Parent Talk: Final 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 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.
+ 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.
– 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).
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.