A western release date has finally been announced for Final Fantasy IV on DS. The game, which is a re-make of the original 1991 Super NES game, came out in Japan last December and – it's just been confirmed – will be released in the US on July 22nd.
Thankfully, 're-make' means it's been tarted up a bit since the original was released 17 years ago. After all, it might have been ground-breaking then, but we're not sure it'd cut the technical mustard with DS gamers in the same graphical guise it wore back then. So the visuals are now fully 3D, the cut-scenes have been reworked and fully voiced and other extra detail and plot twists added.
The game's narrative revolves around four powerful crystals scattered throughout the realm that every evil, power-crazed person and their family are trying to get their hands on. The dark knight Cecil is ordered by his king to track down and seize these crystals but then begins to suspect the king's up to no good, packs in his quest and is banished from his kingdom.
Once he's gathered up a party, the game features an all-new Augment System which enables the player to assign special abilities to characters. It also uses an enhanced, refined version of the Active Time Battle system that saw its debut in the original Final Fantasy IV and makes it possible for players to navigate using the DS stylus.
You can also train and customise characters by playing mini-games, as well as challenge another player to a head-to-head battle over local wireless.
It's very likely the game will see a release here in the UK, too, and we'll obviously keep you posted on any such announcement.