There hasn’t really been a game in the last few years that truly recaptures that magic of the old-school Final Fantasy games. Sure, some have tried, but lackluster attempts and even progressive titles from Squeenix have fallen short, leaving FF gamers with a certain emptiness.
While Final Fantasy Dimensions on iOS – Sqaure Enix’s latest entry into the FF series – is a throwback to the old games, is it truly capable of bringing back the true feel of the games of yore? Find out after the jump.
FF: Dimensions looks, feels and plays like an original Final Fantasy game and the controls on the iOS are pretty good (they’re still not the greatest, but I don’t think anyone expects great iOS controls anymore.) It’s done in a higher resolution, and the sprites and backgrounds are crisp and clear. They do have a penchant to use the same textures over and over, but for the iOS, I guess saving space where you can is a necessity.
While the controls do feel good, there is still a slight disconnect, and moving around the maps feels a little sluggish and non-responsive. It’s not a problem, but growing up playing these games with a D-pad, I’ve come to expect a certain level of control.
There are still random encounters. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Once you’ve played games like Legend of Heroes or the Y’s saga, you realize that the whole random encounter mechanic feels a bit archaic. I don’t want to fight random monsters anymore, and while I know that it’s a part of the FF universe, it’s time that this got an upgrade. Let me see the monsters on-screen, and trust me, if I need to level or grind to obtain a certain item, I’ll fight them. If, however, I need to go from point A to point B in a hurry, don’t make me fight 4300 monsters to get there. It’s just cruel.
The characters that populate this game are unique and have distinct personalities. There is – of course – the obligatory Cid, as well as a few of the other FF mainstays. The conversations and dialogue that takes place between the main characters as well as the NPC’s is often pretty humorous, though sometimes it borders on the irritating. The localization team clearly seems to have had issues with the translations though, as some of the dialogue falls flat and a lot of jokes miss their mark.
Sticking with sounds, the music is true to form here, and the battle/dungeon/map music is decidedly hum-worthy – I can still hear them in my head as I write this.
But let’s get to the big issue here: the price. You can download the prologue for free, and play that to get a feel for the game. However, to continue, you’re going to have to drop $2.99 for the first chapter, and then – wait for it – $10 EACH for chapters 2-5! Ridiculous! You can also buy the whole shebang up front for $28.99 if you’re feeling frilly, but let’s face it as Jimmy McMillan would so eloquently put it, $30 for an iOS game is too damn high! Squeenix isn’t even paying packaging or distribution fees for this game, and aside from Apple’s take, the proceeds are all theirs. This could have easily made its way onto the DS or 3DS, but it didn’t, and charging three times what others are charging for games like this isn’t the best game plan.
All in all, it’s a serviceable entry into an already gigantic series of games, and priced at around $10-$15 it would be an absolute must buy. But priced as is, it’s an addition that only the most die-hard FF fans will need to play. Bring it down Squeenix, and a lot more people will play this game.
If you’ve played it, let us know what you think!