Welp, that’s a surprise. Thanks to an intrepid gamer in a Facebook group, it’s come to the attention of gamers that the Chibi-ized version of Final Fantasy 15 has found its way onto the iOS App store early. The 721 MB, Free-To-Play app challeges gamers to ‘Explore the world of the fifteenth FInal Fantasy in the palm of your hand’. The download appears to contain only the first chapter for free, while the remaining 9 chapters will be purchasable.
Final Fantasy 15 is an abridged version of the title that released on Xbox One and PS4, but impressions from gaming outlets like Polygon stating the mobile title has a charm all its own: What really struck me was just how similar it all felt to the full-fledged Final Fantasy 15. I remembered all of the story beats from the game’s first chapter, right down to the quests the gang had to complete and the areas they explored. Even with simpler controls, the game still felt like it had depth. I only got to play for 15 minutes or so, but Square Enix’s attempt at capturing the original experience and condensing it down to work on a phone or tablet is impressive.
The game was planned for release on the 9th, but is available – and downloadable – on the iOS App Store now.
EnGadget reports the gameplay for the game is decidedly satisfying, a honing of its console counterpart’s mechanics for the small screen: Alongside voice acting, FFXV Pocket maintains a lot of its namesake’s gameplay mechanics. The skill tree, unlocked by collecting AP, returns, Ignis will still (cloyingly) come up with meals to feed his buddies, Prompto relentlessly quips throughout battle, and Gladio is still bigger than the other three put together. It’s surprising that most of the dynamics work so well.
I had to see how battles would play out, as that’s where the gameplay really lies, and what Square Enix has even now, is a suprisingly tight stripped-down version of FFXV. Well-timed parries and cooperative attacks with allies are still in place, and key to slaying hardier enemies — if you remember The World Ends With You, you know that action RPGs can be playable on touchscreens, it’s just rare, that’s all.
Final Fantasy 15 was originally met with quality reviews – but many bemoaned some confusing elements of the story; and the fact to know what was going on, you likely had to dive into some of the supplemental material, like the direct-to-DVD movie starring Aaron Paul.
All that said, don’t take my, Polygon, or Engadget’s word for it. You can download the the game right now on iOS, and try it for yourself. It’s even compatible with phones as far back as the iPhone 5C. There has also been speculation the pocket edition could come to the Nintendo Switch.