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Road to 100: #92 Final Fantasy IV

Road to 100: #92 Final Fantasy IV


Yes. You read that right. I finally beat it. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally arrived at the conclusion of Final Fantasy IV.

When I was grinding and grinding (and then dying and losing all my progress), I really REALLY didn’t like this game. I mean, I couldn’t stand it. It felt unforgiving and excruciatingly drawn-out. But now that it’s all over, I find myself looking back at FFIV with a sense of relative fondness.  Yes, you read that right (especially if you read my prior feelings about this game) I spent hours and hours training, just to die, leading me to restart my training montage. It was soul-draining. But why do I kinda like this game?

All in all, I spent around 45 hours playing through FFIV, and in all honesty, that’s not even that much time. I played through Bravely Default, and that took over 80 hours. But all 80 of those hours were spent with a smile on my face. I was excited to turn on my 3DS. I couldn’t wait to dive into the world that Bravely Default had built.

In contrast, I dreaded turning on FFIV. I knew that I had to beat it. I had to sit down and pump it out. And that’s not what video games are supposed to be about. Video games aren’t chores. You play them to have fun, and 50% of FFIV wasn’t fun to me. The incessant grinding was straight up obnoxious. I was perpetually under-leveled and I never really felt like a boss. Even after all that training, I was still struggling to get by.

That said, the other 50% was really, really fun. I can see why people herald this game as one of the best Final Fantasy games. It’s because it is actually good. Despite all of my whining and such, FFIV is a solid game. The strategy in this game is awesome, and the characters were developed more than I had expected. Some elements of the game came completely out of left field. I don’t want to spoil a 45 hour adventure, but FFIV’s story is better than it seems.ffiv

But the final dungeon/boss/whatever… WTF. That last portion of the game just kicked my butt. I love the setting and the story and every abstract element, but the gameplay was rough. The basic enemies could slaughter me if I wasn’t paying EXTREMELY close attention to my every move. While FFIV has an auto-battle mechanic (and it is a life saver when it comes to all that grinding!) I still had to pay attention and be careful during battles.

Surprisingly enough, I love the characters in this stinkin’ game. After playing FFIII, I know what it’s like to play through an RPG with ZERO character development, so I can really appreciate FFIV’s characters. I came to love my cast of five as I ventured into the maw of eternal death. I had a connection with all of them (some more than others), and I really wanted my guys to win (also, I really wanted to beat this game!)

But I did it. And in the end, it wasn’t actually that bad of a game. If I had to sum up FFIV in one word, it would be “outdated.” The RPG had been perfected in more recent years, and while in some ways it’s fun to go back and see what our forefathers played, don’t subject yourself to the grinding torture that is FFIV.

#92. Complete! Onwards to #93!

You can follow Andy on Twitter @vElectricv.

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