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Final Fantasy IV One Of The Greatest Games

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the you-spoony-bard dept.

Role Playing (Games) 53

Gamespot's series of "The Greatest Games of All Time" rolls on with a look at Final Fantasy IV. Dubbed Final Fantasy II in the states, it was easily one of the best games to be released for the SNES. From the article: "The narrative in Final Fantasy II gripped you and shook you like a rag doll right from the beginning of the game. Your introduction to the protagonist, Cecil, took place on the deck of a military airship that had been ordered to extort a magic crystal from an innocent town (not a very heroic vocation). After his complicity in this war crime, the conscience-wracked Cecil was dismissed from the military and sent on an errand to a nearby town, along with his best friend Kain. Using generic archetypes for characters (like Final Fantasy's White, Black, and Red Mages, for instance) was standard operating procedure in RPGs at the time, but Final Fantasy II went off on a far more interesting tangent."

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Of course (1)

Flendon (857337) | about 9 years ago | (#13554603)

We're Nerds. We've known this for years.

Whoops! (2, Informative)

radicalskeptic (644346) | about 9 years ago | (#13554604)

Actually that links to a news article about some other game. Here is the correct link: http://www.gamespot.com/features/6132899/index.htm l?tag=boxcar_all_features_image [gamespot.com]

Re:Whoops! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13554640)

As does your link.

Re:Whoops! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13555024)

Actually, no, my link is correct, and the one in the summary was not. But Zonk fixed the link (with no mention of me or the other dude who posted the correct link, or even that there was an error BTW!) so I went from being "informative" to "redundant" and my karma took a hit. God fucking dammit!

Re:Whoops! (1)

allanc (25681) | more than 8 years ago | (#13625643)

If it helps, I just metamoderated one of your 'Redundant' mods as unfair. :)

--AC

Re:Whoops! (1)

radicalskeptic (644346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13628735)

Thanks a lot : )

Slow day? (2, Funny)

gordgekko (574109) | about 9 years ago | (#13554605)

Apparently a slow news day in the Games section.

Re:Slow day? (1, Redundant)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#13554651)

"Apparently a slow news day in the Games section."

Aren't they all

ObLink... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | about 9 years ago | (#13554645)

ObLink for any pre-ff7 Final Fantasy:
http://www.nuklearpower.com/ [nuklearpower.com]

Wow (2)

radicalskeptic (644346) | about 9 years ago | (#13554659)

I had no idea President Bush was a gamer.

Re:ObLink... (1)

linzeal (197905) | about 9 years ago | (#13556543)

This comic [nuklearpower.com] is hit or miss but when it gets it right it shines like a million stars exploding in a pretty redhead's vagina.

Final Fantasy Series (4, Interesting)

Rolman (120909) | about 9 years ago | (#13554660)

Not only IV was an incredible breakthrough that shook and redefined the whole genre, Square kept adding and reinventing the saga in parts V and VI. Though not everybody really liked FFV, it did help the genre advance to what many people (myself included) is the culmination of the FF series: FFVI.

FFVI had everything that made FFI-FFIV great and none of the so-called flaws of FFV, while retaining its improvements in storyline structure and technical merits, and then went far beyond. It's nice to think Chrono Trigger's was released only months later, with a similar level of excellence.

FFVII was OK, neat and and even overwhelming for its time, but it started the trend to make RPGs more mainstream-friendly, up to the current marketing and merchandise fests we see today in FFX-2, Kingdom Hearts and the such.

I like to see the transition this way, FFI-III defined the series. FFIV-FFVI reinvented it and took it to the highest standards, achieved by very few games even today. FFVII-FFIX made it accessible to the masses. FFX and beyond are definitely taking the genre and the series to a new place again, though I'm not sure I like it, I haven't played FF to the end since part X.

So, yeah, FFIV marked the beginning of the era that ended with FFVI, I certainly agree with it being one of the best games of all time. I hope none ever get remade, only ported like the PSOne versions.

Re:Final Fantasy Series (1)

Parham (892904) | about 9 years ago | (#13556599)

I'm a big big fan of two in particular; Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI (or III in the US) are my favorite games. There are other gems also which never got released in the US like Tales of Phantasia, Final Fantasy V, etc. Like most of you, I figure that Final Fantasy VII was the peak of the series though.

Re:Final Fantasy Series (2, Informative)

ElleyKitten (715519) | about 9 years ago | (#13557648)

FFV was released in the US. It's on Final Fantasy Anthology for Playstation.

Re:Final Fantasy Series (1)

Boogaroo (604901) | about 9 years ago | (#13558902)

FF IV is my favorite game of all time, even more so than VI.

When I first picked up FFVII to play, boy was I disappointed. It seemed to me that the 3d characters on the 2d bakgrounds didn't match each other at all. The 3d characters didn't have the expressiveness or "detail" that I always pictured in my imagination. After 17 hours in that oppressively dark city I was beginning to wonder if everything too place there. I was about to give up. Thankfully it did get better. Although...killing a character in a game which really didn't kill anyone before...well that's a debate in itself.

I feel that disparity has been resolved with modern pre-rendered RPGs. Baten Kaitos has some absolutely stunning 2d pre-rendered backgrounds(just turn off the voices in that game, for your own sake). The characters in Baten Kaitos are unusual for the most part. There are a couple of typical hero types, but you also have an asshole, a murderer, and a wimpy goody-two-shoes. The characters definately aren't your average.

Re:Final Fantasy Series (1)

Parham (892904) | about 9 years ago | (#13560259)

Baten Kaitos is an incredibly good looking game. I rented it, and it looked absolutely stunning. However, I never got into the "card" system they had going on. I should have played the game a while longer to see if I could fully understand the system, but I gave up.

Re:Final Fantasy Series (1)

Boogaroo (604901) | about 9 years ago | (#13563892)

The card system is one of the things I am really enjoying about it. It's so radically diferent that it's going to be a turn off for a good number of people I'm sure. It gets better when you have a larger selection of cards. Balancing your deck for each area becomes more important later on.

I really appreciate the option to retry boss monsters without having to go back to a save point. If you fail against a boss(I did lose once), you can retry. If you do, you don't get thrown back in to the wolves. They let you change characters and remix your decks. Thus, if you're smart, you probably won't lose the second time around.

There are some issues I have with the game too. For example, controls. There are many instances where using the digital pad is much more responsive(battle especially). However, there isn't much consistancy when you can use the Dpad and when you must use the analog stick. I also have a tendancy to out read the text speed in the game, so I have to press A to make the text block fill, and A to advance. This results in a LOT of button pressing for me since on occasion I press A one time too many and I have to go through the whole conversation again. I wish they set the B button to cancel the conversation like it cancels other things.

This isn't the only game to suffer from this sort of thing, but it's especially noticable for me since it's been a while since I'd played a game for 52 hours and still not have reached the end. I've only found about 10% of the special card combos(partly because I'm focusing on the storyline). I will probably play it again sometime and do the side quests. This is one game that's 50+ hours WITHOUT having to do all the useless stuff.

Re:Final Fantasy Series (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557355)

the fault of ff6 was that the story floundered in the 2nd half -- a problem which square would revisit in ff7.

as soon as you collect the airship in the world of ruin, the story 'stops' and you just run around picking up items, espers and characters (as needed) until you raid kefka's castle. the final battle and the epilogue make up for some of that, but those of us who want to see and experience a story are left high and dry.

furthermore, because of the nature of magic in ff6, the average player tends to make most of his (or her) characters pick up at least some magic.. which blurs the distinctness of each character.

nonlinear areas are great for exploration, but there still needs to be something that nudges you in the right direction at times. kefka's tower of oppression isn't quite enough.

Except FFVII did the same thing (0, Redundant)

MMaestro (585010) | about 9 years ago | (#13557545)

After you returned to Midgar and more or less destroyed Shinra, the story pretty much 'stopped'. The only story left was going to the North Crater and killing/stopping Sephiroth. Everything else was optional bosses (Emerald, Ruby and Ultimate Weapons), mini-games (Chocobo Breeding, need I say more?) or last minute 'collect'em all' items (all the Enemy Skill attacks, Forgotten Summon materia, etc).

An ancient prophecy! (2, Funny)

brandonY (575282) | about 9 years ago | (#13554783)

The world is veiled in
darkness. The wind stops,
the sea is wild,
and the earth begins to rot.

The people wait,
their only hope, a prophecy....

'When the world is in darkness
Four Warriors will come....'
  After a long journey, four
young warriors arrive,
each holding an ORB.

'They shall settle
In one single massive flamewar
The answer to which was best:
IV, VI, or VII.

Re:An ancient prophecy! (2, Funny)

Gulthek (12570) | about 9 years ago | (#13556219)

Well Ultima IV did introduce the Ultima series in its modern form: to become the avatar of virtue. You guide a civilization onto the path of virtue by your actions. Pretty heavy stuff.

Ultima VI is a big favorite, the end of the trilogy of the Virtues it started to turn everything you believed on its head. Even more heavy stuff, especially when you found out who the false prophet is and what havoc has been wreaked.

Ultima VII is the BIG world changer. You now appear in Brittania 200 years after your last visit. The virtues are an archaic religion and people have turned to the new Fellowship cult who follow the Guardian. Many in the cult seem to do good works, but the cult itself insidiously (and unknown to even Lord British) promotes systemic persecution of non-members.

Re:An ancient prophecy! (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | about 9 years ago | (#13562139)

::blinks::

I never really thought about the fact how well the FF and Ultima parts correspond to each other... apart of some silly crossover fanfictioning [beastwithin.org] , or course. Both series have these days largely ignored parts 1-3, the 7th part getting popularly regarded as the high point and getting most sequels, and everyone seems to agree that part 8 was only kind of okay and the series went to hell after that. =)

Re:An ancient prophecy! (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | about 9 years ago | (#13557636)

You spoony bard!!!

Amazing, but Test of Time? (2)

CasulPoster (705596) | about 9 years ago | (#13554819)

The proper link: http://www.gamespot.com/features/6132899/ [gamespot.com] Final Fantasy II (I'm going to use American notation because I am - RPG snobs can shove it) was the game that turned me on to RPGs back when I was a wee lad. For a long time, I considered it one of the best games, well, ever. However, even on the SNES platform, it gets beaten out soundly by numerous other games. Final Fantasy III was similar in many, many ways, but soundly cleaned FF2's clock. You could say that FF2 was better simply because when it came out, it was far more innovative than any other RPG to date - but a better game? I tried to play FF2 on an emulator just 3 months ago for nostalgia purposes - and I couldn't bring myself to get past the antlion. It bored me senseless. Final Fantasy III offers much more depth and MUCH better developed characters. I can name RPGs on the SNES off the top of my head which I think have more emotional depth, better gameplay, were fairly innovative and JUST - MORE - FUN: Earthbound (#1!) Final Fantasy III Chrono Trigger Mario RPG Robotrek Secret of Mana Though I understand what TFA was going for, it is necessarily written through the eyes of a 7 year old boy: "The narrative in Final Fantasy II gripped you and shook you like a rag doll right from the beginning of the game." Please. "In Final Fantasy II, your characters weren't dumb marionettes; they were full-fledged actors and actresses, and they delivered knockout performances." Eesh, something tells me the author didn't bother to go back and play the game for this article.

Re:Amazing, but Test of Time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13554869)

Robotrek better than FF4? Ridiculous

Re:Amazing, but Test of Time? (1)

shadow303 (446306) | about 9 years ago | (#13556161)

I replayed Final Fantasy 2 about a year ago when I got the Playstation port of it. I agree that is wasn't as good as I remembered it, but to say that Mario RPG was in any way better than it is utter lunacy. Mario RPG had all of the quality and depth of one of those movies with child heroes fighting bumbling adult baddies. It might be an okay starter for getting young kid into RPGs, but in terms of being a good RPG, it lags behind even Final Fantasy 1.

Re:Amazing, but Test of Time? (1)

incom (570967) | about 9 years ago | (#13557515)

Well it's all a matter of opinion now isn't it? I for one much prefer IV to VI(for ex.), the gameplay is the perfect balance of simplicity and fun, and the characters are alot "cooler" in style.

It's all nostalgia (2, Informative)

halofan_sd (683327) | about 9 years ago | (#13554874)

People who grew up playing FF4 think it's the greatest RPG ever, just like people grew up playing FF7 think it's the best (same for FF6, FF10). All are good games, but how can you decide which one is the best ever without regarding to the nostalgia people have? If FF4 is a great time compared to games in its day, but if it's released today, even with updated graphics, will people think it's better than FF10? I doubt it.

Re:It's all nostalgia (1)

Gogo0 (877020) | about 9 years ago | (#13557475)

but how can you decide which one is the best ever without regarding to the nostalgia people have?

I like to think that those who had to grow up with videogames advancing from the NES to the Playstation have more weight on the subject. It is old-hat to spurn the "Playstation is he first console I ever bought" crowd, but I think it is more than reasonable. They started with a certain level of graphics that really havent progressed in over ten years (more polys and bigger textures are not progress). 2d gamers on the other hand, have followed the evolution of games and saw multiple advancements over the years before the ps1. This of course does not apply to everyone, but I know more people who started off with a ps1 that refuse to play "gay" 2d games because they are "boring" and "ugly".

We were there for the whole "gameplay over graphics" thing, because there really couldnt be that much graphics, so all that was left was the gameplay. The gameplay is where the money went to in the devlopment.

Older gamers arent superior, but I think that those with more experience in a certain area know more about it than those who just recently jumped in.

Re:It's all nostalgia (1)

Rallion (711805) | about 9 years ago | (#13567572)

I never played the games back when they were new, so I have no nostalgia.

And FFVI is better.

Rubicant: Was it flame? (2, Insightful)

jurgenaut (910416) | about 9 years ago | (#13555357)

Rubicant: I will show you how!

I always liked Rubicant, he was cool. Edge was a dumbass for casting a fire based spell on the fire elemental Fiend.

I remember FF2 fondly. Always felt a bit sorry for Kain, that he had to be charmed time and time again. As for which was best of FF2 and FF3, why must that choice be made? They're both great games, let's leave it at that.

Stop with the spoilers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13555692)

I haven't played it yet. I haven't played any of the Final Fantasy games but I plan to at some point.

My "greatest games" like this would be the Ultima series, Bard's Tale, etc...

Final Fantasy : RPGs :: Halo : FPSes (4, Interesting)

Haeleth (414428) | about 9 years ago | (#13555731)

Final Fantasy IV (II) a pioneer in featuring moral dilemmas and character development? Don't make me laugh. Try Ultima IV, perhaps, which did it all half a decade earlier in 1985.

Puh-lease. Maybe Final Fantasy IV was something new and special in console terms, but computer-based RPGs were already way ahead, and providing little things like mature themes and non-linear gameplay that the Final Fantasy series still hasn't got the hang of, for all its flashy graphics.

Don't get me wrong - the FF series is on my "great games" list too, particularly nos. 5-7. Just don't go kidding yourself it ever broke any ground -- because it didn't, whatever its fanboys want to think. Truly Final Fantasy is the Halo of the RPG world.

Re:Final Fantasy : RPGs :: Halo : FPSes (0, Redundant)

robson (60067) | about 9 years ago | (#13557490)

Final Fantasy IV (II) a pioneer in featuring moral dilemmas and character development? Don't make me laugh. Try Ultima IV, perhaps, which did it all half a decade earlier in 1985.

Hallelujah.

Re:Final Fantasy : RPGs :: Halo : FPSes (1)

Pluvius (734915) | about 9 years ago | (#13560903)

Truly Final Fantasy is the Halo of the RPG world.

I wouldn't go that far. After all, Halo is in the same genre as Half-Life et al. with no fundamental gameplay differences. Comparing FF to Ultima, on the other hand, is almost like comparing apples to oranges. Western RPGs have always been fundamentally different stylistically from Eastern ones, and some people prefer one style over the other. So saying that FF is like Halo is unfair to those who have sensible reasons for not liking Western RPGs.

Rob

Re:Final Fantasy : RPGs :: Halo : FPSes (1)

llamaluvr (575102) | about 9 years ago | (#13563665)

Not exactly where you're going, but does anybody else think that the (Dragon Quest|Warrior) series is just so much better? I just love the way the locations (and the little mini-dilemmas within) drive the plot, rather than the character's feelings or some crap like that. I never have to worry about the emotional baggage my character is carrying in that game- just about whatever I need to do to help person X in town Y so he'll give me item Z that I need to get to place V.

Also, while simpler-looking, at least Enix (hopefully Sqeenix keeps this up) never really had to completely reinvent their battle system each game because of massive flaws, or the fact that it was boring. Just gentle refinements over 7 (soon 8) games, most of them accumulating to make each successive game even more full-featured than the last. The system is well-balanced and full of fun surprises, and basically always has been.

Re:Final Fantasy : RPGs :: Halo : FPSes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13568047)

There's a flaw with your analogy, Halo was fun.

Final Fantasy is just boring drivel. There are a million better RPGs out there, and the sooner Final Fantasy (and by extension, Square) dies to make room for them, the better.

Re:Final Fantasy : RPGs :: Halo : FPSes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13584522)

There's a flaw with your analogy, Final Fantasy was fun.

Halo is just boring drivel. There are a million better FPSs out there, and the sooner Halo (and by extension, Bungie) dies to make room for them, the better.

I think they mispelled... (1)

Zangief (461457) | about 9 years ago | (#13556331)

Final Fantasy VI, which was a great game. Instead, they wrote FF IV, which is boring.

It is just an "I" misplaced, no big deal.

What I want to know (-1, Troll)

rpresser (610529) | about 9 years ago | (#13556421)

is when the hell the FINAL Final Fantasy game is going to come out? Actually, what I'm more interested is when all the non-final Final Fantasy games will stop coming out. Because it's getting really old.

Re:What I want to know (1)

Boogaroo (604901) | about 9 years ago | (#13558959)

Because they won't. As long as things sell they'll keep using the brand name because it helps sell things.

Look at the Ford Mustang... there were some around the mid '80s that decidedly were NOT really Mustangs, but the name helps sell things.

Would you pick up "Legendary Materia," or "Final Fantasy VII?"

Re:What I want to know (1)

rpresser (610529) | about 9 years ago | (#13560521)

Neither, as I believe I made clear.

Re:What I want to know (1)

knails (915340) | more than 8 years ago | (#13575420)

Legendary Materia. FFVII sucks balls. I would rather play any 3rd party RPG than any of the 3-d FFs.

PARENT WAS NOT TROLL (but was flamebait, ok) (1)

rpresser (610529) | more than 8 years ago | (#13575460)

All right, people, get your modding straight. My comment above was clearly flamebait, but it was NOT a troll!

FF4: The most underrated FF game (1)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | about 9 years ago | (#13556780)

Most oldschool FF fans consider FF6 the peak of Final Fantasy. I disagree--as good as FF6 was, it doesn't compare to FF4. It's been years since I've played FF4, and it still ranks as one of my favourite games of all time.

If you haven't done so yet, play FF4 once, and see how great this game is.

Re:FF4: The most underrated FF game (1)

steveo777 (183629) | about 9 years ago | (#13557862)

Try playing IV again. I used to have an identical oppinion. That was until I aquired both of the original games for the SNES. Albeit, I would like to beat them both on the PS re-releases just for the FMV (VI's is absolutely astounding, I've seen it... once).

Back to the point. I'm not saying that IV is worse than VI. In my regard, I have absolutly no preference of one over the other. I loved them both and they sit on the same rung of my all time top 10 latter. The only way I could have loved IV any more is if the spells came quicker, and there was more pixil animations. Also, there was the moon. All in all, the story had less depth and the jumps between levels needed were too big. When you went to the moon you could be powerful enough to run over any group of enimies in 30 seconds or less, but you hit that moon, and for the first 15 levels after that, every fight's a boss fight. Even when you are strong enough to take on the outer-moon baddies, then going inside the caves and the last castle requires another 5-10 levels each!

VI on the other hand was perfection in my eyes except for the blurring of the classes. Everyone was a mage with another skill (after you start picking up magicite). I really don't have a problem with having a tank, mage, healer, theif and whatever in my group. Even if they have their own skillset, please, don't make my charecters so similar. I like haveing limitations on chars. This doesn't count having different stats either.

I've never been a fan of leveling. That is why I really don't like the newer games in the series. In order to do any extra stuff, you have to spend literally 100's of hours leveling and battling just to get your ultimate weapons. It is too much of a time commitment. I haven't even finished X. I don't know if I ever will... I made it to the last dungeon and said, "Hey, I'm at the last dungeon and this game hasn't gotten good yet?!" I kept playing expecting it to get better and it never delivered. The story line is cheesy and the battle system was nothing new. I really liked the leveling system, very inovative. But a great game innovative leveling does not make.

Why its good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557724)

It give you the freedom to move around, 'create your character', and able to make decision on what path to take. I love FF7 but the choices are kinda limiting to what you can do. FF7 always lead you down a path, to me that's not very RPG. www.gamejournals.com

Wow. (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | about 9 years ago | (#13560203)

I'm a _huge_ FF dork (figuratively), and even I'm smart enough not to comment on this one. It's a war waiting to happen.

Having just said that: FFIX had Freya Crescent, ergo it wins.

Cecil=Real Hero (2, Insightful)

ecumenical_40oz (914889) | about 9 years ago | (#13560396)

The thing that gets me about all these new (post FFVII) RPGs is how they feel the need to create teenage characters the player can supposably identify with. I'm sick of protaganists who wear "sk8er" pants, have gratuitously spiky hair, are constantly moody and speak with modern slang that will sound dated in 5 years. Cecily was a real RPG hero, no acne, no bitching, no hormones. He was a grown man, a professional knight with a steady girlfriend, not a surly teenager halfway through puberty. Please RPG-makers, give me characters that I can be proud to waste 30 hours of my life on.

Re:Cecil=Real Hero (1)

rpresser (610529) | about 9 years ago | (#13560551)

"I'm on a never-ending quest to save my girlfriend!"

Yes, FF4 is truly one of the greatest games... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | about 9 years ago | (#13560682)

...if you like camp, cliche, one-dimensional characters, final villains that come from out of nowhere, and overly simplistic gameplay. You can't even choose your party, for crying out loud.

Rob

my fav (1)

purple avenger (875571) | about 9 years ago | (#13560694)

this one was my fav ff of all time.

FF2/4 is GBA bound. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13562301)

It was announced today by Nintendo that they would be releasing Final Fantasy 2/4 on the GBA. Hurrah!
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