|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Matrix Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jul. 21, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Content is not limited to the single-player story, though it does have the lion's share. After encountering a character called Fat Chocobo, players will have access to the Music Box, Event Theater, Training, and Wireless Battles. The Music Box allows you to listen to the original score (even with the DS lid closed), and the Event Theater allows you to relive unlocked cutscenes.
The Training mini-games are for improving the characteristics of your Summoner's Eidolon, Whyt (a small, white creature that can be summoned to fight automatically at great cost to magic points). Depending upon how well you score in the mini-games, Whyt's attributes (strength, speed, stamina, intellect, and spirit) will increase accordingly. In addition to improving abilities, players can also change the look of their Eidolon with the makeover editing tool. Not only will the improved Whyt help you in the single-player campaign, but he will also help you with the Wireless Battles.
These two-player duels require two cartridges. Each player gives their Eidolon a series of battle commands via the abilities menu. With these commands in their arsenal, the Eidolons will duke it out automatically until one of them is KO'd. Sadly, these additional game facets feel rather tacked-on. They certainly don't hamper the overall experience, but they don't add anything either.
Presentation in FFIV has gotten a big boost over previous versions. The 3D dungeons and quirky character animations are a real boon to the overall quality of the title. Sadly, the CG movies and other cutscenes are far too pixelated for my liking. I think most people will still greatly enjoy them, but the blocky and unsaturated look is a bit unrefined. Thankfully, the chunkiness is easily set aside, and the functionality of the dual screen presentation is perfect for the title. So too is the expertly remixed and re-mastered music, which succinctly portrays the mood of the adventure and the feel of the story. The only tiny complaint with sound I have is with the voice over work. While I enjoyed the occasional conversations, I think the voice acting could have been a bit more polished. A mix of English accents would have more accurately captured the lofty prose.
Final Fantasy IV is a real gem of an RPG. The new DS version is definitely the best way to enjoy the title and should provide fans with hours of fun. However, if you are not intrigued by the world and basic mechanics of Final Fantasy, you still will not enjoy this title. For everyone else, even at $40, this is a must-buy RPG for the DS!
CCC Editor / News Director