The Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV is worth playing through from beginning to end.

Initially released in 1991, Final Fantasy IV was a revolutionary entry into Square Enix's popular role-playing franchise. It introduced the Active Time Battle system-now a staple of the series-a darker, more complex story and one of the most critically acclaimed Final Fantasy soundtracks to date.

Even though 17 years have passed since the game first came out and even though there have been three separate ports already released, I'm happy to say that the Nintendo DS version of this classic RPG is still worth playing through from beginning to end.

Timeless tale

One of the most notable changes from Final Fantasy IV's original 16-bit release is the brand new 3D graphics engine that drives the DS port. From the detailed cityscapes to the gorgeous Overworld, the environments are beautifully rendered and really show what the DS is capable of.

The cast of players in Final Fantasy IV is one of the more colourful rosters that the series has seen, so thankfully each character looks fantastic with detailed 3D models true to Yoshitaka Amano's original character art.

In-game cut scenes fit in seamlessly between exploration and battle with fantastic voice acting occasionally gracing the game's exposition. On the subject of sound, Final Fantasy IV's legendary composition has definitely withstood the test of time, with wonderfully remixed tracks that perfectly sets the tone for Cecil's epic adventure.

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The Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV is worth playing through from beginning to end.

A Classic Reinvented

While this iteration of Final Fantasy IV is an exclusive to the DS, I'm afraid that there's no stylus-controlled action to be found. But I really can't complain about this design decision, as I'd much rather play a game I knew to be well-crafted than risk ruining the title by clumsily integrating stylus-responsive controls.

Thankfully, the DS touchscreen is still used to great advantage for the player, displaying detailed maps of your current surroundings while exploring the game's towns and dungeons, as well as in-depth character statistics and menus during battle.

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Final Fantasy IV for Nintendo DS : Specs

  • Nintendo DS
  • Nintendo DS

OUR VERDICT

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.

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