The direct sequel to the classic Super NES role-playing game, Final Fantasy IV, is heading to the Nintendo Wii.
Square Enix released Final Fantasy IV in 1991 as Final Fantasy II (the original Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III were not released overseas from Japan until a latter date) in North America.
The game marked a significant jump in the role-playing genre, the most important innovation being the Active Time Battle System. Instead of being turn-based, the battle in Final Fantasy IV uses a bar which, when filled up, allows the character to perform an action. That gameplay element was so successful that Square Enix brought it back for subsequent sequels in addition to brand new games.
Final Fantasy IV was also a huge leap in the story-telling department. Helped by one of the best soundtracks in gaming history, the story in this role-playing game was far more mature than any previous titles. For the first time, players actually feel emotionally attached to the characters in a video game.
Square Enix later ported and remade Final Fantasy IV to the Playstation, Wonderswan, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. However, a sequel wouldn’t arrive until 2008 in Japan.
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years follows the footsteps of Final Fantasy X-2 in that both titles are the direct sequels to their respective games. This is because the mainline Final Fantasy games share no direct connection with each other aside from some broad themes.
Another unique distinction for this upcoming Nintendo Wii game is that it was already released as a mobile game. Like many popular franchises (especially in Japan), Final Fantasy hop on the bandwagon of the advancing technology in mobile phones. The demand for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years on a more traditional gaming platform was loud, however, and Square Enix had no choice but to port it due to the potential revenue.
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years takes place years after the event of Final Fantasy IV. The story follows the story of Ceodore, the son of Final Fantasy IV’s Cecil Harvey and Rosa Farrell. The ominous second moon has appeared once again in the sky and is causing chaos around the world. It is up to Ceodore and his group of old and new friends to save the day.
Visually, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years retains the same 2D style from Final Fantasy IV on the Super NES. The background and character sprites do look quite a bit better with smoother visuals and more details. In terms of gameplay, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years introduces several elements to the core gameplay in Final Fantasy IV: combination attacks and moon phases that mixes up the battles.
No release dates has been announced for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. Not to mention that it is not yet known whether it will be retail Nintendo Wii game or a WiiWare downloadable title. Whenever it comes out in whatever form, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years will be one of the best role-playing games on the Nintendo Wii.