Final Fantasy … a mobile verdict

So after my little review of the Nintendo DS version of my all-time favorite video game last week, I actually discovered an iPhone version of pretty much the exact same game. I spent some time playing around with it this weekend and as excited as I am to see a considerable catalog of Final Fantasy games now being ported to iOS, ultimately I think I’ve come to one conclusion…

…I don’t think I want to play an in-depth RPG on a handheld device.

I mean, the game looks great on my iPhone and I think the increased resolution vs. the DS did those updated graphics much better justice, but it’s still just not quite the same. And I think I’m quite ready to admit that it may just very well be that I’m getting older and I can’t stare at a 3.5″ screen for three hours on end anymore! When I play RPGs, I typically dive in for several hours at a time – snacks are involved, and a comfy spot on the couch, and mobile gaming just doesn’t provide that same experience for me.

Plus, for those long stretches I don’t really think that touch is the best interface for the controls … battles seem to take a lot longer than if I were able to just press A repeatedly through all of the battle screens when we’re strong enough to not need special abilities, but still need the XP to move on anyways.

Plus, I’ll be 100% honest – the increased difficulty I guess does kinda bug me because the result ends up being a different game for me than the nostalgic one that I remember. When I play FFIV, I’m not really looking for a new challenge – I’m looking to revisit an old favorite; if I wanted a new challenge, I’d play a new game. So yeah, it makes me not want to put time into it when I find myself getting slaughtered in areas that have never been overly challenging in the past.

In fact, I didn’t even make it through the Waterfall Cave with this go around – the screenshot you see below is about as far as I got before calling it a day. Maybe if it were a bigger screen like an iPad, though not likely still because of the controls … I think I’ve come to the conclusion that mobile RPGs just aren’t right for me. It’s too bad because there seems to be a ton of new/classic RPG content on handheld devices that I’d otherwise probably really enjoy, but let’s face it, if I didn’t enjoy the experience all that much with my favorite game of all-time, then what are the chances of me really being able to get into something new that I haven’t already loved since I was 12 years-old? 🙁


So all of that said … I guess I’m seeking recommendations for console-based RPGs that I should give a try … unless perhaps some of these others end up pulling what Rock Star thankfully did for the GTA series and ends up releasing their handheld titles as console versions years after the fact. I know that the graphics won’t exactly be the same, but some of us are getting older and need that 52″ screen in order to see everything that’s going on! 😉

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