Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2, iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Regardless of how you might feel about Final Fantasy VII, it’s without a doubt one of - if not the - most iconic RPGs in history. And now we can play it on the iPhone or iPad, which is kind of a big deal when you think about it. But how well does the mobile port of the PC port stand up today?
To reiterate, this is the PC version but shrunk down and given a touch screen interface. The textures have been cleaned up a bit when compared to the Playstation original, but it’s definitely no remaster. Not that anyone would expect something like that, anyway.
Most probably know the story by heart at this point, but just in case you’ve never played Final Fantasy VII it’s basically about a band of ecoterrorists trying to shut down a bunch of power plants that are literally draining the life force out of the planet. That’s how it starts, anyway. It won’t take long before you end up embroiled in shady politics, scientific experiments gone horribly wrong, and one heck of an identity crisis. Plus you have to save the world, because of course you have to save the world. At least the main character doesn’t start out with amnesia, right? (wink-wink-nudge-nudge)
It’s Final Fantasy VII. On your phone/tablet. Content-wise there’s really nothing new that’s going to tickle your fancy if you’ve already played the Playstation version or the PC port. Well, I guess there are three small differences. First, at any time you can permanently max-out your characters’ stats (and your wallet) in the Config menu. It kind of defeats the purpose of actually playing the game, but I suppose it’s a nice option for those who are more interested in the story than the RPG grind.
Speaking of the grind, the second tweak is a small button at the bottom of the screen that allows you to turn random encounters off entirely. It seems like a tiny thing but it’s actually extremely welcome as sometimes you just want to backtrack down a hallway without getting dog-piled on. Plus you can turn it back on whenever you want. And finally, it supports iCloud saving so you can jump back and forth from an iPad to an iPhone whenever you’d like. The interface is a tad awkward since you have to upload your saves manually, and I’ve found that I have to download the cloud save twice before it actually shows up in my files, but it’s still a very welcome feature.
Aside from these small changes there’s nothing much to the port. Except for the horrendous controller overlay, that is. I get that they had to work the controls in there somehow, but I feel like they could’ve come up with something a bit more elegant than simply tossing a bunch of translucent buttons on the screen. Especially for something as significant as Final Fantasy VII. But instead of a minimal interface that feels at home on the touch screen and allows us to drink in the dated but incredibly nostalgic visuals, we get... well, you can see it in the screen shots. It’s ugly, intrusive, and most of the buttons aren’t even necessary. You can go into the Config menu and adjust the opacity so they’re less of an obnoxious eyesore, but they’re still not great.
It’s still really cool to be able to play Final Fantasy VII on my phone, though. The inelegant interface doesn’t really get in the way of actually playing the game (just looking at it), and all the other mobile-centric tweaks (max stats, turning off encounters, cloud saves) feel right at home in a mobile port. There’s little reason to pick this version over the PC or even the PSN versions, but if you like the idea of reliving the 80+ hour epic on the go it’s not a bad choice.