Square Enix releases Final Fantasy Tactics | iLounge News


Square Enix releases Final Fantasy Tactics

Square Enix has released the latest iOS remake in its Final Fantasy franchise, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. Essentially a port from the earlier GBA and PSP versions, Final Fantasy Tactics is a turn-based tactical RPG set in the Final Fantasy universe, placing players in the fictional kingdom of Ivalice where they take on the role of a highborn cadet in the middle of a war for the throne. The iPhone and iPod touch version of Final Fantasy Tactics adds intuitive touchscreen controls for the control of units by tapping directly on the units and on-screen menus and users can now rotate, move and change the size of maps using standard swipe and pinch gestures. Final Fantasy Tactics is an iPhone and iPod touch application requiring iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $16. An iPad version is expected to be released later this year; based on Square’s earlier release of Final Fantasy III, users should expect the iPad version of Final Fantasy Tactics to be a separate app sold in the same price range, and iPad users may therefore wish to hold off on the purchase of the iPhone version—perhaps even to wait for either a sharp price decrease or a proper universal release.

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“...perhaps even to wait for either a sharp price decrease or a proper universal release.”

That’s going to be a long wait. SE hasn’t budged on the price of FFIII in five months, and I’m not certain they have a single universal title, certainly none of their flagship properties. They’re all split with iPad only versions next to the iPhone/touch versions.

At any rate, I picked it up as soon as it launched knowing it was probably a glass half-full, and I was’t wrong. As great as the game is in the abstract, it’s a minimal effort port where most of the art assets are wholesale recycling of the low res PSP versions (which were mostly wholesale recycling of the original PSX version). The biggest offender are the numerous speech bubbles that were simply copied over from a device with lower res than even pre-retina devices and so are fuzzy and just barely qualify as legible. Unless they really screwed over the iPhone/touch crowd and they actually re-did all the assets for the iPad, I wouldn’t be expecting a whole lot of benefit from waiting (except maybe better stability). The port shows all the hallmark signs of a series of bad decisions on Square’s part such that you get a $16 title with a longer dev time than just about anything in the app store from a company that can print money with scores of employees, yet winds up looking and playing worse than the PSX version which ran just spanky on a 32MHz processor with 2MB of RAM.

I strongly suspect that somebody somewhere made the dumbass decision to shoehorn a iOS UI on top of an emulation of an emulation and doing so cost them more in money and time than just putting a team of artists and coders to the job of redeveloping the title as a native app. The first one they got stable was the iPhone/touch one, so that was pushed out the door and just as soon as the iPad one stops crashing, it will also get shoved out the door.

At any rate, if you’re nostalgic for the game or have been waiting years to play it, it’s here in all its complicated glory, just don’t expect the polish of even your typical $1 & $2 apps because it’s not there.

Posted by Code Monkey in Toronto on August 5, 2011 at 10:57 AM (CDT)


I was actually excited about this port, as I really enjoyed Tactics when it came out for the PSC. But $16?! There aren’t many apps (and even fewer game apps) that can get away with that price, and I’m guessing this isn’t oen of them.

Thanks for the feedback, Code Monkey. I’ll wait for the universal version and (hopefully) improved graphics.

Posted by Dave in Toronto on August 5, 2011 at 2:38 PM (CDT)


Well, at least for now, the game has been charting in the top 20 for unit sales and is the number one grossing app in the app store, so I’m not the only one who sprang for it.

I’m not sure if its evident success is a good or bad thing for gamers. It could finally convince Square there is an audience for this type of game (their last FFT title was the DS one from 4 years back) and we’ll see post-ship improvements plus a native new FFT game down the road. Or, it could just convince them that iOS gamers are so undiscriminating and hungry for something with more depth than the typical app store strategy offering that they can put out anything and back up an armored truck to collect their money.

Posted by Code Monkey in Toronto on August 6, 2011 at 6:35 AM (CDT)


I actually have to agree with the above!  I’ve loved many of the Square/Enix games that has come out in the past and probably played darn near every one of them over the years.  I remember fondly playing the original FF back in college on an NES when that came out way back then!

But for $16, plus the graphics and sound is not any better than I see on the DS lite, for example.  I already have FF III on the DS lite, so of course I passed it up for the iOS devices.  I did manage to snag a copy of Chaos Ring on my iPhone 4 when it was on sale earlier this spring for around $6 instead of the usual $13 they are asking for.  For a $6 title, it is really sweet, with full Retina display graphics and such, but I would not have paid the full $13 for it, though.  Along the same lines, Gameloft did put out a pretty nice game in the form of Eternal Legacy for about $6 that I really enjoyed (although it had its quirks as well).  Hoping they come out with an Eternal Legacy II.

Posted by SkiBumMSP in Toronto on August 6, 2011 at 9:50 AM (CDT)


The part I don’t get, and it’s why the “quality” of this port has me scratching my head, is had they done a proper remake I’d have dropped $20 without blinking, and even after Apple’s cut, that would actually be the kind of scratch Square takes home from a premimum Nintendo or Sony release.

With all their iOS properties, they’ve already priced themselves far outside of the typical iOS gamer, so why not the extra effort to not just capture the “desperate” but pretty much the entirety of the “core gamers” on iOS?

Posted by Code Monkey in Toronto on August 6, 2011 at 3:10 PM (CDT)

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