Final Fantasy IV Advance (Game Boy Advance) Preview

By Adam Riley 29.03.2006 8

The Final Fantasy series of role-playing games has an illustrious background, with the fabulous tale of how Squaresoft poured everything it had into one last game that could make or break the company. But skipping past that, since the first and second titles have already come to the GBA, Square Enix has now decided to port the fourth FF to the same handheld. Overkill, or just what the doctor ordered? Let us take a closer look...

Fans of the Final Fantasy RPGs will know that you can well and truly immerse yourself in the vast, expansive worlds lavished upon us by the wonderful creators. And Final Fantasy IV is generally regarded as one of the most absorbing adventures out of the various iterations available. For those thinking that because this is an old 16-bit Super Nintendo game the storyline will be quite basic then they will be in for quite a shock. The plot is quite an intricate one, mixing in elements of tragedy, intrigue, excitement and a plentiful supply of zany humour. The game's story is definitely well-rounded, with something for everyone.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy IV Advance on Game Boy Advance

Whilst Japan and North America have both had Final Fantasy IV Advance for quite a while now, it will only arrive on 2nd June here in Europe so that it does not clash with other large releases, as well as the launch of the other high quality GBA RPG Tales of Phantasia from Namco. But those that are holding out for the game will definitely not be disappointed as this is seen by many as being the real breakthrough in the Final Fantasy series.

Players start off as Cecil, a man born to lead and the one granted charge of the Baron's elite Red Wings force. Part of his on-going mission is to obtain the world's most powerful elemental crystals. However, rather than being a simple retrieval task, it involves snatching some from other peaceful nations by any means necessary! Rather disconcerted by this notion, Cecil dares to question his ruler, albeit to an expected conclusion

Screenshot for Final Fantasy IV Advance on Game Boy Advance

Players will literally be taken from the depths of the Earth to the farthest reaches of the moon, meeting a plethora of weird and wonderful characters along the way, all of whom will invariably prove to be beacons of information, or even just pleasant distractions as you endeavour to unravel the grounds for the Baron's unfamiliar behaviour. Along the way there will instantly be many classic role playing elements that make themselves visible, such as being able to visit towns and villages, delve deep into dark, mysterious dungeons and having to attempt to overcome hostile enemies and strange creatures on a regular basis.

As with all of the main series of Final Fantasy games, each battle you take part in will gain your team experience, and upon earning enough their levels will rise, thus bringing them ever closer to being the powerful entities they are required to be for the arduous journey. But not only that, items and equipment can be bought in the various places you visit in order to help their cause. But if this was merely a rehash of the original 1991 Super Nintendo Entertainment System RPG, it would be rather a wasted opportunity, and of little value to gamers today. Thankfully, though, Square Enix follows Final Fantasy I & II's enhanced port with another excellent set of additions this time. First of all the graphics have once more been touched up so that they could easily pass for advanced SNES visuals on the level Final Fantasy VI, plus new character portraits have been included for conversations to add more feeling to the storyline. The soundtrack has also been spruced up to take full advantage of the GBA's extra power, pumping out old favourites with new vigour and definitely requiring you to listen with stereo earphones for the best experience!

Screenshot for Final Fantasy IV Advance on Game Boy Advance

But if these production value amendments were not enough to satisfy, then surely the addition of a Bestiary where you can keep track of all enemies and the inclusion of an all-new fifty-level dungeon will suffice. Inside players will face new foes and extremely difficult bosses and they all come before the actual end of the game itself, meaning that the experience gained and weapons found (of which there are new 'ultimate weapons' dropped by boss characters) will definitely impact on the proceedings of the final part of FFIV Advance.

Screenshot for Final Fantasy IV Advance on Game Boy Advance

Final Thoughts

The fact is that this is an old game, just like Tales of Phantasia, but a classic all the same. Other than a limited release over here in Europe in PSone ported format, fans of the series will not have had the pleasure of playing this wonderful adventure. And now it is here with even more extras and an instant save feature perfect for the portable environment, it should not be missed! 2nd June, 2006

Developer

Square Enix

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I REALLY WANT THIS!!

Too bad I won't be able to play it for a while though...

#1 it was delayed...
#2 My bro is broke, & he bagsed it, so I'll have to wait for him to get more money :-(

Oh well.. Stil CAN'T WAIT!!!

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I can't believe it's only coming in June...it seems that this hasn't done anywhere near as well as FFI&II did in the US. The game did quite well in Japan, though, thanks to the special GBmicro faceplate.

Hopefully it'll do better in the UK. If any of you recall, it was a MASSIVE surprise when FFI&II NEVER EVER even cracked the GBA Top 20! :eek: I still don't understand how that happened...so much for Nintendo's publishing power :roll:

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses
Guest 29.03.2006#3

I've played and nearly completed this so many times I don't think I will buy it. Which is a shame I guess.

Looks rubbish. Pre-FF6 FFs dont do anything for me.

That's the thing I guess. Existing FF userbase is a post-FF7 userbase. The "3D generation".

So FF4 may not hit the top 10 either. Still it's a classic, but I'm afraid the wall of eye-candy is towering high in today's market.

This game is just awsome, though I myself have yet to finish it. I deffinently will by it for myself as I am borrowing my friend's copy.

<3 <3

I'm waiting out for FFVI Advance actually...

Still looks good though. I expect FFVI to more high-res sprites in the field map though. Possibly the PS1 FMV intro too.

Hey they did it with KH: CoM. :Smilie

So Final Fantasy IV Advance came out in Europe last Friday. Anyone bought it yet? In Manchester centre the large GAME only had one copy of it in on launch day and GameStation had three...doesn't bode well for its chart placing.

Final Fantasy I & II bombed here in the UK, and FFIV could well do the same :-(

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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