Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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There'll be two main groups of people reacting to the info box above in very different ways. The Final Fantasy fanboys/girls (I say this affectionately, I am one of those) will be overwhelmed with a huge amount of excitement at the thought of the DS version of Final Fantasy III coming to the iPhone, rightly so too. The cynics will be still stuck muttering at the price. Yes, it is $15.99. Yes, that is a lot of money for a game available on an App Store that you could buy 16 quality games for the same price. However, if you're an RPG fan, you won't feel cheated out of this money by any means. You'll be quite willing to pay it again and again in fact.
Final Fantasy III is a near perfect conversion of the DS game released in 2006, the first time that Final Fantasy III reached North American or European shores. It was a fantastic game back then and it remains so. This version manages to forego any potential problems of switching from the dual screens of the DS to the solitairy screen of the iPhone, without missing a beat. The graphics have been improved and everything feels a touch sharper. While the frame rate stutters occassionally, it's nothing serious and it's certainly worth overlooking.
Touch controls are similarly effective. A virtual d-pad appears on screen wherever you tap and it's a simple matter of tapping on a character if you wish to talk to them. Controls within battle is just as easy with the menus quick to navigate at all times.
Actual gameplay is typically old school. In the early stages, it's quite tough and those softened by modern day RPGs might have a shock. Grinding levels is wise if you want to master the game. Levels in Final Fantasy III comprise of two different types - regular and job levels. These job levels are a form of class system, affecting what abilities are available to you at any one time. Your team of characters can change jobs throughout the game once the job classes become unlocked. They cover a range of different types such as Warrior, Monk, White Mage, right up to more exciting concepts such as Bard and Sage. With 23 jobs in all and a maximum level of 99 to achieve in each, there's plenty to do.
An old school attitude also exists when it comes to saving with saving regularly a neccessity nearly. Fortunately the quick save functionality means you're not restricted to only saving on the World Map or at pre-designated points, a feature that's near crucial for such a portable device as the iPhone.
The actual storyline of Final Fantasy III is a typical tale focusing on four Warriors of Light out to restore balance to the world and to stop evil. It's perhaps not quite as strong as later Final Fantasy games but it is much more interesting than the previous two titles available on iOS devices. There's also the addition of more puzzles, such as ones which require you to zoom in on surroundings to find important objects. These are slightly annoying admittedly as the objects only sparkle once you've zoomed in so there is a bit of trial and error involved.
This sums up the difficulty level within Final Fantasy III however. It is very old school in its approach and doesn't ease you in gently. With 30 hours of gameplay on offer though, RPG fans would be mad to overlook it however. It's a tremendous piece of gaming history and still holds up well to this day.