Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Apr 242023

As a big Final Fantasy fan, one of the most notable gaps in my Final Fantasy playing history was Final Fantasy IV.

Well, no longer! Last week, I finished playing Final Fantasy IV for the first time.

(Because of the pixel remasters coming to consoles, you might assume I played it there, but the timing was actually just a coincidence; I was playing Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection digitally on my Vita.)

Final Fantasy IV puts you in the shoes of Cecil, a dark knight who begins to question the sinister order the king has given him and becomes an enemy of the kingdom as a result. It has a good story premise and some pretty interesting plot points, although I felt the story suffered from its pacing.

This is a fast-paced RPG. I finished in under 30 hours, which is quick for me playing a Final Fantasy game. But a result of the fast pacing is that I rarely felt I’d gotten to know the characters. It could have really benefited from slowing the pace a bit to show more character interactions.

Click for Final Fantasy IV spoilers
Especially since this game absolutely adores party members sacrificing themselves for you. If I’d been more attached to them, those moments would have hit harder.

On the other hand, I have to keep the context in mind. Coming off of the earlier Final Fantasy games, I can easily see how this would have felt like a huge step forward in terms of storytelling.

I also had a lot of fun playing it. Final Fantasy IV’s combat is a relatively basic turn-based combat system, but each character has a fairly unique way to be utilized in combat. It was challenging without feeling overbearing. Exploration was also enjoyable; while there were only a handful of reasons to deviate from the story path, I appreciated that the dungeons had items and secrets areas without being mazes (aside from a couple).

Now, I did end up with unintentional stress during my playthrough when all of my save files abruptly vanished while I was playing. I’ve had concerns about my Vita memory card for quite a while, but this is the first time it did that. Fortunately, since I was in-game while it happened, I was able to save again.

I’m happy I played Final Fantasy IV. It’s not a new favorite for me, but it was an enjoyable game. Since I have the Complete Collection, I’ll eventually play The After Years, too.

From the mainline Final Fantasy series, I’ve now played Final Fantasy III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XIII, part of XIV, and XV. Since I tried I and II but couldn’t get into them, Final Fantasy XII stands out as the next notable gap, but with Final Fantasy XVI less than two months away, it’s safe to say that’s what my next Final Fantasy game will be.

Have you played Final Fantasy IV? If not, it’s readily available now thanks to the PSP collection, the DS remake, the PC port of the DS version, and the pixel remaster available on PC, mobile, PS4, and Switch.

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  2 Responses to “Final Fantasy IV: An Old Classic I Finally Played”

  1. Is it too late for you to play Final Fantasy XI? 😛 Also, I guess you aren’t counting “sequel” type games like X-2 and XIII-2 and XIII Lightning Returns…

    Still, quite the impressive list! I have played most (non-MMO) final fantasy games, but have beaten very few of them actually……. and still have not played XV, and at this point unsure if I’ll get around to it 😅 But XVI does look cool… for whenever I get a new console!

    • Final Fantasy XI is still active, but since it’s an MMORPG, I haven’t had as much interest in trying it… especially when I haven’t even finished XIV yet.

      (And that’s right, I was exclude direct sequels, spin-offs, and remakes.)

      Same, I’ll have to finally pick up a PS5 to play XVI.

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