Final Fantasy – is it the best looking FF edition of all time?
Final Fantasy is not just a videogame, it’s an institution. At some point, these titles became critic-proof, which is too bad because recognizing that shortcomings of classics is how games get better. That being said, Final Fantasy on the iPhone is a visually dynamic remake. The upgraded visuals ? pulled from a recent PlayStation Portable version ? look good on the iPhone’s crisp screen. So if you don’t mind some of the more archaic features of Final Fantasy, then by all means rush over to iTunes, drop that $8.99 and take that first step down memory lane psp games.
Alright, now that the purists are over at iTunes, let’s really talk about Final Fantasy I. Based on the PlayStation Portable and Game Boy Advance remakes, Final Fantasy I for the iPhone is a hair easier than the original and includes extra dungeons, such as the Soul of Chaos. The story has not been changed, which means it’s still very thin. The plight of the kingdom of Coneria and the battle of the Light Warriors just lacks the power of better, later yarns.
On the iPhone, you control the action via the touchscreen. Weirdly enough, this actually slows the game down a bit. Remember how you used to be able to hammer through easier battles by just laying on the A button? Now, you must select the action then choose an enemy. Without a default button, you spend a lot of time tapping here, tapping there? and after a while, that time adds up.
Because Final Fantasy I is an older game, I’m not going to level my general complaint about random battles. With the slower touchscreen controls, they can really grate, but this is a remake not a revision and Square never said it was doing anything more than that. To be sure, I think it would have been cool if Square did something about that and populated the world with actual monsters.
Final Fantasy I borrows its new look from the 2007 20th anniversary edition for the PSP. Though it’s almost three years old, it still looks great. If you like retro style, you’ll appreciate how Square stuck to the designs of the 8-bit classic but nudged them into razor-sharp, colorful 16-bit territory. Really, it is a visual pleaser.
If you download Final Fantasy I expecting a lively, modern RPG, then you’ll waste $8.99. This is a remake of a classic that deviates only in appearances, not in spirit. The upgraded visuals are attractive (though not as much as the refreshed Final Fantasy II) and the remixed music sounds great. But the touchscreen controls mixed with the slower pace of a classic RPG may turn off gamers that don?t appreciate the curve that takes us from Final Fantasy I to newer games, such as Zenonia.