• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

All My Old Friends Have Now Turned Into Jerks

  • Addit
  • 07/24/2016 10:23 PM
  • 6281 views


A Game Made By: Sphere
Including The Assistance Of: wotgAshiee & RydiaMist
Created Using: RPG Maker VX Ace
It's A: RPG Game
That Roughly Takes Around: 8 - 15 Hours To Complete
And It's A... COMPLETED GAME!!!


It’s hard to believe that Final Fantasy IV (or Final Fantasy II, that’s also known here in the west) has just recently turned the big ol’ twenty-five years of age as of last week in Japan. Pretty soon, in a couple of more years from now, if this game was indeed a person, it might be able to finally afford a downpayment on buying a house. Boy, has time flown by…

While the original Final Fantasy for the NES was my very first RPG that I ever played, I never really truly fully understood the mechanics or the concept of an RPG as a whole until I got my hands on the second game to hit over on western shores. While I mainly was a spectator on the sidelines at first watching my dad play the game from afar, as I was still a little too young to grasp what was fully going on, he eventually got me thrusted into it, as whenever there was a boss fight present on screen that he couldn’t defeat on his own he would just simply throw over the controller to me in hopes that I might be able to somehow do it (like that would help). I still don’t know how the hell I was able to defeat some of the bosses in this game on my own, as my dad sometimes didn’t have enough healing supplies on hand or was severely under-levelled and also wouldn’t have the most powerful equipment equipped either…or he did but he just forgot to equip the shit in the first place – but, miraculously, I was able to do it and I found the whole satisfaction of beating some of these guys quite invigorating! Either way, I was really starting to enjoy this new found genre, and the story also really started to captivate me as well. What really finally ignited my love affair with this game and my further interest in the next line of RPG’s afterwards came when we first got to the Tower Of Zot where you fight the game’s main villain for the first time and rescue your beloved girlfriend from the very clutches of evil. Just everything about this place, the sinister-sounding music playing in the background, the tension, learning how to equip new weapons on characters and finally understanding what each item finally does for the first time through, finally, the magus sisters and how hard it was to first beat them because one of them would cast wall on herself and reflect all my attacks and revive the other fallen characters that would p*ss me off so much…this whole dungeon suddenly made me a fan of this type of thing. And, thus, a new RPG fantastic was born that day…

Final Fantasy IV was unlike anything I’ve ever seen back in 1991, it was like this big, grand soap opera about a knight who used to be a captain of a military airship fleet the first week and then a week later he’s on the freakin’ moon in outer space chopping down pudding monsters with his giant ass, laser sword! Truly this was something that you couldn’t make up in any sort of fiction - and it was quite ground-breaking for its time... Not only that, but it was the perfect introduction to RPG’s for someone like me because of its linear battle system and its simplistic approach to things. To this day, Final Fantasy IV not only remains my favorite entry in the series but one of my favorite RPG’s of all time. This game is simply just a classic. And what has been even more amazing over the years is not only has the game warranted a sequel following the events after the original game with brand new characters and such, but there also has been many different ports and enhancements over the years in not only graphics and sound but also introducing some new gameplay mechanics.

So I find it quite amusing and by sheer coincidence even that I’m once again back to playing Final Fantasy IV all over again after all these years, but not exactly what I’m used to – oh no! For you see, this particular incarnation is a littttle different than I’m used to across the waters of British Columbia…and it’s really quite ingenious, actually…so clever that I’m actually surprised that not a lot of developers and studios have done this type of thing before.

“Final Fantasy IV Alter Destiny” is a fan-recreation created by Sphere that takes the events of the original SNES classic and basically alters some of its key story elements to create a fresh new take on the original tale. So, for example, in the original game, after delivering the package to the Village Of Mist earlier on, you would lose Kain at this point in the game and Rydia would eventually join Cecil on his quest after fending off some soliders at a nearby town. But in this particular version the events are switched up so that Kain still tags along with Cecil with Rydia somehow disappearing altogether. It’s a very interesting concept and it quite intrigues me! I actually hope that other games in the future, whether they be from this series or not, gets this same sort of treatment like this - but I digress. Either way, I do remember hearing about this game a little bit during its initial stages of production but I basically passed it off as I thought that recreating the whole experience of the original game would be a tough task for anyone to follow through with. But, to my surprise, Sphere not only came through and passed with flying colors and delivered on her promise, but the full game is available now to play and download – sweet!

One thing that I will stress about to those who are interested in playing this game that the file size for this bad-boy clocks in at a whopping 1.2 GB’s to download (holy hell!), so I suggest that you guys have a fast Internet connection and a lot of extra bandwidth to spare – because this is a big sucker! It’s a bit of a cumbersome thing, actually, because, after taking a look at some of the game’s initial files for it, most of its file size problems seems to stem from its large music and sound library that’s not fully compressed and such which adds for about 60% of its total data size - but whatevers, I guess.

Anyways, I haven’t played Final Fantasy IV in a couple years, so I’m a little rusty, as it has been a while, but let’s go see if some of the changes that have been made to it are an improvement over the original or a black stain on this beloved franchise... Let’s go!

The Story


…Say what…?


Now, in usually most reviews that I do, I usually go over the plot synopsis of a story first in sort of a carefree but cleverly done way, but in this rare type of occasion I’m not going to do that this time around – but I will say this: I think to fully enjoy the magnitude of what’s fully going here and some of the changes happening around it, it is highly advisable that you have played and finished the original version of Final Fantasy IV at least once before playing this game - I cannot stress that enough. Although you could still probably play this version first before playing the actual game, I wouldn’t recommend it. Either way, here goes:

So Final Fantasy IV Alter Destiny is basically an abridged version of events that alter from the original game. And if you’ve played the original, you could probably guess a few of the events that are going to happen right off the bat, like Kain staying with you after the events in the Village Of Mist, Edward not joining the party at all, and such and such. The game starts off pretty predictable with the altered choices if you’re a long-time fan and player like I am, and, at first, nothing really seemed too impressive about this particular alternate universe of events…until you get to about Mt. Ordeals when things start getting a little crazy. Suddenly, instead of Cecil becoming his usual Paladin self, he becomes a Fell Paladin instead, where he gains access to not only holy based magic but also shadow based magic as well, becoming a much more versatile character in combat. I actually really liked this change and thought it suited him quite well, as it was something that I could actually see happening as canon. Not only that, but it also appeared that Rydia didn’t bite the dust either after the Village Of Mist incident, and is not only aged into an adult but is also looking to seek revenge on Cecil for what he and Kain did to her mother… Not only that, but she also manages to kill one of the kids that accompanies you to the mountain as well. (J-J-Jesus!)

But things get even more crazy after your first encounter with Golbez in the Tower Of Zot. After Tellah defeats Golbez with the Meteor spell and soon passes away afterwards, just like in the original game, Golbez is suddenly no longer brain-washed and comes to his senses and it is Rosa, your darling mistress, that turns into the darkness-clad sorceress woman simply known as Auranox!





(…Actually, in all honestly, I didn’t expect that happen. Kudos, game!)

There are also a lot more major characters deaths in this version compared to the original, as most of your former allies bite the dust or just simply get killed off this version, which is really quite shocking to see happen to them. I mean, the original just had Tellah biting the dust, but here you got pretty much every single character getting axed off expect for a carefree few of them. That’s pretty grim stuff, man. I’ve never seen so much death.

Although some of these deaths are definitely admirable, a couple of them really seem out of place and kind of break Cecil’s characteristics as a whole after he has a change of heart after the incident in the Village Of Mist. I’m talking more about the whole Edward scenario more than anything else. Here, just like in the original, Tellah gets mighty upset with Edward when he finds out that his beloved daughter Anna had just been killed in the recent Red Wings attack and he did nothing to protect her from it. He precedes to try and kill him, just like in the original, but unlike in the original where Cecil tries to stop him from doing so, he and Kain just simply stand there with their hands in their pockets and let the old ba*tard mercilessly kill the young bard for seemingly something that was out of his control. I mean, WTF, man? The strange thing is that the end of the game when you’re fighting the final boss and all your old allies come back to give you support to take him on, Edward is there - but he didn’t do anything... He has no emotional attachment to Cecil anymore, so what the f**k is he doing here? I would have probably preferred a scenario more where Edward died in the attack while trying to protect Anna and she basically tries to seek revenge for the attack that killed her husband and Tellah then proceeds to either head out and try and to stop her or take her place and seek revenge himself admitting that Edward wasn’t such a bad guy afterall. Either way, this kind of thing bothered me a little.

There were definitely some story altering changes that I didn’t like that much either, like having Yang replace Rosa being the one that needed to be rescued in the Tower Of Zot for one. I would have probably preferred if Kain took his place overall, because he’s Cecil’s best friend and at this point and he has more of an emotional attachment to him than Yang does, but seeing him tied up needing to be rescued just looked rather silly to me and I had to laugh when I first saw that. At least this way you get to have Yang in your party a little bit more before he leaves for good, because, in this version, he only joins Cecil for the part in Fabul before he basically just disappears and never joins the group again. What a waste…

I also really didn’t like the Jenova summoning boss that you fight in Fabul nor the fight against the Ultimate Weapon from Final Fantasy VI later on in the game. Although I understand that the creator was trying to pay homage to the other games in the series and wanted something of shock value, I think it’s kind of out of place here and almost reeks of a level of amateurish qualities. Why couldn’t you fight something like Irfit or Shiva in this case, since you do fight Ramuh in one boss fight and Bahamut in another and these guys make total sense here, but Jenova and Ultimate Weapon are just a big flat no with me. They would be fine as maybe secret bosses for more post-game content, but not as a main story boss. I mean, Jesus, even Aerith shows up from Final Fantasy VII as Porom’s future apprentice in training at the end of the game.



You also visit a lot of the same old locations from the original game with very few sporadic differences throughout. There are a few new dungeon locations in this game, like the Fabul Crater and Aegis Passage, which is really, technically, the only new dungeon here besides the bonus dungeon that you get to go to after beating the game. To make up for this, however, a few old locations have been given the axe, such as the Antlion Cave and even Mythril Town is removed among with the Land Of Summoners, since Rydia is no longer a party member and summoning monsters cannot be done in this game anymore because of that. I’m a bit disappointed that there aren’t more new locations to explore, but since this game does change up enough in its older locations to be a slight notable difference, I’m fine mainly overall with the decision.

Overall, in regards to some of the story changes, it’s a bit of a mixed bag with me, especially if you consider the events that follows afterwards in regards to Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. I do like how Rosa’s becomes the main antagonist towards the game’s end and Cecil’s ascent into becoming a Fell Paladin along with this game playing with its familiarity while providing enough change to be noticeable enough to be a new, fresh experience. While some of the story elements could use some more additional work, I really do applaud some of the new changes and it really feels, in part, that it could belong as an official part of the Final Fantasy IV lore.

The Gameplay


Look at the size of that robot!


Final Fantasy IV Alter Destiny pretty much plays almost exactly to the original game with a few key differences with some aspects that I don’t like and some that I do.

First off, in regards to the most immediate thing that I don’t like right off the bat, this game instead of using random encounters like with the original, this particular version uses a mini-map that displays on-screen during dungeons and such that shows the enemy units traversing through the entire map and when you’ll most likely get into an encounter, almost similar to the same style used in something like The 7th Saga for the SNES. While some may praise new this mechanic as a much welcome change to the archaic old design choice of yesteryear, I still would have preferred it if this game used traditional random encounters instead and tried its best to emulate the feel of the older games. While it may work for games like The 7th Saga, I don’t think it really belongs here. Either way, whatever, I guess.

In terms of battles, though, this game tries its best to replicate the same feel of the original game and does a pretty good job despite a few hiccups in-between. First off, when it comes to casting spells, like an elemental type of spell or such, you can only target multiple enemies instead of choosing to target just one single enemy like in the original game or having the option. This goes the same with spells like Cure, as instead of targeting one party member who’s low on health you have to use the whole spell on everyone, which is kind of a bit silly if I just want to heal just one teammate. You also can’t use healing spells on undead enemies anymore, so it made parts like Mt. Ordeals, which was originally a cakewalk before, actually much harder now because you don’t have access to it anymore. Also some abilities have been either removed or buffed entirely, such as the twins twin magic when Palom and Porom are together and Kain’s jumping ability. Now Kain can jump at will without having to waste a turn in the air, so it’s basically more set in stone that you’re going to use it over regular attacks for him in general. It’s also a bit nice to see that Cecil, when he becomes a Fell Paladin, is a hell of a lot more usefuller now as he’s got access to buff-like magic, like Shell and Protect, and he also has a wide array of different magical sword based attacks that can do some pretty nifty damage with the slight cost of some lost HP.

Speaking of buffs, unlike the original game on the SNES, the easy one, buff spells like Haste and Slow are actually quite beneficial this time around, as you’re gonna need it when things get rough, as the enemies here are actually quite tough to beat, even on Easy mode, and are quite capable of ripping you apart if you’re not on top of your game. The game starts off pretty innocently enough, but after you get to around the last quarter the game can get really hard, so you’ll want to keep up with the constant healing and buffs in order to survive some of these conflicts. Also, I swear that casting Protect and Shell sometimes does nothing in regards to nullifying any damage, as it really doesn’t seem to do all that much whenever I happen to use it. Also, there seems to be really no efficient life spell in this game when a character gets killed in battle, as the best spell or item that you get can only restore just a little amount of HP’s when they get revived, which means one single hit from an enemy and you gotta revive them all over again, ugh. I also don’t like how Hi-Potions only restore 300 HP as it really should be something like 500 considering, at least, until Porom gets to Level 30, which can take you quite a while to do so, you’re stuck using a spell that only restores around 150 HP or so until you get a much stronger healing spell and those Hi-Potions simply won’t do. The battles definitely need some additional polishing and refining, but in the grand scheme of things the game does play pretty closely to the original and is quite fun and challenging. And for those that think that the game is too easy, you can play the game on a much higher difficulty setting at any time you want. You still get the same amount of experience and gold, but the enemies here hit a hell of a lot harder and are quite persistent to kill, so those looking for a challenge can find one here.

The original Final Fantasy IV never had much in terms of side-quests or alternate equipment to find, besides a few goodies here or there, but at least it had something if you wanted to go out of your way to find it. This version does carry over a few of those hidden items, but it feels like a bit of a downgrade as the equipment here doesn’t feel as particularly useful as it did in the original and a lot of the hidden side-quests have either been toned down or have been removed in this version because of particular events. This game will take you almost half the time to finish it compared to the original, and it really makes you feel that this game is almost more hollow than its original counterpart. Luckily, though, there is a secret bonus dungeon to complete after finishing the game, so the replay value here isn’t too shabby, and there’s also the difficulty adjustment, so there’s that.

But if there’s one thing that I can’t stand about this game is the lag in some of its situations, like travelling on the world map or during certain encounters. The game feels a bit sluggish sometimes trying to move around on-screen, especially on the world map where even on the most minimalist of settings you move around like a freakin’ snail just trying to get over that darn hill. It’s distracting and pretty annoying to see and play through, and I don’t like it one bit. I think my favorite moment is when you first acquire the Lunar Whale and the game goes into automatic slow-as-f**k mode which forced me to reduce my settings even more in order to fly the bloody thing. I mean, f**k.

Luckily though, the game, despite its short-comings, is pretty darn fun because it does a decent job at trying to replicate the same feel and gameplay experience of the original game to the author’s best of abilities. While some improvements definitely could be made to make it more like the original experience, especially in terms spell selection and such, the game definitely does a good job at trying to be what it wants to be.

The Soundtrack


- That b*tard!


For the soundtrack, I was kind of hoping and salivating at the fact that I would once again listen to the wonderus tunes of yesteryear of the original Super Nintendo classic all once again. But, to my actual surprise, (and, I should have saw this coming a mile away because of the gigantic file size), this game uses a variety of different remixes and arrangements for this particular version with some of them I actually quite like and it grew on me after a while and others that I really didn’t care for over the originals. The funny thing is that there are some tracks from the original OST, like when you go to Mt. Ordeals, that are still in here along with all the other arrangements. Strange, huh?

First off, the battle theme has been replaced with this rock based rendition that definitely takes a little while to get used to at first, but I ended up ultimately enjoying it just as much as the original song. The same sentiments go along with the game’s original boss theme, as I ended up eventually liking it after a while even though the original is still amazing after all these years. I wish that there was an option to either listen to the classic soundtrack and switch between arrangements and remixes or just sticking with the original, because something like that would have been great to have as I much prefer the original tunes over the remixed ones. That being said, some of these remixes and arrangements are not too bad and sound overall pretty good and match the style of the graphical presentation being used. I do find that some of these songs do start up prematurely in its initial start-up phase, like the Dwarf Palace in the underground, The Tower Of Babel or when you go inside the Babel Giant, but they all do sound quite nice with only a few exceptions. I do think that because the file size is so large because of its soundtrack that a lot of these tunes could have been either removed, toned down, or just replaced with the original game’s soundtrack altogether. If the creator had removed some of these other arrangements from other Final Fantasy games and such and just stuck mainly to its source material instead, than I would be totally fine with the game’s overall soundtrack. I mean, I know that some of these songs may sound great and all, but having a giant file size will definitely turn off some players from downloading your game in the end, and in this sort of situation it could have easily been avoided with some more careful planning and some minor adjustments. Either way, the soundtrack isn’t half bad.

The sound direction is what you would expect, as most of these sound effects are ripped or taken straight from the various ports of Final Fantasy IV, with mostly notably from the DS and PSP versions. I think the sound department is quite fitting for this game and I have no real qualms about it. It’s just that I have a hard time taking a fan-game like this seriously when you have various arrangements from other games, like from the original Star Ocean in there, Chrono Trigger and such, in a game that’s supposed to be all about Final Fantasy IV. I know that these songs are used in the bonus dungeon and all - but still, this type of thing doesn’t belong here.

The Aesthetics


- OH SHIT!


If there’s one thing that I can severely praise this game for, besides some of its story elements and its concept, it has to do with the overall presentation for this game, which not only looks great on-screen but it’s also quite impressive to boot! It’s an amazing accomplishment that someone managed to take the whole game of Final Fantasy IV – which is a pretty big game in its own right – and replicate it in its entirety in RPG Maker form while preserving as much of it as humanly possible. Yeah, sure, not everything is entirely intact, but you have to admire the man’s dedication and persistence to do something like this. It’s an amazing accomplishment, that’s for sure.

It’s not entirely all sunshine, rainbows and lollipops here, as I did encounter a few mapping passability errors in some places; the lag, of course, from mentioned early in some parts, is annoying as hell; some of the art assets do clash a little bit with one another, especially in regards to charsets and all, as you have some that use edited RPG Maker sprites along with some taken directly from various ports of the original game; and perhaps my favorite special effect of all time that just reeks of a special level of bad is when you travel from the moon and back using the Lunar Whale, as this game uses probably the most cheapest of transitions to get you there which is just laughingly hilariously to see.

But other than a few minor things that could be adjusted or fixed up, the game’s overall presentation looks nice and I really do commend the efforts of the author. I even like the fact that some of the dungeons have fancy changing overlays to it or that the tilesets change different colors throughout. It is definitely an impressive display.

The End Result


You…You killed him…


Overall though, despite some of its issues and some its questionable design choices in regards to certain elements, I can safely say for sure that I really enjoyed going through the world of Final Fantasy IV again in a brand new light and that this game provided a very interesting take of what could have been if certain things didn’t go down a particular route. For a Final Fantasy IV fangame, it’s a fantastic one that tries to keep the spirit of the original game intact while still providing a few new twists and turns and challenges for veteran players alike. I’m actually hoping that this sort of concept is done for future games, because I really like this type of thing and it would be very interesting to see how other games would turn out if certain decisions and actions were changed up. Hell, I would even like to see Sphere do an alternated version of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years if she ever gets the chance to do so for a future project - but I digress!

Now, do I like this particular adaptation verses the original storyline? Ehh…kind of…? I mean, there are definitely some things that I like in it and much prefer it over to the original, and it’s nice to see Kain being a true friend to Cecil instead of backstabbing him twice and even Golbez getting a lot more screen-time compared to his original role, but – I’m sorry – I just like Rydia and Rosa too much to see them become painful, vengeance-seeking bi*hes hell-bent on destruction too much to like it over this new, fresh take overall. I mean, come on - Rydia’s my favorite character in all of Final Fantasy IV! You can kill Edward and all those other clowns for all I care – but Rydia? Nah, she’s my main squeeze!

If you’re a major fan of Final Fantasy IV and consider it one of your favorites in the series and have beaten it on more than one occasion and you have the bandwidth and Internet speed to spare, you DEFINITELY should play this game, sit back and relax and enjoy this fresh take. Although you probably could still enjoy the game even if you haven’t played the original - I highly recommend that you do first.

Even after twenty-five years later, this game and its ever-lasting legacy still kicks ass! Here’s to another glorious twenty-five years and more so in the future, old friend. As long as you got your fans and your main different copies available on all different platforms – you can entertain even the most mundane of millennials.



OVERALL GRADE:
4 / 5 - B ~ Pretty Darn Good!!!

Posts

Pages: 1
Impressions incoming!

Admittedly, I did not get too far into playing this project before being completely turned off by it, stopping just after reaching Damcyan (I am a little more judgmental of FF fan projects than other projects, I confess), but I was extremely bothered by the following:

  • The downright lazy recreations of the FFIV maps. There are literally dozens of tiles missing, like the edges of water tiles. A good example is in the screenshot of the dancer above in Addit's review. It can also be seen above in the screenshot of the throne room. Those carpets should have edges, you know. Those tiles exist. The saving grace here is that Sphere does say in the game's description:

    "The maps themselves are similar to, but not exact, replicas of the original maps from the SNES version."

    But, personal opinion here... this is akin to saying, "Hey, use my product, even though the other product that came out over 20 years ago is probably a little bit better."

  • Speaking of graphic problems, the sprite style of the character sets do not match the environment at all, and are very poorly animated to boot. A lot of the characters walk as though they have just broken an ankle. If you're making an FF4 clone, it might have been a good idea to at least try to edit actual FF4 sprites to fit the new character designs, or simply use the actual rips. There are instances where the characters are twice as tall as the doorways they are entering. What? This is my biggest issue with the visuals. They don't look like FF4 characters or NPCs. They look like RPG Maker characters and NPCs dumped into FF4's world.


  • The encounter system. Oh boy. It is poorly coded, which is probably not Sphere's fault. But, in using it, he or she is ignorant to the problem and accepting of it as a "feature." The problem I'm talking about is that you can still get "randomly" attacked by enemies by standing still long enough! In addition, standing still is the only way to avoid encountering enemies every six steps, regardless of the radar. If you're providing a mini-map to show enemy encounters, shouldn't there at least be a viable way for players to avoid them, if they so choose? Sphere would have been better off using the built-in function of the RPG Maker software to allow players to avoid random encounters altogether if they wanted, either through the use of an options menu or an equippable item.


On a positive note, the changes to the game's plot didn't bother me, and the effort put into cloning FF4's battle events and the game's original cutscenes was admirable. It's a shame the same passion wasn't shown in some other areas of the game in favor of a shorter development period.

I would score it at a moderate 3 out of 5, based only on my impressions of the first few hours. Do not take this as a full review of the entire project. If and when I go back to it and finish playing it, I would submit a lengthier official review.
First of all, thank you for reviewing the game Addit! Your critiques are definitely noted, some of them couldn't be helped either due to my lack of Ruby scripting knowledge or a clash of scripts I had to make work together, but I'll definitely take your critiques with me as I head into my next game. This one was a great way to learn the ropes of game development. Your feedback is most appreciated!

As a note for you or others, the best revive spell is Arise, which is learned very late in the game but it is there. As for the lag, that bothered me to no end and I tried every anti-lag script I could but either they clashed with the game and caused a gamebreaking glitch or they simply didn't work. I guess FF4AD is the behemoth that couldn't be slayed by anti-lag scripts. lawl Know that I did try to alleviate that.

I found your review to be really thorough and great source of feedback, thanks Addit. I'm glad you enjoyed the game overall. =D My next game is going to feature an alternate path for FF Tactics more than likely, so we'll see how that goes.




author=WCouillard
Impressions incoming!

Admittedly, I did not get too far into playing this project before being completely turned off by it, stopping just after reaching Damcyan (I am a little more judgmental of FF fan projects than other projects, I confess), but I was extremely bothered by the following:

  • The downright lazy recreations of the FFIV maps. There are literally dozens of tiles missing, like the edges of water tiles. A good example is in the screenshot of the dancer above in Addit's review. It can also be seen above in the screenshot of the throne room. Those carpets should have edges, you know. Those tiles exist. The saving grace here is that Sphere does say in the game's description:

    "The maps themselves are similar to, but not exact, replicas of the original maps from the SNES version."

    But, personal opinion here... this is akin to saying, "Hey, use my product, even though the other product that came out over 20 years ago is probably a little bit better."

  • Speaking of graphic problems, the sprite style of the character sets do not match the environment at all, and are very poorly animated to boot. A lot of the characters walk as though they have just broken an ankle. If you're making an FF4 clone, it might have been a good idea to at least try to edit actual FF4 sprites to fit the new character designs, or simply use the actual rips. There are instances where the characters are twice as tall as the doorways they are entering. What? This is my biggest issue with the visuals. They don't look like FF4 characters or NPCs. They look like RPG Maker characters and NPCs dumped into FF4's world.

  • The encounter system. Oh boy. It is poorly coded, which is probably not Sphere's fault. But, in using it, he or she is ignorant to the problem and accepting of it as a "feature." The problem I'm talking about is that you can still get "randomly" attacked by enemies by standing still long enough! In addition, standing still is the only way to avoid encountering enemies every six steps, regardless of the radar. If you're providing a mini-map to show enemy encounters, shouldn't there at least be a viable way for players to avoid them, if they so choose? Sphere would have been better off using the built-in function of the RPG Maker software to allow players to avoid random encounters altogether if they wanted, either through the use of an options menu or an equippable item.

On a positive note, the changes to the game's plot didn't bother me, and the effort put into cloning FF4's battle events and the game's original cutscenes was admirable. It's a shame the same passion wasn't shown in some other areas of the game in favor of a shorter development period.

I would score it at a moderate 3 out of 5, based only on my impressions of the first few hours. Do not take this as a full review of the entire project. If and when I go back to it and finish playing it, I would submit a lengthier official review.

Your criticisms are definitely taken into account, but let me just say I'll never claim to be much of a great mapper. I literally had the OG SNES maps in front of me, and just applied the tiles as best as I could. I really wasn't being lazy, it's just a lack of experience with mapping. I can't even tell you how long I spent on doing the town maps to get them as 'right' as I possibly could with the skillset I had then. Definitely learned a lot on how to do more proper mapping, and how to correctly place tiles. I can only learn to do better.

In hindsight I probably should've used the sprite rips from the PSP version (I couldn't find complete rips of the PSP overworld sprites anywhere for the characters or NPCs), but I did want to have a more unique look to the game so I used Sithjester's renditions of the characters (which are formatted for XP so I had to do some reformatting and re-animating). I know it wasn't the best choice, but if I went the SNES/GBA route in terms of graphics, it'd look just like a romhack and I didn't want that. I'm definitely using rips for the next game though (at least from Record Keeper).

I just want both of you to know that I sincerely appreciate the feedback and the critiques. I'll be aiming for 5 stars with the next game. =D Thanks again!

Edit* I just had to mention that the 'special effect' going to and from the moon is definitely hilariously bad. I made it and was like, "... yeah this is pretty terribad." lawl
I've got pretty much every rip there is for all of the PSP/Mobile FF game releases, if you need them. I'd have to put together an archive and organize it a bit first.
author=WCouillard
I've got pretty much every rip there is for all of the PSP/Mobile FF game releases, if you need them. I'd have to put together an archive and organize it a bit first.


Dude I love you. =D I need FF Tactics for Mobile, FF 4 PSP and/or if you have the japanese mobile version that has the different sprites from the GBA or PSP versions.
Pages: 1