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Final Fantasy IV, the fourth Final Fantasy, was released for SNES as Final Fantasy IV in Japan in 1990 and Final Fantasy II in America in 1991. America got the crappier of the two releases, as it only contained the "easy" version of the game, and the translation was horrible. (Spoony bard, anyone?) Although the American release had its faults, Final Fantasy IV was amazing for its time. It introduced RPGs to thousands of people, it was hours of fun, and the story and characters were truly epic. Final Fantasy IV has been critically praised as one of the best video games of all time, and a pioneer for modern RPGs. Even though it's more than 20 years old, it's still fun today. It's one of my favorite games.
The game has been updated and rereleased several times. One looking to get into Final Fantasy IV today could try the GBA release, the WiiWare download, the PSOne download, the DS remake (the hardest of FFIV's releases), or the PSP Collection which includes Final Fantasy IV, and its sequels Interlude and The After Years. The versions I've played are the original SNES release, the GBA release, the DS remake, and the PSP Collection. My favorite by far is Final Fantasy IV Collection for PSP. Play the game however you can get your hands on it, though. Although its various releases have additions and differences, the story and characters remain the same, and they are what I believe make this game so awesome.
Final Fantasy IV is set in a traditional fantasy setting with monarchs and magic. The player experiences the story of Cecil, the only playable character who is with you throughout the entire game. Having killed innocent people after being ordered by his king, Cecil begins to doubt his ruler and his allegience. This leads Cecil on a path of self-discovery, where he rebels against his kingdom and eventually becomes responsible for nothing less than saving the world. To say anything more would spoil this amazing game.
On his travels, Cecil meets Edward, a bard and prince. Though only for a short time, their stories overlap, and they fight together for the same cause.
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