SquareEnix has a long tradition of RPG success with its Final Fantasy series, and a rather large fan following has developed as a result. Each installment had been stand alone until the tenth game was released. While Final Fantasy X-2 was significantly different from what had been done in the past, it did set a strong precedent of sequel and prequel titles to build upon. With FFIV: The After Years, a WiiWare exclusive released nearly eighteen years after its predecessor, SquareEnix has been able to deliver something that fans old and new can appreciate.
Concerning content, this title is fairly mild. The ESRB gave it an E rating, though some players may take issue with certain themes or topics. Taverns are a commonplace thing in the world of role-playing games. But a couple of them have underground rooms with dancing girls. While displayed with classic graphics and hard to make out, the idea is still there. There is also a strong magical element due to the setting being an alternate reality, complete with summoning, healing, and attack spells. While the game’s main focus is combat and adventure, there isn’t any blood or gore. Enemies turn red and fade away instead of having death animations. Also, a few cases of mild language can be found. It does not go beyond d—n or h—l, however, and it is very rare.
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is a sequel to the original, released almost eighteen years ago. Set in original style as though it were a Super Nintendo title, fans old and new can experience the tale of Prince Ceodore and his companions as they face new threats to their world. It has a very nostalgic feel to it, and is incredibly challenging. All of the old favorites are playable, and nearly every location from the original title can be visited. Many legendary items also make their return, such as the Crystal Mail and Edge’s Masamune. It is an epic adventure with something to keep fans playing until the end. Thanks to having over twenty-four playable characters, a party of five has many possible combinations to add to the experience. It is a must-have for any true Final Fantasy fan.
» By Dave Herbert, Plain Games. Published 10/25/2009 9:04:05 PM.