Retro Play: Final Fantasy (Mobile Game)
Chances are that at one time or another everyone has come into contact with a Final Fantasy title. Since the release of the first game in 1987, the series has become one of the most popular game series ever made with multiple sequels, spin offs, and remakes.
Named under the belief that at the time Final Fantasy would be the last game Square would ever release, it became a surprise hit and helped save the company. Many younger gamers would never have played the original game on the NES, but thankfully several remakes have been released on a variety of platforms over the years including IOS, and Android.
Despite Final Fantasy games being renowned for their lovable characters and immersive stories, unfortunately this title is not one of them. At the time of release the stories and characters in games weren’t exactly the priority, and therefore this version suffers from the same setbacks as its grandfather. Four unnamed Warriors of Light are destined to bring back light to the four elemental crystals that govern the state of the world.
To do so they must defeat each creature that has taken refuge at the altars of the crystals, and that is essentially the story. There are cute characters, races, and there is an unexpected if not overly complicated and confusing plot twist in the finale. Overall you are offered the premise at the beginning and then experience the conclusion upon completion.
No plot development or further story elements are introduced in-between, and therefore sometimes motivation to carry on throughout the game was somewhat lacking.
The gameplay is very similar to most Final Fantasy titles, especially the early releases. You roam and explore a world map, visiting towns and dungeons while embarking on quests and fighting battles and the occasional boss.
There’s not much else to the gameplay, really. If you’ve played any Final Fantasy or console RPG before, then you’ll know exactly what to expect. In this original game you may only choose from 6 classes for your characters, which doesn’t offer as much variety as other games, but each class has a clear defined role.
Strangely enough despite seeming repetitive we never really lost interest in the game, which we have plenty of times before with similar titles.
This version incorporates most features from the previously released PlayStation and PSP versions, meaning gameplay is slightly more exciting than the original NES.
Many bugs and glitches found in the original have also been fixed. However the touch screen controls often prove inaccurate and frustrating. Although not innovative now, at the time this game along with Dragon Quest were remarkable and established the rules for most RPGs released everywhere.
Now when it comes to graphics this version really begins to shine. Although we can’t blame the original game for its basic and primitive graphics, there is still no denying in this day and age that they are far from appealing.
With every remake of Final Fantasy the graphics have significantly improved upon the original, and this iOS version is almost unrecognisable from its ancestor. Although not the most beautiful graphics we’ve ever seen, they are certainly impressive for a mobile game and are striking and effective enough so that immersion is much more possible compared to the original NES graphics.
Time and effort has clearly been put into touching these graphics up from the previous PSP version, and they fit the theme and tone of the game perfectly.
When it comes to the soundtrack for the game well, Nobuo Uematsu, is there more that needs to be said?
In all seriousness what Uematsu created back in 1987 with the technical limitations laid upon him was remarkable, and his work continues to improve to this day. These original compositions range from playful and catchy to epic and breathtaking, and they sound even better in this version.
The original 8-bit masterpieces now sound even more impressive. He has continued to grow and master his craft since he first composed these original pieces, but these still stand as a staple to what a true genius he is.
The difficulty level in particular brought a lot of criticism, especially compared to modern games and has been marginally simplified in this version. However, gameplay can be a little stale and repetitive the story is more or less non-existent, so do bear this in mind.
It is a great little game to have on your phone however, and a testament to a game that started a series that shaped the lives of many individuals.