Final Fantasy IV Advance review
- The graphics are a little choppy, but it's much better than sprites.The bad:
- The fact that some many things were taken away from the game
- Characters only staying in your party for about 20 minutes of gameplay
- Too many random fights
- Overpowered moves cause the game to be a breeze
- Augment System
- Voices are crappy
- Not enough FMV's
- Lack of weapon choices (Rydia has around 3 whips, for example.)
- Glitches can cause your game to crash COMPLETELY
- Lack of stylus using
- Plot & Character Devolpment
This, like most other games of its type was killed by the hype. It seemed like once they had the graphics done they called it a day and threw some things together. Being a remake, I'd expected something that would draw me into buying it; this game offers nothing to do that with. There's two 'superbosses', into the game, which sounds great, right? Wrong. That's one of the only things new. The rest is just pointless things, like Whyt training, Augments and getting summons. (More onto those later.) They also got rid of the secret dungeon from the GBA version, and you're stuck with just Cecil, Kain, Rosa, Rydia and Edge at the end, unlike the GBA version, so why not just settle with the GBA version.
This game, though, does have a good element. The graphics, for the most part are nice, and better than the sprites found in the GBA version. Ignoring the awkward stances, the characters have enough detail that you can get a clear view of what their like, as apposed to seeing a weird 2D sprite just standing there. A few of the characters are VERY half hearted - so to speak; Yang especially. His shoulders and arms are pretty much balls with some shading, not exactly what I'd call 'nice'. The surroundings have enough detail that you stop and look for a little bit and for the most part, look very nice, which kind of saves the graphics from being worse than sprites.
Onto the bad things now, which definetly outweigh the good. The main thing that makes this game horrendous is the fact that so many things were taken away from the GBA version. It took a giant step back, and it really shows. With the main post-game dungeon gone, there's not much to look foward to. There's two additonal bosses, but for one of them, one mistake could make him impossible to fight; you have to steal something from the last boss to make him avalible on your New Game +. And if you don't, well, you have one whole boss to look foward to, which is hardly enough. I would've like to see a dungeon, or something else.
When I often say, "I dislike the game because the characters are leaving every 20 minutes." (which is true), people often counter with, "It's the same in all versions.", but in reality, it really isn't. Characters like Edward or Cid come for about one dungeon, then leave you for good. This is annoying because not only do they steal your equipment, they aren't really necessary if they're staying that long. In the end of the GBA version, you're allowed to use ANY of the characters you obtained in the story, so you can use everyone freely, which is great. In this game, they decided to get rid of that, which wasn't smart at all.
There's always an RPG that the makers put too many random fights into, and this game is the definition of that. The enemies have a crapload of HP, but they're extremely weak, so you spend your time just mindlessly hacking away at them. Fleeing is always an option, but in this game it takes forever. Unlike every Final Fantasy game before this, one of the main characters usually has the ability flee, which allows to escape with almost 100% chance. In this game, that option is non existent, and your enemies get to hack at you while you sit there trying to run. Fun right?
The augment system was one of the things that made this game show a hint of promise, but like most other aspects, it fell short. The augment system basically allowed you to learn moves from certain enemies, allies or previous party member's ability. Where this fell short is you have to give the certain party members augments in order to get some, so its rather tedious if you miss a crappy one, which you could just give them, because you might have to give up a good one in exchange. Another thing that made this system fall threw the drain was the fact that if you missed one, the story usually didn't allow you to get it back, so that meant waiting for your new game + to get them all.
This brings me onto my next point. The FMV's in this game look great, they really do, but you can count the amount of them on one hand. They didn't add enough, which also meant a much smaller amount of voice acting. When the voice acting did actually occur though, it was absolutely horrendous. They didn't fit the characters well, and weren't even good actors to begin with. Their emotion was off, and as a result it really brings down the score. It just made no sense on the devolpers side, because they could've added more and really shown some nice FMV's that bring the whole game to the next level. Nope, like the game itself, the FMV's fialed as a whole.
Weapons and Armour are a crucial part to any RPG. They're the backbone to creating a strong character, and often give characters new attributes and abilities. Final Fantasy IV definetly does not model this, at all. Rydia joins your party for a second time about halfway through the game, and remains in your party till the end. Yet, during all that time, she only finds about 3 whips to equip. That includes her default one, and one that she obtains in the last dungeon. It's doesn't bring down the game too much, but having vareity wouldn't hurt.
So, you go into a dungeon on the moon, you come out and your spaceship is gone, leaving you stranded. This may sound stupid, but it's happens all the time in this game. There's a glitch where your ship disspears, leaving you stranded wherever you are. Now, this glitch can only occur when your at the end of the game, which means you have to go through the whole thing again, which is unlikely anyone would. And, from what I've seen, even resetting your game doesn't work at times; so you're stuck keeping a back-up save at all times, which can be a hindrance if you skip a save by accident or two.
The Whyt was an addition to the game that allowed Rydia to morph into. By playing various minigames to raise its stats, you could eventually use it in battle and play with yours friends through Wi-Fi. Too bad the games were horrendous since you could easily cheat at them, and grinding up your stats through them was an absolute pain. Where this also became a failure was the fact that you could max out certain stats as soon as you got Rydia, which gave you an overpowered tank until she left. Wi-Fi battles were pretty pointless too, because very few people actually used Whyts, so you're chances of actually fighting we're useless.
This was my biggest qualm in the game, the lack of using a stylus and the touch screen. If you're going to put the remake on the DS, why not utilize it's unique features and make it an overall better expierience. The only touch screen capabilities the game really has is through the Whyt's minigames and moving around, which is hardly enough.
SPOILER WARNING BELOW
Plot and character devolpment was HORRID. The plot is your typical, the main guy and girl fight off some baddies, make out and live happily ever after. And, not only that, but throughout the game most of the characters expierience things that should kill them, but nope, in the end they magically survive. Apparently Yang can survive through explosions and Cid can jump from 100's of feet in the air and land unscathed. It just made no sense; we're they scared we were gonna ball our eyes out over pixel people and become so sad we can't bear to play again? Jeez. With all the characters coming and going, characters received no in depth description, and their pats were a complete mystery. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind inferring a few bits and pieces, but if you're leaving pot holes of information out, expect people to be scratching their heads.
Now, we have the gameplay and controls of this game which kind of sit in the middle. Like all RPG's, the gameplay is decent in this game. You get to meet lots of new people, see a lot of new places, etc. Throughout the game you go through a series of dungeons and towns, each a step towards your final objective. You can shop for items, gain equipment and items and treasure chests, or just wander around. The controls are also pretty generic RPG - style, keeping them simplistic. In battle you can use the D-pad to scroll through commands, and choose your command with A. It's pretty straightfoward, but it works.
Overall this game didn't work out. They didn't make use of it's console, didn't add many features, and didn't make me excited to play it. I struggled to play through it once, and didn't legitimitley enjoy most of it. It was too easy, boring and a letdown to a pretty good series. 4 / 10 in my book.
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