Final Fantasy IV: Interlude is one of those games that has been long forgotten by casual gamers and Final Fantasy enthusiasts alike. Bridging the gap between the revered Final Fantasy IV and its unpopular sequel, this game never made it off the PSP. In this review, I, Brighton Nelson, will discuss this forgotten game and detail its strengths, weaknesses, and mixed aspects in today's article... a Final Fantasy IV: Interlude Review: A game that exists.
Battle System - 6
Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years had pretty solid battle systems. The former was very interesting due to the constant switching around of the party due to story reasons, and the latter was interesting due to the Moon Phases and Bands that different characters could use. However, since the party is just a bunch of characters carried over from the original without any interesting innovations, this game may have the most tedious and uninventive version of the Final Fantasy ATB system we've seen. It isn't awful because the ATB system has never and will never be awful, but it just isn't good enough to give any higher of a score.
Story - 2
This story did not need to exist. It introduces the Creator, shows Kain wants redemption, shows that Summons are acting weird and that Cecil is Ursula's godfather. That is literally the entirety of the plot here. This story isn't awfully written, but it is unnecessary to the plot of Final Fantasy IV and its sequel (which was already pretty unnecessary...). I am not going to give it a 1 because, well, that would be a bad story executed badly, and this is just a bad story executed well, so, in the end, I have nothing else to say about this not-so-story-filled story.
Music - 7.5
This game has the soundtrack from Final Fantasy IV but to a lesser extent! The music here is as good as it was in the original, but since it doesn't have any new tracks and just has fewer tracks than the original? I can't give this game any higher of a score than 7.5. It wouldn't make any sense. I know I'm a wet blanket, but what can I say? This game isn't good.
Characters - 7
I can't say I dislike the characters in this game because they are still the fantastic characters from the original game, but with no character depth or growth in this game, this game makes even some of my favorite RPG characters of all time seem rather bland. Yet still, they are some of my favorite RPG characters for a reason, and as much as Monk A, Monk B, and Monk C aren't very interesting, I loved Cecil, Yang, Rydia, and the twins just as much as ever, so I really can't hate on this game's characters too much. Ultimately, the best part of this game is seeing yet another chapter of these character's stories, as unnecessary as it may be. If anything, that shows just how hoe-hum this game is.
Customization System - 3
We have Cecil, Rydia, Palom, Porom, Cid, Edge, Rosa, Monk A, Monk B, and Yang here. This makes stuff fun. At least the character parties are constantly changing here, which makes stuff more interesting than a game like Dragon Warrior 1 or something. Seriously though, this game did nothing to expand on what was set by Final Fantasy IV or Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. For that, this customization system deserves nothing but a 3 out of 10.
Sidequests - 1
Unless you want to grind for rare drops found from different monsters, there's nothing here regarding side content in Final Fantasy IV Interlude. Forget people saying Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII are linear; this game literally doesn't let you use its airship or do any sidequests throughout the world! Seriously, this game sucks in the side quests department. It isn't a 0 out of 10 like Final Fantasy X-2 because I'd rather have no sidequests than hundreds of awful ones, but in the end, this game was so lame in this category.
Locations - 3
Like in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, this game simply reuses many assets from the original. While this game was not as egregious in doing so, it also did not add a single new location, so I can't say it has any great locations. But hey, we still get incredible locations like Fabul Castle, Mount Hobs, and the Tower of Babil again, so I am not exactly going to give this too low of a score... if you haven't realized yet, I don't have a high opinion of this game.
Art & Graphics - 8.5
This game looks just as great as the other 2D Final Fantasy games on the PSP. It is no masterpiece, the graphics here still can’t compare to some amazing artistic graphics of games like Persona 5, Sea of Stars, or, dare I say, Final Fantasy Dimensions II, but they are still good. I love the graphics and style here, but they can’t be scored any higher than an 8.5.
Quality of Life - 8
This game does not let you traverse the world outside of doing so by talking to some random NPCs and telling them to fly your airship, and it has the stupidly annoying limited inventory system that plagued earlier RPGs, but what can I say? This game doesn't really have any huge quality-of-life issues; it's streamlined and doesn't have any bugs, so it deserves an 8! I know, so shocking, an 8 for Final Fantasy IV: Interlude?
Fun Factor: 3
Overall Score: 50%
Letter Rating: D
This game isn't good, nor does it need to exist. It sure isn't the worst game I have ever played... at least it had the lovable characters of the original! This game was ill-conceived from the beginning, as it bridges the gap between a fantastic RPG and a sequel that didn't need to exist, making it one of the most mediocre games I've ever played. It isn't the worst game I've ever played, or even the worst Final Fantasy game I've played (that would go to Final Fantasy X-2), but it isn't good. In the words of my infinitely wise brother, "At least this isn't long and boring; it's just short and boring." That's basically the epitome of my opinion on this game. If you worship Final Fantasy IV and its sequel, this game might be worth a playthrough, but otherwise, you can find a much better game to play than this one.
Want to check out this game? Well, it is only available bundled in with Final Fantasy IV and its sequel in the Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection for PSP! Check it out down below if you are interested!