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Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
Whether or not you want Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection depends on a few things. If you’ve bought FFIV before, you might not want to waste your time unless you really want the redone add-ons. For players new to the game, this is by far the definitive version and well worth choosing over the others.
Clearly, Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is the ultimate purchase for Final Fantasy IV fans. Even if you’re already experienced with the core Final Fantasy IV experience, there’s still so much to see and do here that it’ll be hard not jump back in. The After Years and Interlude certainly aren’t as strong as the primary game, but fans like me will enjoy getting to know more about the characters we love in locales we’re already familiar with, putting a little bow on the entire saga.
Overall, Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is a solid package, especially with an MSRP of $29.99. Even though it isn’t the definitive version of the game, it is a solid way into the franchise and the best way to experience The After Years. If Square Enix would have paid a little more attention to what the hardcore audience might have wanted, instead of a simple cash in on a tried and tested formula, this game would have been a must-have for everyone. Instead, it is just another good version of an already legendary game.
FFIV: The Complete Collection boasts an impressive amount of gameplay and bonus content. FFIV weighs in at more than 30 hours itself, including side quests and optional dungeons imported from the Game Boy Advance version. The After Years contains at least 40 hours and implements challenge dungeons, which offer formidable foes and valuable prizes that can be loaded into the last chapter for the final boss fight. Dozens of bosses also await you in these bonus areas, as do challenging eidolon fights to test your mettle. This is a compelling package--and one sure to satisfy all your role-playing game cravings.
While there are issues, the nostalgic feel that exudes from this collection is nothing to find fault with, as it perfectly serves its intended purpose of being a retro collection. If paying for Final Fantasy IV again isn't enough and the fan service-filled After Years holds no appeal, then pass on this. If you loved Final Fantasy IV back in the 90s and are looking to relive that experience along with some new content, then Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection might just be a good fit for you.
As a collection consisting of a dated classic and its two uneven latter-day sequels, the Complete Collection is selling on the strength of FFIV and the novelty of its follow-ups. And FFIV is great! But it's also well-trodden territory at this point, presented in a technologically unambitious and aesthetically questionable package. The problem with this collection isn't that it lacks anything new, but rather that the new content feels like a pale imitation of the masterpiece it follows. Every RPG fan should have FFIV in their collection, so it might as well be this one given the amount of supplemental content it includes. Just be aware that if you were to forego this package for a previous rendition of FFIV, you wouldn't be missing all that much.