Final Fantasy IV PC Technical Review



Company: Square Enix, Eidos Interactive
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Sean Ridgeley
Date: September 23rd, 2014

Graphics options and visuals, performance, controls and user interface, conclusion

Graphics options and visuals

Final Fantasy IV sports two graphics options: Resolution and Fullscreen. Few are expected in the case of a port like this, but at the least, anti-aliasing should be there in addition to what's already offered.

I would consider the low $15.99 pricetag into consideration when evaluating the visuals, except the upcoming and much more graphically advanced Final Fantasy XIII sports the same tag. So with that in mind, Final Fantasy IV looks very much like a portable port. Textures are sometimes reasonably smooth given what the game is, but about as often are very blocky and distracting. Shadows are reasonably strong, though still leagues away from any high-end PC game. Taken for what it is, it looks fine; compared to XIII, it fares much worse.

Resolutions are not optimized for PC: testing all manner of them on my 16:9 monitor, black bars riddled the sides of the image despite having the correct resolutions for my aspect ratio selected.

Performance

Framerate is capped at 30 outside of battles, and 15 in battles. This sounds much worse than it actually is (it's quite playable), but there's no denying gameplay could feel smoother at 60fps or higher in and out of battles.

Controls and user interface

The mouse is not supported at all; keyboard controls are very awkward (arrow keys for movement, Enter for action, Tab for menu, etc) and are not at all worth using. In any case, they are customizable. Controllers are supported; I tested it with the Xbox One controller and it felt infinitely more natural.

Menus, dialogue boxes, are HUD elements are well-sized for PC: large and very clear but not obtrusive.

Conclusion

If you're really hankering to try this remake and don't want to or can't get it on other devices for whatever reasons, the PC version will do you alright: the frame time latency is acceptable, it works well with a controller, and the graphics are decent. That said, if you can't stand black bars, having to use a controller, and/or anything less than 60fps regardless of genre, you'll want to stay away.