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Final Fantasy Dimensions

Final Fantasy Dimensions: Prologue Impressions

Square Enix has released Final Fantasy games on mobile devices before, but today marks the first time that North American gamers aren't just getting a port of a previously available entry. Final Fantasy Dimensions' design goes back to the golden age of Japanese RPGs, and I played through the prologue to see if it stacks up to the classics.

Dimensions liberally borrows art, plot, and gameplay elements from the 16-bit era of Final Fantasy – specifically FF IV and V. The story especially feels like it was lifted straight out of Final Fantasy V, since it focuses on a young swordsman and his friends who live in a small village that owes its prosperity to the mysterious powers of a nearby crystal. Then some oracles foretell a disaster, and the group heads out to save the crystal from impending doom. That covers the entire story of the prologue, which took me about 90 minutes to finish.

Due to a rocky launch, I couldn't play anything past the prologue. In short, all chapters were supposed to release today, but an unspecified problem with in-app purchases is preventing users from buying any additional content. On the plus side, the prologue is free, and it gives players a good idea what to expect from further chapters when they are eventually available for purchase.

As a fan of old-school Final Fantasy, I really enjoy the overall vibe of Dimensions. The soundtrack and visuals take me back to my favorite RPG era. I saw frogs, tree stumps, lizards, and goblins that looked like they were based directly on the monster designs from Final Fantasy IV. That's not a bad thing; the appeal to gamers' nostalgia is one of the primary strengths of dimensions. The dialogue, character introductions, and story arc would be right at home on the SNES.

The combat system isn't winning any points for turn-based innovation, since the auto-battle command is usually the fastest way to get through the random encounters. You can slow things down if you want by manually inputting commands, but only a few fights require any form of strategy. Most of the time, you just select attack anyway, so you may as well get it over with.

I'm hoping that combat evolves as the game progresses. That's going to depend entirely on the job system, which is not available during the prologue. The sections of the menu that reference jobs point to a system similar to Final Fantasy V, so I can't wait to see how Dimensions' battles open up.

Also, I should note that, unlike The World Ends With You, Final Fantasy Dimensions is a universal app. That means you can buy it once and play it on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The game is also coming to Android in theory, but that version was supposed to come out today alongside the iOS release. That didn't happen, so Android gamers will have to wait for now.

I'm excited to see where Final Fantasy Dimensions goes from here, and I'm hopeful that the tedium of combat will be alleviated with a compelling job system. But even in its current form, the prologue is worth checking out for any gamers who have fond memories of 16-bit role-playing games.

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Comments
  • started playing today at work. so nostalgic...

  • God I miss the 16-bit graphics! This will be SICK! Hey does anyone know if I get a Xperia phone does it play iOS games?
  • go to the small circular piece of forest above the town (at the very beginning) to find a chocobo forest. nice.

  • It would be so great to have an actual Final Fantasy game that isn't relegated to the iphone.

  • Staff

    DOWNLOADING NOW

  • Sounds nice

  • Hrm..Tempting! I'll keep an eye on it and see if it becomes more reliable & complete. Then I'll pick it up. Thanks!

  • Hey GI, can you please find out what's happening with the Android release?  Thank you.

  • I would get it, but I'm not paying $30 for an iOS game.

  • Why must I have android? Also, I have Blackmart, so I don't have to pay the outrageous price of $30.00 for all parts.

  • No no NO! I for one am a HUGE fan of the retro era. I welcome anything that would give me a second to rehash my childhood,..but NOT this.Just by playing the prologue, this game tries extremely hard to capture the magic of nostalgia and doesn't do it well. The battle music is dreadful to listen to and again, like every SE game this day in age,its souless. I am a huge fan of the 16 bit era,but just because SE decides to go back in time and gain the fanbase that they neglected for so many years, I wont settle. SE developers need to play the classics alittle longer and see what made them classics in the first place.

  • It's great to see some new, original, old-school, handheld Final Fantasy games. The DS game, "4 Heroes of Light", was awesome too! I'd even like to see Square pull the ole' "Rename another game into a Final Fantasy for it's western release" trick to get us some more. Like when the first Saga games were localized here as, "Final Fantasy Legend". Or when the first Seiken Densetsu came over as "Final Fantasy Adventure". Square should definitely bring over, but change the name of, "Bravely Default: Flying Fairy". If any game was begging for a "Final Fantasy localization", it's that one. They should call it, "Final Fantasy Destiny" or something. Give us more retro-tinged goodness, Square. Less Tetsuya Nomura stuff, more GOOD stuff, please.
  • so if I purchase this on my iphone, I can continue playing my saved game on my ipad?  Is that what the universal app means?

  • Unfortunately, I won't be playing this anytime soon, seeing how I don't have an iOS portable device.  No Android devices either.  Darn. :(

  • Sounds good. Every battle I've played in games 1-6 I've pretty just mashed the Attack button anyway, unless I'm fighting a monster I know requires a particular spell to beat. I think I'll give this game a go once I finish FF 3 on iOS first, but this certainly looks intriguing.

  • So this will come to Android? Guess I'll play it next year on Ouya, then.

    I really dig the "smooth sprite art" look of the game. Low-fi pixel art, even GREAT pixel art, is hitting a saturation point amongst mobile and indie games. I wanna see more... non-pixelated sprites. It's 2012. Let's move away from pixels and explore some other 2D art. Could you imagine if Square produced a new HD 2D Final Fantasy for consoles? With art of the quality of King of Fighters XIII and Dust: An Elysian Tail? *drool*
  • I'll take this over another XIII game any day!

  • I really want to pick this up, but it's not out for Android. I guess I might have to pick up an iPad one of these days.

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