1991 – Final Fantasy IV is released in the USA as Final Fantasy II. I was 7 years old. Sometime around 1995 or so I finally get my hands on this game and play the hell out of it…to the end.
Circa 1996 – Emulation rises in popularity. I learn that I can play old NES and SNES games on my PC using rom files. I have an old pentium 1, 75mhz Packard Bell in my bedroom with just enough oomph to play “Final Fantasy II” so I do…to the end. Again.
2001 – Final Fantasy IV re-released on the Playstation in a package along with Chrono Trigger. Americans get a better taste of what the original Japanese version was like. I play this game again…to the end….again.
2005 – Holy crap! I can play Final Fantasy IV on the go with my Gameboy Advance? And new content that explains more of the storyline? Count me in. Again.
2008 – Holy crap again! Final Fantasy IV is completely revamped for the Nintendo DS with 3d models and enviroments as well as voice acting, and an expanded story that explains even more of what was actually going on. I play the hell out of this game. Again.
2010 – Sequel alert! Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is released for the Nintendo Wii as an installment-based Wii Ware game. This game is a direct continuation of the years following the events of Final Fantasy IV. And it is good. I play through this game and love every minute of it.
2011 – Final Fantasy IV being the single most replayed RPG I have put my hand on, for some reason I love this game, and I am delighted to see another release for the PSP. I proceed to play through this game…AGAIN.
Final Fantasy IV the Complete Collection features both Final Fantasy IV as well as the complete “The After Years” sequel all in one package, and connects them together with a third mini-installment called “Interlude”. Like the PSP re-releases of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II, the game uses gorgeous high resolution spritework which holds a very special place in my heart.
So far, I am very impressed. The script was expanded even further and I think is the best one so far. (also: possible reference to the Somthing Awful Goons in the first hour of gameplay?)
The amount of polish I see on this product is leading me to feel that this is the definitive version of the game. The GBA version had the added dungeons that explained a WHOLE lot of stuff that no other versions do, and the DS version was great with its voices and 3D renders, but I think this version is going to have more advantages over them, I’ll be sure to report back later.
I really, really, really wish they would make a port of Final Fantasy III just like this. The DS version was wonderful, but Final Fantasy and sprites just jive with me. I have a hard time loving the newer installments anywhere near as much (with the possible exception of Final Fantasy VII…oh god, a sprite remake of that would be…probably something only I would want, never mind.)
Anyway, this game is astounding, and if you missed out on The After Years because you don’t own a Wii, or didn’t want to pay for a hundred micro-transactions to play a single game, then do not miss this. (Plus it’s less than $30 on Amazon.)