Final Fantasy IV, I'm done with you. Pack your things and go away. Don't look back.
This describes accurately what I was feeling last week. I was sad, and still am.
You see, I had to write a preview of the Final Fantasy IV 3D remake for the Nintendo DS to be published on the website I work to. I obviously had to do some research before beginning to write, so I thought it was a good idea to borrow my girlfriend's japanese copy of the game, play a little and to the article based on that and on info I would gather from the web.
And I soon realized that it actually wasn't such a good idea.
I never played FFIV back on the day, when it was first released in North America - I went straight to VI, which is just that awesome. I started tracking back on these older games way later, and played just the emulated versions of the game on the SNES and on the GBA. I thought the game was great, the characters amazing, all was very fine. But the years passed, and I just can't see it with the same eyes anymore.
The new DS version really impressed me, technically speaking. The opening CG is awesome, graphics are top notch and goddammit the characters speak! Like, with real voices! And it's not even low-quality radio vioces like in Megaman ZX Advent! The beginning really pumped me up. It really did.
But when I got out of the castle and marched with Kain towards the first mission on the Mist Valley... I started having second thoughts. The more I explored the caves, completed the map and battled the enemies, the more the game seemed bland to me. "This is just good and old Final Fantasy", in the not-so-good sense of the word. Nostalgia much? I don't know.
A week before I got my hands on FFIV again I started Mother 2 (Earthbound) on the GBA, and I just loved it. Gameplay is even more japanese-hardcore than Final Fantasy (actually it remembers me more of Dragon Quest), but I still loved it. There's nothing not to like on that game. And still, I can't seem to have the same degree of enjoyment with something I already liked before.
And of course, it showed on the preview text that was published. I just couldn't find the energy to talk about the game. And if the review falls on me when the game come out, it will probably show too. Maybe it won't, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Have anyone had an experience like that? Did anyone play the DS remake of FFIV, for that matter? Is the Final Fantasy traditional gameplay style really spent up?