Tuesday, 3 November 2015

First Impressions: Final Fantasy VI (mobile version)

I know we don't normally do first impressions for apps but it's a port of a Final Fantasy game so I thought I would make an exception. I've played 40 or so minutes of the game and have been impressed with the transition to mobile overall - after I got over the fact that I was playing a proper console game on my phone. Oh, how times have changed.

I actually started this game with it being connected to my car's Bluetooth speakers on holiday, and the opening music sounded amazing (as did The Prelude!) It starts with the opening story clip in remastered graphics for the phone. The backrounds look great, the characters, not so much. This is due to the graphics being drawn with lines instead of pixels, so it loses the retro charm a bit. The animations of walking are smooth most of the time, although if you walk diagonally (you can have an 8 direction control pad) your character seems to slide (of course this is fixed by just changing to a 4 direction control pad).

The game handles quite well on my iPhone 5S, with only occasional stutters in the frame rate and I personally quite like the control scheme, especially that the control pad appears wherever you touch the screen. The UI is good for the phone, although I thought that the back button should've been at the top left corner instead of at the bottom like most other mobile games. The battle UI, while a bit confusing for someone who grew up with Final Fantasy X's battle system, is nice and allows for fast game play. The battle system, in case you don't know, is an Active Time Battle (or ATB for those of you more versed in Final Fantasy technical lingo). This means that all your attacks happen in real time, with your attacks charging up before they get unleashed. Hectic battles ensue, with you trying to get your attacks to start charging before the enemy can, so strategy is a bit of an afterthought, at least at the beginning. Being able to target monsters by tapping them is great for the phone though and really intuitive.

The 'final' thing I will talk about in this first impressions is the 'fantasy' aspect, otherwise known as the story. In a world where magic has been overtaken by machines and almost wiped out what would you do with a magic user? Use them for your own nefarious purposes (much like the villains of this game or in actual fact, yourself  as aren't you controlling these characters without them knowing?) At the moment characters have been thrown at me from all angles so I don't really have an opinion on them (except for the Moogles who are always awesome!) but I have heard that this game has one of the best storylines of the Final Fantasy series, so I can't wait to play more.

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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