Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection
By Chad Sapieha,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Complex RPG with mild violence, mature themes.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
A complex narrative presents themes of love, loss, betrayal, guilt, loyalty, and duty. The story revolves around the idea of fighting for what’s good and right in the face of adversity, and being true to friends and your own nature.
Positive Role Models
Our primary hero is a soldier who lives under the rule of a king who murders innocents for personal gain. He must betray his leadership and make personal sacrifices in order to do what is right. He spends much of his time fighting, but it is with honorable intent. Other characters show courage in the face of adversity as well, overcoming personal loss and struggling on when things seem hopeless. Most of the game's primary characters fight, but the violence depicted is mild and they always have good reason.
Ease of Play
Players familiar with role-playing games should have no trouble diving into this 20-year-old classic. Its traditional turn-based combat is simple to learn and easy enough to start, though it becomes much more challenging as the game progresses.
Violence & Scariness
Players engage in turn-based battles against fantasy creatures and humans using swords and magic. Enemies flash and then fade away when struck. Blood is not depicted within the game itself, but an image in “Gallery Mode” -- a repository of concept art -- shows a bleeding door.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters wear slightly revealing outfits that show cleavage and others perform dances, but the characters are tiny and the graphics are rudimentary; little that might be considered offensive is ever seen. One of the “Gallery Mode” images depicts a woman who appears to be topless, though without detail.
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Mild language, including the words “hell” and “damn,” occasionally pop up in the game’s text dialogue.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters visit pubs and infrequently speak of wine and “booze” in the game’s dialogue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is a traditional role-playing game with mild fantasy violence. There is some mild cussing, a few references to alcohol use, and some of the female characters wear sexy outfits. Players spend a good deal of time fighting, but the graphics are old-fashioned and do not depict blood or gore. Instead, the game focuses on telling a story filled with strong and noble characters. Compelling themes including honor, perseverance, and redemption. Parents should know that the game's storyline is complex, and that the characters dwell on mature topics, such as the needless killing of innocents in war and the loss of loved ones.
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Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection
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What’s It About?
FINAL FANTASY IV: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION is the latest iteration of a beloved role-playing game originally released two decades ago. It contains the original game -- a huge story with a dozen playable characters -- reworked to feature improved graphics and music, as well as its 2009 sequel, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, which is set years after events of the first game and follows the stories of franchise's main characters and their descendants. There's also a short, brand-new episode dubbed "Interlude" that helps bridges the two games' tales. The end result is a sweeping and epic narrative that tells the complete story of several of the most memorable protagonists ever to appear on the medium's fantasy RPG stage.
Is It Any Good?
Assuming you aren't a traditionalist who abhors the idea of old games receiving mild graphical and audio tweaks to take advantage of modern hardware, Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is clearly the definitive version of what many RPG fans believe to be one of the best entries in Square Enix's popular series. The story of Cecil, a guilt-ridden dark knight who betrays his king in order to do what he believes to be right, is as moving now as it has ever been, as are the tales of his companions, many of whom are similarly troubled and have suffered terrible losses. Indeed, few characters in the world of games conjure up as much sympathy as this bunch. That you can continue their stories after the game ends with a quick visit back to the main screen to select The After Years, an episodic game that came out nearly 20 years after the original but is nearly as compelling, only enhances the experience and adds to The Complete Collection's value. This is one Final Fantasy game not to be missed by franchise fans.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about violence in interactive media. How did you feel when taking part in this game's fantasy combat scenarios? Would you have felt differently had these scenes played out with more realistic graphics?
Families can also discuss storytelling in games. Have you ever felt emotionally moved by a game? What advantages or disadvantages do games have in terms of telling a compelling story?
- Platform: PSP
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Release date: April 19, 2011
- Genre: Role-Playing
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Alcohol Reference, Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence, Language, Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: August 30, 2016
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