nintendo. The device released globally across 2004 and 2005. The DS, short for "Developers' System" or "Dual Screen", introduced distinctive new features to handheld gaming: two LCD screens working in tandem, a built-in microphone, and support for wireless connectivity. Both screens are encompassed within a clamshell design similar to the Game Boy Advance SP. The Nintendo DS also features the ability for multiple DS consoles to directly interact with each other over Wi-Fi within a short range without the need to connect to an existing wireless network. Alternatively, they could interact online using the now-defunct Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. Its main competitor was Sony's PlayStation Portable during the seventh generation of video game consoles. It was likened to the Nintendo 64 from the 1990s, which led to several N64 ports such as Super Mario 64 DS and Diddy Kong Racing DS, among others.

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

Video game remake video game based on a game produced earlier

A video game remake is a video game closely adapted from an earlier title, usually for the purpose of modernizing a game for newer hardware and contemporary audiences. Typically, a remake of such game software shares essentially the same title, fundamental gameplay concepts, and core story elements of the original game.

Contents

The game was developed by Matrix Software, the same team responsible for the 3D Final Fantasy III remake, and was supervised by members of the original development team: Takashi Tokita served as executive producer and director, Tomoya Asano as producer, and Hiroyuki Ito as battle designer. Animator Yoshinori Kanada wrote the new cutscenes.

Matrix Software is a Japanese video game development company located in Tokyo. Founded in July 1994 by former members of Climax Entertainment and Telenet Japan, the company has since created games for a number of systems beginning with their action-adventure game title Alundra in April 1997. Matrix has teamed with other developers such as Square Enix and Chunsoft to produce games for existing franchises such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, as well as other anime and manga properties. In addition to game console development, Matrix Software has also made games for various Japanese mobile phone brands since 2001.

3D computer graphics graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data

3D computer graphics or three-dimensional computer graphics, are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images. Such images may be stored for viewing later or displayed in real-time.

Takashi Tokita is a Japanese video game developer working for Square Enix. He has worked there since 1985, and has worked as the lead designer for Final Fantasy IV as well as the director of Parasite Eve and Chrono Trigger.

The game was well received by critics and fans alike; it was praised for being sufficiently faithful to the original while expanding on many gameplay and story elements. [1] [2] [3]

In 2012, the game was released for iOS on the App Store, for Android in 2013 and for Microsoft Windows in 2014. [4]

iOS mobile operating system by Apple

iOS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that presently powers many of the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It is the second most popular mobile operating system globally after Android.

The App Store is a digital distribution platform, developed and maintained by Apple Inc., for mobile apps on its iOS operating system. The store allows users to browse and download apps developed with Apple's iOS software development kit. Apps can be downloaded on the iPhone smartphone, the iPod Touch handheld computer, or the iPad tablet computer, and some can be transferred to the Apple Watch smartwatch or 4th-generation or newer Apple TVs as extensions of iPhone apps.

Android (operating system) Free and open-source operating system for mobile devices, developed by Google

Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google. It is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software, and is designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In addition, Google has further developed Android TV for televisions, Android Auto for cars, and Wear OS for wrist watches, each with a specialized user interface. Variants of Android are also used on game consoles, digital cameras, PCs and other electronics.

Gameplay

Cecil walking through Kaipo Final Fantasy IV DS screen shot.JPG
Cecil walking through Kaipo

Final Fantasy IV retains the original Active Time Battle System from the initial Super Nintendo release. Similar to the previous remake of Final Fantasy III on the Nintendo DS, the control of stylus is limited and optional in order to retain the same control input while allowing other players to use the Nintendo DS's unique touch control scheme. However, the remake features a new ability system known as the "Augment System", or the "Decant Ability System"(デカントアビリティシステム,Dekanto Abiriti Shisutemu) in the Japanese version. The system allows for certain character-only abilities to be transferred to other characters who did not have them in the original and previous re-releases of Final Fantasy IV. Up to three abilities can be transferred to temporary party members. When leaving the party, temporary characters will yield abilities of their own, the number of which is dependent on how many abilities they were given. There are also other abilities; some scattered around the world, and some that become available after certain story events. This new system entails another new feature: command menu customization. All commands in a character's battle menu, except the "Items" command, can be replaced with augments. This includes individual abilities that are ordinarily contained in a group (e.g. "Curaga" can be added directly to Rosa's command list, rather than only being accessible through the White Magic sub-list). The Augment System was devised to replace the system in Final Fantasy IV Advance where the characters that were temporary in the original version became playable again at a certain point, as the developers felt that this system changed the game too much. [5]

Super Nintendo Entertainment System home video game console developed by Nintendo and first released in 1990 in Japan

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), also known as the Super NES or Super Nintendo, is a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo that was released in 1990 in Japan and South Korea, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe and Australasia (Oceania), and 1993 in South America. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom (SFC). In South Korea, it is known as the Super Comboy and was distributed by Hyundai Electronics. The system was released in Brazil on August 30, 1993, by Playtronic. Although each version is essentially the same, several forms of regional lockout prevent the different versions from being compatible with one another.

<i>Final Fantasy III</i> video game

Final Fantasy III is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the Family Computer. The third installment in the Final Fantasy series, it was released in 1990. It is the first numbered Final Fantasy game to feature the job-change system. The story revolves around four orphaned youths drawn to a crystal of light. The crystal grants them some of its power, and instructs them to go forth and restore balance to the world. Not knowing what to make of the crystal's pronouncements, but nonetheless recognizing the importance of its words, the four inform their adoptive families of their mission and set out to explore and bring back balance to the world.

Stylus a writing utensil

A stylus, plural styli or styluses, is a writing utensil or a small tool for some other form of marking or shaping, for example, in pottery. It can also be a computer accessory that is used to assist in navigating or providing more precision when using touchscreens. It usually refers to a narrow elongated staff, similar to a modern ballpoint pen. Many styluses are heavily curved to be held more easily. Another widely used writing tool is the stylus used by blind users in conjunction with the slate for punching out the dots in Braille.

Other exclusive enhancements to the DS version of the game include Minigames. Unlike the main game, minigames are stylus-control only. Their function is to increase the power of Rydia's personal Eidolon, Whyt(ポーチカ,Pōchika, Pochika in the Japanese version), who takes her place in the battle line-up, and acts under computer control according to abilities assigned to him by the player. The minigames can be played in either single-player or wireless (not online) multiplayer modes. The game also features a New Game Plus. [6] This allows players to start a new game with certain enhancements, such as rare or secret items and equipment, carried over from a previously completed game. Certain other new features are only available in a New Game Plus, such as hidden bosses on the face of the moon and the summit of Mt. Ordeals. Because of the voice-acted scenes, Namingway cannot change any character's name as he did in the original game. After realizing this, he travels the world, changing his own name to fit each occupation he takes up. Examples of his name changes include "Mappingway" (charting the maps on the lower screen), "Campingway", and "Weddingway". Following Namingway around the world and engaging in his sidequest yields numerous rewards. With the removal of the limit on items that the player can carry, Fat Chocobo no longer stores items, and instead can be called on in order to access the new bestiary and the video and music player, as well as the Whyt minigames.

Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection

Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was an online multiplayer gaming service run by Nintendo to provide free online play in compatible Nintendo DS and Wii games. The service included the company's Wii Shop Channel and DSi Shop game download services. It also ran features for the Wii and Nintendo DS systems.

A New Game Plus is an unlockable video game mode available in some video games that allows the player to start a new game after they finish it at least once, where certain features in NG+ not normally available in a first playthrough are added, and where certain aspects of the finished game affect the newly started game, such as keeping in the new game items or experience gained in the first playthrough. New Game Plus is also known as "replay mode", "remorting", "challenge mode", or "New Game Ex". The genre where they are most prevalent is role-playing games.

Plot

The original storyline of Final Fantasy IV is retained, and some of the previously missing script has been worked into the DS version in the form of flashbacks, including Golbez becoming Zemus's pawn and the childhoods of Cecil, Kain, and Rosa.

Development

Similar to Final Fantasy III for the DS, Final Fantasy IV features an opening full motion video sequence with an orchestrated theme song. Cecil.png
Similar to Final Fantasy III for the DS, Final Fantasy IV features an opening full motion video sequence with an orchestrated theme song.

The official developer blog (maintained by producer Tomoya Asano) has outlined several key features of the remake. As in the original, players can reform their party with whomever they choose as party leader. When the player enters the menu, the party leader will now appear on the bottom screen where the player can read their thoughts about what is happening in the story at that time (the development team suggests players check this feature often for humorous anecdotes). [7]

Other developer blog entries have focused on the art and programming of the game. According to the art director, Matrix tried to make each location of the game feel unique. For example, the desert kingdom of Damcyan has taken on a Middle-Eastern flair, Fabul has been given a Chinese feeling, and Eblan has been given the feeling of a Ninja residence, which was not possible in the Super Famicom edition due to limited data capacity. [8] The game displays more characters and enemies on screen during battle compared to Final Fantasy III, which required the modeling team to reduce the number of polygons per character. [9] The main programmer also suggests that the game is much larger than Final Fantasy III from a data standpoint, and compressing all the data to fit on a 1Gb ROM was difficult, largely due to the voice data. [9]

According to director Takashi Tokita, the scenario writer and lead game designer of the original release, three quarters of the original script had been left out of the original Super Famicom version. [6] [10] In a Q&A feature on the official Square Enix Members page, Tokita corrected this by saying that the original story script was never cut, but during the development of the original release, the game's text could not fit and had to be revised to a quarter of its intended size. [11]

Music

In June 2007, Square Enix held a casting for a vocalist to sing a rendition of Final Fantasy IV's "Theme of Love" composed by Nobuo Uematsu. [12] Megumi Ida was selected from approximately 800 applicants to perform the song [13] "Tsuki no Akari"(月の明り, literally "moonlight") The song was arranged by Kenichiro Fukui, with the lyrics penned by scenario writer Takashi Tokita. [14] It only appears in the Japanese release of the game, over the ending credits - international versions cut the song in its entirety and replace it with a music track from the game itself.

Reception

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings DS: 85% [15]
Metacritic DS: 85/100 [16]
iOS: 89/100 [17]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Famitsu 35 / 40 [18]
GamePro Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [19]
GameSpot 9 / 10 [20]
GameSpy Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [3]
GameTrailers 9.2 / 10 [21]
GameZone9 / 10 [22]
IGN 8.7 / 10 [2]
Nintendo World Report9.5 / 10 [23]
TouchArcade iOS: Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [24]

As of July 9, 2008, the game has sold 612,044 copies in Japan. [25] Worldwide it has sold 1.1 million copies. [26]

Final Fantasy IV was well received by critics. It was a nominee for Best RPG on the Nintendo DS in IGN's 2008 video game awards. [27]

See also

Notes

  1. Japanese:ファイナルファンタジーIV Hepburn:Fainaru Fantajī Fō ?

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