I started playing Final Fantasy IV over the weekend. I last dabbled with this game via the GBA port around 2009 or so, and at the time was sort of overwhelmed by a large backlog which tended to keep me away from longer RPG's. I think at the time I was way more focused on fighting games, shmups and other arcadey experiences. And so my memory was firing the game up, playing it for an afternoon and then bailing because I got distracted by something else. It had nothing to do with the quality of the game. It was always a "someday I'll get around to this classic" deal.
A few years later when the PSP version was released I picked that one up with the intention of playing through the After Years prequel first, and then the full game. Except... I was still pretty much in that same phase referenced above.
And so... it's been a long time, but here we are. I'm now playing the remake on DS and I'm quite impressed with it. For a split second the updated graphics threw me off. I guess I forgot this was a full-on remake - which I should have remembered given that I'd played the Final Fantasy III remake a few years ago. And though the beautiful SNES sprite art is missed, I have to say they did a good job translating the visuals here.
So far I picked up Rydia and spent some time grinding so that she'd not get killed in a single hit. The benefit is that she's learned a few new spells on top of that. We met up with that guy... um, Anna's dad? His spells were pretty killer, but after we (easily) beat the kraken he got swapped out of my party for the spoony bard. We're off to kill an antlion except the bard is quite a few levels beneath Cecil and Rydia, so I'll prob want to grind him up a bit first as well.
Continuing on with Final Fantasy IV, and having a really good time with it. I grinded a bit so Edward could survive a fight. His Hide ability helped make that happen too. Then we went and explored the Antlion's cave. Dungeons are fun to explore in this game since (at least in the DS version) you get some extra loot for opening up the full map. It gives incentive and makes it feel less tedious. Having said that, I zigged when I should have zagged and entered into the bossfight prior to finding a safe place to heal up and save the game. I didn't realize the eye color thing on the Antlion right away, so got beat up pretty good. So unfortunately I had to redo the whole dungeon over again, which killed some time. The Antlion was no problem the second time around.
Went back to rescue Rosa and then picked up the bald karate dude and now we're chilling just outside a village north of the icy mountains there. So making some good progress. I'm glad I'm taking the time to really focus on this one. I've played a lot of Final Fantasy games over the years - the majority of the mainline and quite a few spin-offs, and I'm already feeling like this one is absolute top-tier.
I just checked a walkthrough to gauge how far I am into Final Fantasy IV. It looks like I'm just about 50% through, as I'm sitting at the boss battle against Scarmiglione. I am absolutely loving this game. Exploration is so rewarding. And because your party is constantly getting switched up, it makes grinding feel interesting and meaningful. As it stands, this is easily in my Top 5 FF games of all time right now.
I didn't have much time to play FFIV last night, but made it to what I think is a pretty big milestone in the game: Cecil is now a Paladin. Winning a battle against his own dark side by NOT attacking was a pretty great touch. Of course it threw me off to leave that battle and realize that becoming a new class meant that he was now lvl 1. Yikes. So I'll do some grinding and go buy some new armor and everything. But that's what I am loving about this game - it just keeps tossing curveballs, which isn't always what the Final Fantasy series is known for.
Final Fantasy IV continues to be awesome as I approach about the ten hour mark. I've had a tough week, and this game has been a great way to unwind before bed. I spent some time grinding Cecil back up to level 20, and it fit well with listening to The Office on Netflix. Then went back to Baron and found um, the bald dude again. I'm so bad with names. You know who I mean. Anyway, we did some sneaking through some underground tunnels and backdoored our way into the castle. There was a big battle against this water based boss and that was a ton of fun as three members of my party had access to thunder so we roughed him up pretty good. Then I sat thru a long Kojima-ish cutscene that at least had that classic soothing Final Fantasy title screen music that lulls me so well. Then I noticed that I should have already been in bed.
I'm a little over 11 hours into FF4 now, and still having a blast. I went into that cave that has a magnetic field, which was interesting. I did a bit of grinding in there, so my party is all level 30+ now. Took me a couple of tries to defeat the boss in there - his dragon form was pretty strong. Anyway, now I'm following Kain to go find Rose. We'll see.
Okay so this was infuriating. I went into that big tower that Kain led me to in FF4 and I could tell I was a bit underleveled. Everyone was around lvl 30, so I figured I'd take it slow to grind for a bit on the first couple floors. Then I got cocky. So I kept going up. By the time I got to the fifth floor, everyone was around lvl 34 and then... I got wiped out by some enemies I hadn't encountered yet. And I lost a good hour plus of grinding. Bah!
Spent some time in waiting rooms yesterday, so worked on FF4 s'more. I meticulously went thru Zod Tower. I decided to maximize grindage, I'd do a floor, leave, heal up/buy potions, save, go do the next floor, rinse & repeat. By the time I got to the three sisters, they were a breeze. My main mage is gone now (I'm bad with names... begins with a T...), which is a bummer because I'd have unequipped his armor first haha. But now I've got Rosa and Kain back which is awesome. The next boss was that serpenty looking one that uses tornadoes and lightning. It was a little bit of a tough battle in that it required a bit of strategic thinking, but I ended it pretty quickly.
I still love this game. Hard.
Alright so a lot of stuff has happened in FF4. I'm 16 hrs in now. Cecil is lvl 35 now if I recall. We visited a small island town and looked at the moon from an observatory. This game just oozes charm. Anyway, we opened up the underworld and made friends with dwarves. Took on a couple of bosses. Rydia came back and now she's got black magic and better summons. Next up, we're off to try to snatch seven crystals from the enemies' keep. This game rules. I'm pretty sure it's now my favorite Final Fantasy game that I've ever played.
I'm about 20 hours into FF4 now. And have now seen (spoilers) Yang and Cid sacrifice themselves. There's a lot of that in this game. It's interesting that the party changes so much so constantly. Although, it sucks when you lose some good gear with no notice.
Made some progress in FF4 over the weekend. I'm like 25 hrs in now. I'm in the little cave in the southern end of the underworld map. The one where you need the upgraded flying ship to access it. I'm doing a bit of grinding in here to level up the guitar player from U2. I feel like I'm heading into the end of the game, and everyone's around level 50 right now.
Alright well, I made it to the moon. I'm definitely not leveled up enough to be there though, so I'm thinking that I'll take a break from FF4 to focus on DQ5 for a while now. This seems like a good stopping point so I can come back to it later.