Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection Review

Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection [Available only for PSP]
ESRB Rating: E10+
Players: 1
Genre: RPG
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: Square-Enix
Release Date: April 19, 2011

Parent TalkFinal Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is a remastered, updated rendition of the classic SNES RPG. The violence is minimal, and despite the suggestive dialog, the game is appropriate for all ages. FFIVCC is available both on UMD and the PSN Store for download.

Review Basis: Completed the main game and all bonus content, including Lunar Ruins and Interlude. Almost completed The After Years. Played previous versions of the game on DS, GBA, PS1, and SNES.

Final Fantasy is a classic, highly influential brand. Most fans especially hold the SNES era FF games in high regard. IV in particular moved the series forward because of its amazing leaps in storytelling and gameplay. Even today, when new entries have pushed raised the bar, FFIV remains fun and enthralling. The Complete Collection is appropriately named, as it’s the most comprehensive version of the game to date, and a must play for all.

The Great:
The ultimate value. Rather than simply upgrade the visuals, Square-Enix threw in everything possible here. The entire original scenario is present, along with the bonus dungeons and content from the GBA version. The short, CG cut-scenes from the PlayStation release made the transition, in addition to all the classic abilities that were originally cut from the North American SNES version. The translation has improved and the dialog has been treated with the utmost care. The sequel, The After Years, is also included on the collection, along with a bonus boss. There’s even an extra two-hour mini-scenario that links the two games. FFIVCC then boasts upgraded visuals and music, and the original soundtrack can be selected. Square-Enix didn’t skimp on content whatsoever.

The Good:
+ Clean 2D. FFIVCC doesn’t take advantage of the PSP hardware, but the slick, clean presentation is easy on the eyes. The colors pop out and the added effects liven the game, though the DS version’s 3D graphics were more ambitious. Some may prefer the PSP version because of the classic look though. Big, colorful 2D sprites and clean backdrops make the game very appealing. The interface and menus are familiar, but the character art is improved.

+ Remastered sound. PSP owners can listen to the original soundtrack, or a remixed one. The latter sounds the same as the DS release, though the quality is marginally better. The game even contains a music player to toy with..

+ Perfect balance. The North American SNES version was significantly different from the Japanese original: reduced difficulty, absent abilities, and the dialog was censored. Later re-releases improved this, but the PSP package is the perfect balance. It incorporates the previous versions’ content (DS’ augment system notwithstanding), restores the challenge, and sports the perfect translation. The quest starts relatively easy and gradually becomes more difficult, but not overly so. A common complaint about the DS version was a too high difficulty, but the PSP version is more moderate.

+ Interlude. The “Interlude” addition is a short 2-to-3 hour chapter that bridges FFIV and TAY. The story further investigates the main cast. Though it’s not necessary to play, it’s a nice treat from S-E for fans.

+ A classic adventure. There are several reasons why FFIV is fondly remembered: a great soundtrack, memorable cast, and the fun. Retro gamers and RPG fans should easily appreciate the nuances that influenced future generations. More casual gamers should check it out simply for the history lesson, not to mention an excuse to play a great game.

The Bad:
– Conservative. Complete Collection is the most authentic Final Fantasy IV experience. However, some may not want to just re-experience the same game, but opt for the Nintendo DS re-imagining that enjoys 3D visuals, voice acting, and refined gameplay (augment system).

The Lowdown:
Fans will be drawn to either the DS re-imagining for its unique qualities or the PSP version thanks to its perfect recreation of the original. Both are worthwhile purchases.

Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection “plays it safe” compared to the DS remake, but offers significantly more content—the bonus dungeons and Lunar Ruins, Interlude, and The After Years.

13 thoughts on “Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection Review”

  1. There’s something I don’t understand about Square-Enix. They’re constantly making remakes upon remakes except for the one title that’s been requested for years now.

    Also, instead of giving fans what they want (FFXIII Versus and Type-0) they announce XIII-2! What’s going to happen to Versus and Type-0? They better not get canned in place of XIII-2!

    1. I thought fans wanted a true FF7 remake? ;)

      Anyway, I agree with you. I really want to hear more about Versus, because the last few teasers for it were awesome. Type 0 was one I didn’t really put much stock in, so I’m not missing that as much, but it’d be a shame for SE to ignore it.

      I still need to check out Dissidia 2 and Third Birthday, because those look cool. But I do have to admit SE is sitting on so many games that need sequels or updates.

      Where are the FFV or FFVI remake(s)? We only saw them get a minor remake for GBA that was released in limited quantity and they disappeared from the market way to quickly. Or how about a new Chrono game finally? Hell, Enix’s catalog is in dire need of re-release–Brain Lord, Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma, EVO: The Search for Eden, Dragon Quest I-III and VI, Act Raiser I and II, Paladin’s Quest, Robotrek, etc.

  2. Yeah Pat I fear Square-Enix is losing their way. They need new direction because while I appreciate what they’re doing with Tomb Raider, that’s not the classic Square-Enix. They’ve let themselves get crushed by North American RPGs. If it wasn’t for the handheld space, they would be virtually pointless right now.

    Anyways, great review Tim :)

    1. Yeah, I agree. They have lots of good handheld games, but it seems that they’ve given up on consoles. Maybe it’s because they feel handheld RPGs would be more profitable for them and require a smaller investment (and handheld games do far better in Japan), but North American gamers could use some better JRPGS.

      This generation only has a few really exceptional console JRPGs. I’d say Lost Odyssey, Valkyria Chronicles, and Tales of Vesperia come to mind for me, but not many others at all. I love Western RPGs too, but sometimes I get tired of those–how many times can I be a generic wandering hero in a medieval setting with dragons or space opera? I love that JRPGs tend to focus more on the characters, but lately console JRPGs have not been nearly as good, and many tend to fall into the category of generic, bland, uninspired anime-ish junk. And I love anime, so that means something coming from me.

  3. Very nice review as usual, Tim. Square-Enix handheld games have been really good so far. It’s great to be a PSP fan in 2010 and 2011. Possibly their best line-up ever with games like Dissidia, 3rd Birthday, Tactics Ogre, and FFIV. For some reason though, we haven’t heard a peep out of plans to localize FF Type-0. Weird.

  4. You know what else we haven’t heard of Ahmed, the new Kingdom Hearts for the 3DS. I thought this would have made an impact at E3, but alas nothing. Perhaps that will change with TGS later this year.

  5. I love Final Fantasy games but I must say I have never really played any Final Fantasy to it’s fullest before Final Fantasy 7. I have started the previous ones but never completed them I might check them out though considering it’s on PSP. I have more recently been playing Final Fantasy 9 since I downloaded it from the PSN store and play it on the go via PSP.

    1. Seriously, do yourself a favor and play IV, V, and VI. Those represent some of the series’ best. FFIV is a personal favorite for me and is still a great game to play, and V and VI are both amazing as well…

      And, well, I’ll just go out and say it: FFVI is the best of the entire franchise. VII is awesome, but VI is perfection.

  6. I’ve completed every game in the series except XIII, so what does that tell you lol. I just never got around to it, and based on all the comments I’ve heard, that isn’t a bad thing.

  7. For me VI and VII represent the best in this franchise. VI is the better experience all around, but I still consider VII to do for 3D games what VI did for 2D games. They’re both absolutely incredible games that honestly cannot be missed by anyone. Boy I wish I could say the same thing today with the new Final Fantasy games :(

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