Final Fantasy III remake for iPad

An impulse buy before a plane flight turned out to be a worthwhile investment. Most games for iPad just don’t grab my attention and even after purchasing Final Fantasy III, I was sure I wouldn’t get my money’s worth, but perhaps it would occupy my time on the flight.  This is the only Final Fantasy game from the old school I had yet to play through, so when faced with the option of purchasing Bejeweled for 99 cents or Final Fantasy III for $16 I went with the latter.  I know the old school Final Fantasy games have everything I have come to love about video game RPGs.

Background:

Final Fantasy III was originally only released in Japan and did not see the light of day in the US until August 2006 when it was finally released on the DS.

The game focuses around four orphans from the remote village of Ur, each of them starting off as Freelancers. The Nintendo DS version of the game individualized the party members, giving them unique appearances (designed by Akihiko Yoshida), backstories, personalities and names.  The iPad version did the same and was one of the first things that grabbed my attention and kept me playing past the initial scene of the game.

Characters:

Luneth (ルーネス Rūnesu) who symbolizes courage, an adventurous orphan boy raised in the village of Ur; Arc (アルクゥ Arukū) who symbolizes kindness, Luneth’s childhood best friend and a timid yet intelligent young man; Refia (レフィア) who symbolizes affection, a girl raised in the village of Kazus who tires of her father’s blacksmith training and often runs away from home; and Ingus (イングス Ingusu) who symbolizes determination, a loyal soldier serving the King of Sasune, with a (mutual) soft spot for the princess Sara.  The character thus far are interesting, but not as engaging as some of the other games I have played.  I give the character development 3 out of 5 stars.

Story:

The game starts out a little slow throwing you into a cave full of random encounters with goblins.  Things quickly progress though and you are thrown into an epic battle with a giant nasty looking sea turtle.  Once the battle concludes you realize you are in a room with a gigantic glowing blue crystal.  The water crystal!  I walked forward intent on finding out more and then the stewardess interrupted me to see what I wanted.  “Diet coke, no ice.” I said quickly and returned to my adventure.  I was sucked in, I wanted to know what happened next.  The crystal chose me, it said something about my destiny and that I was a warrior of light.  Intriguing.  I was returned to the above world only to find out that a village nearby needed help so after speaking with my good friend Arc I headed off to the village to see what was amiss.  The story is engaging and exciting, it makes me want to pick up my iPad right now and continue playing- 5 out of 5 stars for story!

Controls:

At first I thought the iPad would be clumsy and irritating on this kind of game.  I was right, but only for the first 10 minutes or so.  After that I quickly adjusted and have now come to prefer the controls over a standard controller.  The ability to control your character from anywhere on the touchpad is very hand and makes posture changes very possible with little adjustment to your gaming.

One of the coolest things I found with the new controls was the ability to zoom in using the touch screen to find things like hidden items and secret passages.  It’s these kind of things that keep me interested in the old Final Fantasy games while completely turned off by the newer model of FF.  I like that there are some parts of the game where to progress you MUST search around for a secret passage despite the fact that no one hints at the fact that there is a passage or gives you any information to push you in that direction.  The creators expect you to rely on your own wits while playing the game.  YOU ARE IN CONTROL!  Shit, what a concept right?  Who would have thought people would want to play a video game where they get to make the decisions and control the destiny of the characters on the screen?  Ha, ha, of course this is Final Fantasy so that only holds true to a point.

Battle is smooth using the touch screen which I love because button mashing can be very taxing and annoying when progressing through some of the lesser random encounters.  The touch screen makes combat elegant- I never thought I would be using the words “elegant” and “combat” in the same sentence!  Overall I give the controls 4 out of 5 stars.

Job System:

The Job System, I love this.  Another option that makes you feel like you are in control- and you are!  You are completely in control of how powerful your characters get and how you use them in battle.  The job system is also like a mini-game you get to play while playing the actual game.  It keeps things fun and different and I love every minute of it! I give the job system 5 out of 5 stars!

 Overall feeling:

Overall I feel like I got my money’s worth.  This is first app I have spent a substantial amount of money on. ($16)  But I feel the game is totally worth it.  The remake was a complete success and the entire time I have been writing this article I really wished I was playing.  I’ve been on the computer for about 14 hours today, perhaps it’s time I took a break and went upstairs to play some Final Fantasy III… 😉  Good night.

I give Final Fantasy III for iPad 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Here’s a link to both the iPad version of Final Fantasy III and the iPhone/iPod Touch version!  Enjoy!

 
ff3 ipad:

ff3 iphone/ipod touch:

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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games / AdventureAWeek.com, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.