Final Fantasy 4: The After Years has arrived on iOS and Android devices. After Years continues the storyline of the 1991 SNES RPG Final Fantasy 4.
"Seventeen years have passed since the war's end, and the son born to King Cecil and Queen Rosa of Baron has grown into a young man," reads Square Enix's description of the game. "Prince Ceodore has enlisted in the airship fleet known as the Red Wings, eager to meet the expectations demanded of his blood and station. Yet once more another moon has appeared in the sky, and with it vast hordes of monsters intent on destruction. The brief peace enjoyed by the Blue Planet now stands threatened under the shadow of impending catastrophe."
The game's structure is a bit unusual. Instead of being one linear narrative, After Years is a collection of ten tales. After finishing the first tale, you can complete the next six in any order you choose. The story then loops back around to the main narrative in the final three chapters.
Final Fantasy's classic Active Time Battle system makes a return here but with a couple alterations. The abilities of characters are affected by lunar phases that change with the passage of time. Party members can team up to perform Band abilities with powerful effects.
After Years was originally released on Japanese mobile phones back in 2008. Western gamers got their first chance to play when it was ported to WiiWare the following year. The PSP received it in a bundle with the original game in 2011. For the iOS/Android version, Square Enix has added full 3D graphics as well as achievements.
Like a lot of Square Enix's mobile efforts, After Years isn't cheap. Buying it will set you back $15.99 on either iOS or Android. That's about the same price as the 3D FF4 remake released on mobile devices last year. It's a lot of money for a mobile game but Final Fantasy fans seem to snatch up these games in huge numbers anyway. Nostalgia's a powerful thing.