While I scored the initial chapter and first half of the main storyline of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years as a 7.5 (that’s comparable to “Very Good”), I also felt that the game had some potential to improve. The additional chapters Square Enix would release between the initial release and the conclusion of the main story could make or break the experience, since they focused on the established characters outside of Cecil, Rosa, and Kain, and what had gone on in their life both before this sequel and during the timeframe the game is set in.
Square has put out three new episodes out, at 300 points a piece, in addition to Rydia’s sidestory, which debuted along with the main game. Yang, Palom, and Edge are now all playable in their own sidestories, which, based on Rydia and my playtime withYang’s quest, appear to be about three hours a piece. Pretty good for $3, especially since the data and statistics are saved once you complete a chapter for use in other ones.
While Rydia’s story let you play as a fully-grown Luca, Yang’s story lets you play with not only his amazing facial hair, but also his daughter, Ursula. She’s trying to establish herself as a worthwhile monk, despite being a princess; this is part of the storyline, but it fits very well. You’ll visit some locations that fans of the original will recognize, but also some new ones, and you’ll also get to fight with some of Fabul’s fabled monks–they will last in battle for more than 3.5 seconds, for the first time in Fabul’s recorded history!
I haven’t played through Edge or Palom’s quest yet, but I plan on going through both of them soon. I think these sidequests are helping me to warm up to a game I already liked quite a bit, so by the time the complete story ends, maybe we’ll see a higher score to reflect that on the game as a whole. Let’s hope Square and Matrix Software keep putting out quality chapters for us to enjoy.