Final Fantasy IV: the After Years is a product of the 20th century. Way back in 1991, Final Fantasy IV was released for the Super Nintendo to much critical acclaim. Its character-driven story and improvements to the combat system brought new improvements to the role-playing genre.
So, after several remakes and 18 years, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has been released through Nintendo’s WiiWare service. How does it measure up, practically a generation later?
After all, 17 years have passed since the end of Final Fantasy IV, and this is reflected in the game’s narrative. The new game revolves around Ceodore, the son of two of the protagonists from the original game, and his struggles with his obligations as heir to a sacred bloodline. Players assume the role of Ceodore and other characters throughout the adventure to discover the secret of the mysterious Crystals.
A New Twist on an Old Favorite
Many characters from the original game make an appearance, as well as several brand new characters. The creators of the game wisely chose to retain the graphics of games in the early ’90s, as they demonstrate a natural progression from game to game.
Gameplay also follows the same format as its predecessor. Rather than the turn-based combat that is common in most role-playing video games, this game has “Active Time Battle,” in which battles occur in real time and keep the enemy encounters fast-paced and exciting.
A new addition is the “Age of the Moon” feature of the battles. Based on the in-game lunar phases, physical and magical attacks will be altered for both the player characters and the enemies.
These additions, as well as several others, set the game apart from others in the genre by keeping Final Fantasy IV: The After Years fresh and fun.