Final Fantasy's first iPhone outing is a mixed bag

in iPhone edited January 2014
Square Enix on Monday night released Final Fantasy: Crystal Defenders ($7.99, App Store) and Final Fantasy: Crystal Defenders Lite (free, App Store), a tower defence game expressed using the world and characters from Final Fantasy Tactics A2, where you defend crystals using different units such as Black Mages.

A game developer with the resources of Square Enix, you would think, would be able to fairly easily produce a good, if not better game for the iPhone than smaller outfits. It seems that they've been able to produce an acceptable game, with the drawback that a pretty rubbish looking joystick takes up half of the screen.

To make things worse, this joystick controls a mouse cursor which is used to interact with the game itself, which possibly adds up to the ugliest and least intuitive control scheme for a touch screen ever devised. We should have sussed something was up from oddly shaped screenshots released two months ago.

Despite this, it seems that Square Enix's first foray into the app store has been saved by the game actually being quite entertaining, even if it is fiddly to control and fairly ugly. You can take a risk and buy it now, or wait to see if or when they integrate proper controls.

Nevertheless, it's curious to see that a lot of larger developers still manage to release sub-par products on the iPhone compared to independent developers with significantly smaller teams and development budgets.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,177moderator
    Are they porting SNES games now or what? For a huge company like Square, that is a pitiful effort. Maybe they are just rushing to cash in on the holiday spenders and trade on the name but that's a poor attempt. They could even have ported one of the most successful FF games ever made and people would buy it because of the touch interaction.

    I reckon the huge controls are because it's designed for a 4:3 or square aspect screen and they just had all that extra space left over. It looks like they intend this to be not just an iphone game but also for other mobile phones.

    The iphone can do this quality with FF in an emulator:

    A native game should be much better speed but the same level of graphics. I can't criticize too much as it's their first release for the platform and they may just be testing the water but first impressions count.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    Read between the lines: this is not about how well a game designer can port to the newest platform. This is about said game developer not burning its bridges (aka its existing contracts) with Sony and/or Nintendo.

    Heads up, folks, cause there's blood in the water, fear in the air, and real money$$$$ at stake: until now good portable gaming was limited to the Sony PSP or Nintendo's DS & GameBoy. But now the iPod Touch & iPhone are here and, thanks to the App Store, portable gaming will never be the same.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    vandilvandil Posts: 187member
    I would pay a decent amount for Final Fantasy 4 on the iPhone, even if its just a bundled rom & SNES emulator. (I won't jailbreak my iPhone).
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