What we have here is a Final Fantasy: plot is good, gameplay is good, soundtrack is good and everything else is. The problem is once again in Square Enix's hands: they think it's [financially] interesting to launch a GBA game on Wii with prices of full DS titles.
My experience with Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is a bit unique; I had never played any Final Fantasy games prior to owning a Wii, and only then did I play the original NES Final Fantasy, followed immediately by Final Fantasy II (IV) ported from the Super NES, both on the Wii Virtual Console service. I enjoyed both, particularly FFIV, so I jumped right in to FFIV:TAY. It is very faithful to the source material and picks up right where the previous game left off (well, several years after, but it felt seamless). I enjoyed the story and the ability to play through various chapters with different characters and teams, with all storylines eventually coinciding and moving ahead with the final chapter. The game must be purchased in several installments, so it does get a bit expensive as you keep adding more chapters, but I found all to be worthwhile purchases. This is also a big time drain - I probably spent 50 hours total playing through the entire game over the course of several weeks! It can be a bit plodding at times and there's not a whole lot of new, fresh material, but for big fans of Final Fantasy it's a worthwhile endeavor. Recommended.
Well if you are a fan of the Final Fantasy games at all and are looking for a good single player RPG then look no further. But if you dislike the older Final Fantasy games and are not willing to buy new content to extend the game you should look elsewhere.
A great start for this sequel to FFIV. The bad part is that while 800 and 300 points sound small you’re going to be spending roughly 3700 points ($40) to get the full experience. That’s a big chunk of change for a DLC title, so being a fan of Final Fantasy is a must.
If you loved Final Fantasy IV (Final Fantasy II on the Super NES and Wii Virtual Console), you will likely enjoy this direct sequel. To get the complete experience, you will need to invest a lot of time and Wii points; after downloading and completing the main game on the WiiWare shop, you'll be prompted to go back and buy the several follow-up chapters for about 300 points each. I found the game fun and challenging, but there is a lot of "grinding" involved, and it can get quite tedious. Attempting to reach 100 percent completion, as I did, will take a couple dozen hours (and I stretched it out over several months). A good story and engaging characters kept me interested, but really there's not a whole lot new to see here. I marvel at the fact this game was originally released on mobile phones in Japan; I have no idea how one would play through such a lengthy old-school RPG on a tiny screen with tiny buttons! (Long train rides, I guess?)
This game is extremely old school. Extremely high "random encounter" rate, lots of grinding, cheesy Japanese dialogue/plot, etc etc.
So why did I beat it? Pure nostalgia for the most part. If you played and beat FF4, you'll want to play and beat this game. I started off hating the fact that they continued the plot of one of the most well wrapped-up endings of any Final Fantasy game, but despite that I have to admit they did a good job.
Is it worth the price? Probably not, but I paid it, and don't regret it. If you don't like the old school Final Fantasies (aka pre-FF7), you won't like this game, but if you do, I strongly recommend it.
The After Years is a direct sequel to the iconic 4th iteration of the Final Fantasy series, as its title suggests it is set several years after the events of the original, so you can see how our beloved or hated characters grow up and even meet some of their children. In theory and depending on how you see sequels, this could be a great experience but in practice, it is far from the mark.
The game is presented in episodes, each episode stars one specific character that you follow mainly for that said episode, this decision might feel odd but narratively speaking it makes sense more or less, a lot of the stories are happening almost at the same time so you can see characters from other stories intertwine briefly and unfold the plot little by little, again, in theory this sound like it could be an interesting choice but in reality, it felt quite tiresome to start a chapter with a new set of characters and to increase their levels again and again, in no time you get tired to the core.
Let's talk about the gameplay, it uses the ATB system so you know more or less the drift, the interesting new feature tho is a new command called 'Band' this band thing consists in combining two commands of two to five characters to make a more powerful defensive or offensive skill, is interesting since you have to do trial and error to find what combinations can be made, it uses MP to prevent extended usage of them or to exploit them which is OK. Another new feature is that now the potency of your attacks, magic, throws, and summons depends on the phases of the moon, this not only affects you but also the enemies so depending on the jobs of your party you need to choose wisely on which moon you're going to venture a dungeon, depending on your decision you might have a harder or slower time, although you can change the phase by resting in inns or tents.
Now, taking aside the new features that can feel sometimes superficial, the gameplay remains the same as the original or at least the newer editions of the original, what it truly makes me reconsider quitting this game on more instances that I want to recall was first and foremost the grinding, to put you in perspective the original game took me 31 hours to beat, this one took me 44 hours, in the original, I did some sidequests while in TAY I didn't, why I comparing their length you say? I'm glad you ask, The After Years consists not only on similar almost identical events of the original with other characters but it also features every boss of it, dungeon and locations rearranged in a different order so in a lot of ways is like playing the original but with less charm and soul, combine this with over-grinding and you'll get a tiresome and unbearable experience, it doesn't help that you have to repeat and backtrack some dungeons in different events.
Being an episodic game I imagine that it would be complex to a game like this be explorative on its design so I'm not blaming that much that they made it this linear, but keep in mind that you're guided literally to where to go next every time that you advance of the story, at least till the last episode where you'll be tasked to repeat a few dungeons again.
The music is still great mainly because they're arranged versions of the original game with a few new tunes that sound like they belong to this game , I can even say that I appreciate some characters more after playing with them again, although the new characters are fine I think they're overshadowed by the older ones, I would prefer that the story focused more on them and give the veteran cast a more supporting role, however, it's nice that by the end of the game you get a huge pool of characters to choose from, so I guess is not that bad in that regard, also at different points of your adventure you'll find several instances where some characters can get permadeath, at least to me it affected my gameplay and narrative so it seems that several story branches exist so you can replay the game to see them all, it is indeed a nice touch for the hardcore players but in my case, I wouldn't mind keeping this game in an obscure place for a long time.
As an RPG is at its best OK but for the most part it's generic and repetitive, however, being the sequel to one of the best FF entries and to completely recreate events, boss fights and almost everything from that game makes this experience cheap and tiresome, it is truly a big missed opportunity. I wouldn't recommend it to play it that much unless you're itchy to know what happens next to our heroes, in that regard it has some kind of payoff and maybe it even gives you the illusion that it was worth it but it is a 70% bitter 30% sweet experience, so if you're going for it just be prepared for an excessive, grindy and unbalanced game.
You spend most of this short game mindlessly attacking and **** down potions. You only briefly have a party then the rest of the time you are solo or duoing. Then the credits roll which are longer than the game minus the boring fights. Total cash grab.
Summary[WiiWare] FINAL FANTASY IV: THE AFTER YEARS is the sequel to the hit RPG FINAL FANTASY IV. The story takes place many years after the original and centers on a young man named Ceodore, son of the paladin Cecil and the white mage Rosa, who, along with their loyal and steadfast friends, once saved the world from evil born of the second mo...