Final Fantasy IV is actually the first in the series to have a complexity in its story. The game starts you off as Cecil Harvey, a dark knight in a solid dark armor looking for a way to wipe away his dark bloodstain past. As he enters his journey, he meet many faces that would join him in his epic adventure; somewhat like other typical role playing games today. For its time, the story set a new bar for others and showed how an adventure can be told not only from books and movies but also video games. As for how it holds up today, it is okay but not anything special when compared to modern games but this okay because this is a remake. It is best to keep the story unchanged in this situation
The classic tunes from FFIV is back. Most music was redone or remixed as some call it came out very well. The classic "Theme of Love" never sounded better. Some long time gamers may be a bit upset with some of the tracks while but overall they did a good job and fans are in for a huge treat. Aside from the music, voice acting was better than expected though it doesn't appears as much as desired. For the cart limitation, Square Enix threw in a good amount of it.
The controls for FFIV are pretty standard and is easy to learn. It is a turn-base that implements the active battle system (ABS). It basically is a bar that decides when the characters attacks. Characters with the highest speed stat usually goes first. Mini games are also incorporated in the game. Each takes advantage of the sensitive touch screen. They can be fun when you want to disengage the from your epic journey. Whyt summon are also a new DS exclusive content. Basically what it is, is a customizable summon. You dress it, you train it and you battle with it. Sounds familiar? It doesn't add much to the game but it is a refreshing addition.
Maps are now display at the bottom of the screen taking advantage of the DS dual screen. Of all the new features, this is probably the most helpful. It is a auto tracking map that add new sections as you navigate. By getting full completion of a map, rewards will be obtained help guiding you in your difficult adventure. Speaking of difficult, FFIV setting have been revamped from the originals. Enemies and bosses health points have been increased which may require some grinding. This is not a game where you can overpower your enemies by your high levels. Strategy is required for example finding the enemy weakness.
The new looks of FFIV can be described as slick. Square Enix used the Chibi models and brought it in 3-D. The original SNES game was also Chibi so they are really staying true to the original version close as possible. The redone visual goes well with the DS limitation. The models looks almost exactly like the ones from FFIII (DS) but this is a step up up and beyond. This environment, characters and the ever so impressive single cinematic is very solid. Although a realistic remake would have been preferred, this iteration does the job just fine.
The game last around 25-40 hours for average players. With the extra materials such as mini games, whyt wireless battle, music/movie player and a new game plus, the adventure will last for months. There is also a new game plus to continue with a new game while you carry over some item from your previous save. This is a very high quality RPG's on the shelf. In-game money spending decision is essential, grinding as well and strategies are a must. Completing this game alone is satisfying. If you are a true Final Fantasy fan then this game fits the bill. If you are just a fan of role playing in general then this is certainly worth a look.
Positives: New visuals feel refreshing, Surprisingly good voice acting, Good use of the second screen, Great presentation
Negatives: Visual direction, No extra content of the GBA version made the cut