Lali-ho, there folks! If you had not idea what “Lali-ho” meant, it was a greeting or something back in Final Fantasy IV, which was called Final Fantasy II back in 1991 here in the US. It didn’t recieve much celebration that a normal Final Fantasy title would get nowadays in the US, but it was one of the stepping stones towards greater potential. As for Japan, it was considered to be one of the best Final Fantasy titles ever made due to character-driven plot and musical score by Nobuo Uematsu. If you have no idea who he is, wikipedia him. Also, I will be going over Final Fantasy V Advance! Twice the the fun!
First, let’s talk about Final Fantasy IV, shall we? It starts off just as it did in the original version, with Cecil being a Dark Knight, riding on a airship heading towards Mysidia for their crystal. Nothing new to the main story line at all, except for a few changes of text which makes the game a bit “realistic” or “darker”. The character portraits are upgraded to a more “fantasy” look. Really nice work done for all the characters too, even for Golbez. Kain has a more darker back story than the original, giving him a more touch of sadness for the fans. The rest of the characters are the same as ever, and Edward is still a cry baby. There have been changes in some weapon/magic/item names, but nothing we, the fans, wouldn’t tolerate. Anyways, the story goes on and on just as it did before, however there is something different this time around later in the game… It would appear that Square-Enix have heard the cries from the fans of the unjustice delivered to some of the story’s characters that deserve better treatment. That’s right folks, you can now play as Edward, Yang, Cid, Poram and Palom after you have defeated the Giant of Babel. They too, have ultimate weapons which dramatically raise their abilities or strengths.
After killing Zeromus, the Lunar Trials becomes unlocked and within are contained really freakin’ powerful weapons/equipment. However, only with the party member that were in your party when you killed Zeromus will their trials be unlocked. Making it three trips since you can not remove Cecil from your party. Now if you remember much about Edward, is that he was and still is a weakling. That is no longer an issue when you get a certain harp and his new found ability to cast Protect and Shell at the same time! Yes! Still, he’s not a power house like Yang or Edge. Now Yang seems to me a bit “broken”, meaning that he can deal massive damage with his new found “Triple” ability after getting his ultimate weapon. Yeah I know that having ultimate weapons means having to deal 9999 damage every time, but at level 68? Hmmm. Something is wrong, and his hit points are the highest out of all characters. He did the most damage out of every one when I faced off against Zeromus, and survived three Big Bangs. THREE of them! Perhaps I’m going over board with this guy, but still it seems a bit like taking away the challenge with him in your party.
The musical score is fantastic, even a bit more so than the original. To be honest, this game has to have one of the best musical scores than most other Final Fantasy titles. The bosses have great battle music, but wait until you reach the Zeromus EG. Oh man, that is awesome sound! The Chocobos have their little tune as well, but nothing new. Still, the music for Golbez, the Dwarves and Mysidia are great as they were back then. Mr. Uematsu must have had his work cut out for him!
The gameplay is a bit challenging from time to time, but nothing to dismay the fans. It will take time for the newcomers though, if they are not so familiar with any Final Fantasy game. The Quicksave system is a great addiction, same goes for the music player and bestiary. However, it would feel better if they included the artwork to go along with the game. No tears though, Final Fantasy IV Advance still delivers the goods!
Now for Final Fantasy V Advance! Oh yes, this is an awesome upgrade from the regular style of playing a handheld RPG! Just like the original, you obtain and change classes as you progress through the game. Also, you can switch you abilities gained from each class to costum fit the right type of hero! Having a dual wielding knight is AWESOME! There are a few new classes added in, such as Necromancer, Cannoneer and Gladiator. I haven’t gotten to the point in the game where I can obtain them, but I hear that they are a blast to play with. The other classes seem to have a tuning since some were “over powered” than the rest, not too sure which ones but I’ll find out soon enough.
The story is just about the same, excluding the extra dungeons and bosses. The enemies and bosses are challenging if you are not prepared by either having the wrong type of class or weapons in your party. Just a fair warning to all those who have never played it, because you will get frustrated. As for the characters, they’re the same as the original, except for having better art portraits. The muscial score is wonderful, but not enough to top Final Fantasy IV. What else, what else… Ah yes, I almost forgot about the extras! Can ya guess what they are? Well I’m going to tell you guys anyways. It’s the Music Player and Bestiary! How cool is that! Having the same extras as Final Fantasy IV Advance without giving any thought to make it much more worth while for the player! Great thinking, Square-Enix!
Now I’m not going to say what classes to upgrade or anything like that, because it’s really up to you, the player to decide. However, I say say this and that is DO NOT SELL YOUR WEAPONS! Lord knows how many times I’ve changed classes but didn’t have the right equipment, because I was a genius to sell them off for some cash. All in all, this is a superb game to have and keep for any Final Fantasy fan.