Final Fantasy IV

FFIV soundtrack remixed, free

Huge rock-opera has 46 tracks.

OverClocked ReMix has finished its community-wide remix of Final Fantasy IV, and is offering the massive album free either whole or dissected, track-by-track.

Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy IV

Chocobo selector.

The Final Fantasy series polarises gamers like no other. Believers defend its shortcomings, idiosyncrasies and cynical spin-offs with blind fury while detractors are only too eager to dismiss the entire mythology off-hand. Final Fantasy, as an idea, can do no wrong to those blinded by fond memories of younger days spent dreaming in Midgar or doodling pictures of Aerith, Squall or Tidus just as it can do no right to those who won't see past the random battles, overblown dialogue and kindergarten philosophy.

The problem with these black and white opinions is that they leave no room for nuance and subtlety, those shades of grey in which truth is so often painted. Because, within the Final Fantasy series, quality and ingenuity vary greatly, even when the games appear very similar. Nowhere is this more apparent than when comparing this update of Final Fantasy IV to last year's overhaul of Final Fantasy III.

Both games, developed by Matrix Software, are aesthetically identical. They employ the same fonts, menu screens, squat polygonal characters, washed-out colour palette and world textures as one another; both games reinterpret their source matter in very similar ways and yet, by way of some subtle tweaks and balances, and the benefit of stronger source material, this Final Fantasy manages to be a marked improvement over the previous one in almost every way.

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Final Fantasy IV for DS this summer

Loads of new features.

Not content with coming up with the longest game name on record (or at least our record, which we started today), Square Enix has dispatched news that Final Fantasy IV for DS will be released in Europe this summer.

FFIV for DS

SNES classic revamped.

Square Enix revealed at last weekend's 2007 party in Japan that it would be resurrecting Final Fantasy IV for DS.

Flight of Fantasy

A history of the recurring dream.

Occasionally a videogame so perfectly exemplifies a particular type of gameplay that its name becomes interchangeable with that of its genre. Mario is easy shorthand for the Platform game; Tetris, piece by piece epitomises the Puzzle genre; Dance Dance Revolution is foot sign language for Rhythm Action; and Street Fighter's Ryu and Ken, even today, bounce hunched as poster boys for Beat-‘em-ups everywhere.

Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy IV

More heartless cruelty.

Every good fairytale starts with heartless cruelty - a small child orphaned, a princess sent into the woods to be killed - and the Final Fantasy games follow much the same formula. But in the case of Final Fantasy IV Advance, the twist of the knife is even more brutal.

Starting out as the Dark Knight Cecil, you're sent by your King to forcibly take a magical water crystal from a nearby town. When, on your return, you question his increasingly violent tactics, you're stripped of the command of your prized Red Wing airship squadron and ordered on a mundane mission to deliver a ring to the village of Mist.

But you've been double-crossed. It's actually a bomb, and the resulting inferno kills all but one of the town's inhabitants. Turning over a new leaf in Mist, you hook up with that sole survivor, a young summoner called Rydia, and set out on your adventure. At rock bottom, your quest for redemption has begun.

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Final Fantasy tops poll

Of games that make us cry.

Respondents to a survey on emotion in videogames have voted Square-Enix's Final Fantasy titles as the most emotionally rich games ever made, citing the death of Aeries in Final Fantasy VII as the series' most tearjerking moment.