Final Fantasy XV hits mobile in delightful fashion. The Finger Guns Review;
I’m not a fan of mobile gaming. I mean it’s clever and all what can be achieved these days but the lack of physical controls really puts me off the idea. When I heard that the fabulous Final Fantasy XV was coming to mobile devices I kind of laughed it off to be an unplayable version of one of my favourite FF games. How wrong I was..
Kudos has to go to Square Enix for producing one of the most playable ‘proper’ games that I have experienced on mobile devices. Managing to squeeze a 100+ hour RPG into a phone is just a witchcraft. They have done this by the simple concept of episodic content. Yes that does mean there are in-app purchases. But it also means you can experience the game for free to see if it’s your cup of tea, if so, then you can continue to purchase further episodes.
What this means Final Fantasy fans is that this pint-sized version has everything you expected from the main game and from what you want from a mobile game. including controls and a user interface which is a pleasure to use. It’s nice that a company has actually sat down and really thought hard about how best to make this game optimized for mobile.
Of course, graphics have taken a hit. but rather than trying to re-create what the PS4 churned out, they have redesigned the characters from scratch giving them a new style. It’s cute and is a perfect fit for mobile gaming. In fact, all the graphics used in the game are top notch, giving the illusion of a massive world to explore but nicely broken down into more manageable chunks. Overall the production values are some of the best I’ve seen in a game, great music, great voice acting and most importantly the storyline is near identical to its big brother’s counterpart.
The good news (for some at least) is that the complexities associated with games like Final Fantasy have all been simplified, I must admit when playing the PS4 version, I was getting a bit lost in the sheer wealth of options, magic, weapons and upgrades. What we have in the Pocket Edition is an abridged version which is actually really pleasant to use.
Playing the game on an iPhone 7 meant that the screen was smaller than most phones out there, the average is a 5 inch screen, but even so, everything was presented clearly with no strain on the eyes. Of course, it would have been better playing on a larger phone, as the movement and some of the moves during fighting require you to tap or drag your finger across the screen, which in some cases covers up most of what you’re looking at. But as far as controls go on mobile games, these are some of the better ones. Plus there is two versions of movement, tap on the screen to move Noctis to that point or hold and drag move the character in real-time. Funnily enough, I preferred the drag method despite the smaller screen. What would have been handy is the option to zoom out of the action a little bit so you can see more of the environment. This would make navigation easier, but it’s a minor quibble.
Other than that you’ll just be tapping the screen for various interactions. be speech bubbles, hidden items, story progressions or fights. All carried out by various taps. All of which are super-responsive, a good thing considering some of the QTE style sections of a battle. For the most part, it runs without a hitch, but there is the occasional hiccup like slow down but nothing to worry about.
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is a prime example of how gaming should be treated on mobile devices. There’s no point trying to shoehorn a full game into a device that just can’t recreate what’s needed. Square has taken a step back, thought and built the game from the ground up specifically for mobile and as a result is some of the most fun I’ve had on a mobile game.
The first chapter is a healthy length to give you a good taste of what to expect with a further 10 episodes ready for purchase if you wish to continue. Reliving classic moments on the small screen is just as enjoyable as they were on PS4, and this is a perfect chance of people or fans who don’t have the time to invest in a full-blown FF game to indulge in their RPG fantasies while sitting on the train to boot.
Kudos to Square Enix for actually giving a shit about how this game should be on mobile devices and I hope it’s the start of a tidal wave of proper mobile adaptations of full-blown games in the future.
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is available now on iOS (review version) and Android
Developer: Square Enix
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we purchased a copy of the game. For more information on our review policy, please head here.