If you’ve bothered to look at my profile on here, first of all, why are you that interested? Second of all, you’ll note that I stated that Final Fantasy VII (and Goldeneye) were ‘life-changing’ for me. Ok, so there’s a certain amount of hyperbole there, but those two games ensured I went from "Hey, games are quite fun when I've got nothing better to do" to "I love everything about them and they’re very important to me." That’s a double-edged sword to one’s productivity levels, but hey, look what I’m doing right now.
As a big mobile gaming fan and a big Final Fantasy VII fan, I should be excited about it coming to iOS, right? Well, not so much.
The thing I adored about Final Fantasy VII was being absorbed by its story. I’d spend hours in front of the TV, soaking in the atmosphere and being wrapped up in its cocoon of excellence. Mobile gaming has yet to do that for me and that’s mostly my fault. Generally, I’m playing a game on my phone while I watch TV or I’m waiting for a bus to show up. Every rare once in a while I might be sitting on a train for a while, but odds are I’m still being easily distracted.
Final Fantasy VII isn’t a game that should allow for you to be distracted. It needs your full attention, otherwise it loses the effect, even more so than earlier Final Fantasy titles. There’s a memorable scene at the end of Disc 1 that, well, everyone probably already knows about, but I’ll be vague out of politeness. That scene would be ruined if you had a call come through at that moment or you quit out because your bus showed up.
Having said that, Final Fantasy VII does have one thing in its favor. I don’t know about you but I don’t have the free time I once had. I have commitments, which means committing to a game that can take dozens of hours to complete doesn’t feel as easy to do as it once was. Maybe this is my chance to finally complete it all over again, albeit by chipping away at it over a very long period of time. That works in its favor if you’ve played it before. I wouldn’t advise it if this is your first time - it’d be like watching Jurassic World on your phone rather than at the cinema - it might work but it’s just not right. You miss out too many nuances.
Of course, that's assuming that timing and rose-tinted glasses aren't playing a massive role here. Much has changed in the 18 years since Final Fantasy VII first arrived. Will it be still as great as it once was, regardless of its format? Will touch screen controls work quite well here or will mini-games like the motorbike race slowly send you mad, thanks to awkward controls?
What do you think?