Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light Review
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Matrix Software 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Square Enix 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: October 5, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Once you master the basics, the games gets a little complicated with the introduction of a class system that includes 28 "crowns" (one for each job class) that you can outfit your four heroes with. These crowns can be leveled, switched out, and used on the fly, which sounds pretty simple on the surface. But when you consider that you only have four main characters to outfit with your perfect roster of spells, attacks, and abilities, you begin to see the work that is cut out for you. And of course, the crown-leveling system is slow-going, so hopefully you like running back and forth between dungeons, as you'll be doing a lot of that. But hey, it's all in the name of success!

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light screenshot

Don't get me wrong. I actually really love Final Fantasy: the 4 Heroes of Light. The difficulty really amped up its charm, and the fact is challenging games rarely leave you bored. Frustrated, sure. But you always come back to them. And that's really where The 4 Heroes of Light really gets its play value. One minute I'm slamming my head against a wall because I died on the 11th floor of a very important area, but an hour or later I'm back and ready for more. The game also benefits from being a lengthy experience, so if you are looking for a handheld game that you can really get some miles out of, 4 Heroes of Light is it.

Technically, this game is passable on the DS. The visuals feature some cutesy characters and simplistic animations, but nothing here is particularly impressive. The game's art direction is also a bit weird, as locations, monsters, and dungeons vary widely from bright to grim. Even though art direction is all over the place, it works in this instance. I always looked forward to exploring a new area, and the constantly-changing visuals kept the game's more repetitive elements at least a bit more fresh. The audio unfortunately isn't as diverse as the visuals, and the game's handful of melodies and tunes can get really repetitive during long play sessions.

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If I haven't made it clear already, this is the driving point: 4 Heroes of Light is not a game for the faint of heart. Most of your time will be spend leveling up your characters, and you'll frequently find yourself wasting hours just fighting low-level monsters in the hope of gaining just one more level before attempting to try that dungeon another time. However, after all is said and done, the effort does feel worth it. Though the reward isn't really from the story, the experience is solid and the game truly feels like an accomplishment when all is said and done. If you enjoy nail-biting, difficulty-driven gameplay, then this title will give you plenty of hours of frustrating and exhilarating gameplay. If you are more of a story-driven or action-RPG fan, leave this one on the shelf.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
Graphics are minimalistic, but work well.
4.0
Control
Both stylus and button-based controls work well.
3.6
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Background music is passable, but can get repetitive after a while, especially if you are doing a lot of grinding in one area.
4.0

Play Value
There may not be much replay value, but with an adventure weighing in at twenty hours minimum (more if you like to tinker with the class system), you won't be putting this one down any time soon.

3.9
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • A Brand-New FINAL FANTASY For Nintendo DS: Experience an original story set in an all-new world created by the team behind the Nintendo DS versions of FINAL FANTASY III and FINAL FANTASY IV.
  • Beautiful Picture-Book Visuals: Akihiko Yoshida (FINAL FANTASY III DS, FINAL FANTASY XII) provides world-class art direction, lending the game’s cast and environments a charming picture-book style.
  • User-Friendly Controls: A simple Touchscreen interface offers easy access to the game’s extensive arsenal of physical, magical, and summoning abilities, meaning that players can forget about the controls and focus on the enemy.
  • Near Limitless Customization: Thanks to the game’s Crown System, characters can now switch their class at the drop of a hat or, more accurately, the change of a hat. Simply by changing the crown a character is wearing, players can assign them different abilities, and with over 20 crowns to discover (including Black Mage, White Mage, and Ranger crowns), the strategic options are practically limitless.
  • Share the Fun with Friends: Using DS Wireless Play, up to four friends can team up to tackle challenging dungeons. Apart from being a lot of fun, multiplayer mode allows players to collect Battle Points which can be exchanged for rare items that can be used in single-player mode.


  • Screenshots / Images
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