Hello there. This is my first written review, so it most likely will contain traces of suck. That being said, on with the review.
Final Fantasy IV for the DS is a remake of the classic SNES RPG by the same name (in Japan, that is. In America it was called Final Fantasy II, but that is for a different blog). This remake is refreshingly different while simultaneously staying true to the original.
The story is your usual Final Fantasy adventure, find some crystals, cast some spells. Though the story may not measure up to games like that of today, let it be known that the original version of this game was the first game of any kind to have a real, dynamic story and characters. You will grow to love the characters, and the story, while dated, will do a great job at sucking you in. Even those veteran to the game's original version will enjoy playing through again due to the expansion of character development and voiced cut scenes.
Final Fantasy IV, while not graphically astounding, does a wonderful job at showing what the Nintendo DS is capable of. The animations are a bit Dreamcast, and some of the spells look samey, but it gets the job done. Summons look better than ever, but cut scenes look mostly like actual gameplay with some more filters on top.
Final Fantasy follows the usual RPG style, but adds some interesting mechanics that keep the game fun. The game uses a system of "Augments" that can be strategically placed on your characters to give them an advantage on something they lack. Note: Augments can never be un-equipped, so use them wisely. The game is also semi-real time using an attack gauge to determine when certain characters attack or cast a spell.
One could equip armor and weapons found in dungeons or purchased at stores, like a usual RPG. The game has two differing types of magic, one based on healing and status effects, White Magic. And Black Magic, used mainly for attack spells. There is also a summon system in which a powerful move is used at the expense of MP, much like spells. Random battles occur normally, but not at a maddening pace, and the enemies usually don't take eons to defeat. Grinding is pretty much required in a few areas, but due to a "handy" new mechanic, Auto-battle, the game will battle enemies for you! Yes, this game plays itself.
The gameplay is well thought out and doesn't have any glaring problems, but it isn't the best you'll find on the DS.
Great, as usual. Using the same critically acclaimed score by none other than Nobuo Uemastu, the music in this game is classic an will stay with you.
This game, unlike the American version of the original IV, was not modified in the difficulty department. Meaning that the game will become pretty difficult later on. It may not be the most punishing RPG I have ever played, but if you ragequit this game the first time around don't expect the DS version to be any easier.
Overall, any big RPG fan needs to check out this game or any previous iterations, if you can get past the difficulty that is.