I do not remember the exact day the original Final Fantasy game was released. I was only 3 years old at the time. I was only aware of Mario’s romp on top of mushrooms and Link’s journey through the countryside. Storytelling during that time was basic at best and nonexistent at worst. But it wasn’t the games’ fault: Cartridges back then had only so much memory available to store all of the information. It is not like today; a single CD has well over 800 MB available. Well, Square-Enix is working hard to take us back to the “good ol’ days” of gaming when it was all about games being light-hearted adventures. That’s what I thought of when I saw Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light for the Nintendo DS.
The 4 Heroes of Light is the first Final Fantasy game made from the ground up for the DS. The game follows a young group of teenagers who wander about the world in search of adventure. Not much about the plot was revealed, but the world looks promising.
In fact, a fair amount of space is available for wandering. Even though the world looks a bit grainy, it feels like a storybook. The visuals are almost pastel-like, giving an air of innocence. Furthermore, the game seems to move smoothly. This is especially true on the world map as the game scrolls from one area to the other. Combat also moves around smoothly.
Preparing for combat is actually where things begin to get interesting. Each character can wear a crown, the game’s version of the Job Class system. For example, a character can wear a bandit’s mask, allowing him/her to steal items from enemies. There is a warrior’s hat and the traditional black mage’s sombrero. Each crown can be encrusted with jewels, further enhancing its power.
When combat begins, each character can “store” so many ability points. Or as I like to think of it, “action points.” Each action during combat takes up so many points, and each character starts with two points. The traditional item and fight commands only take up one point, while the cure and fire spells (respectively) take two. Characters can boost this by one point each round by choosing the “Boost” command. Regardless, each character regenerates one point each turn.
From there, everything flows like a traditional role-playing game. The fastest character goes first, and the slowest goes last. Attacks hit different ranks. Physical attacks usually go for monsters in the front, while spells hit monsters in the rear. How well this will work is yet to be seen.
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light seems to be coming along rather well. It harkens back to the simplicity of the olden days while retaining a modern feel. In other words, it could be considered fun “comfort food.” Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light is to be released Oct. 5. For more information, visit http://www.ff4heroes.com/.