A full-blown fantasy in the comfort of your pocket. Truly, we live in the future.
Even the biggest fans of the Final Fantasy series have to admit that Square Enix isn’t afraid to port and remake their games on a consistent basis. It’s served them well financially, and made a lot of RPG fans happy as pixelated clams. With Final Fantasy Dimensions for iOS and Android, 2010’s Final Fantasy Legends: Warriors of Light and Darkness is the next game receiving the update treatment from the company.
Final Fantasy Legends was developed by Matrix Software, the team behind Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. It was released in an episodic format, though it’s not been revealed whether or not that will be the case for Final Fantasy Dimensions. No matter the way it’s distributed, it aims to be a celebration of classic RPGs, as well as something that breathes fresh air into the series. It doesn’t sound like the easiest line to walk, but the positive reception of Final Fantasy Legends is reason to be hopeful.
The plot, at least, has a definite tinge of classic RPG to it. It tells the story of two unlikely groups meeting, one from the peaceful countryside, and one from the harsh northern mountains. Their contact leads to a reaction in a powerful crystal, resulting in the world submerging into darkness and light. Pretty vintage stuff, right?
Fans of depth in their RPGs have plenty of reason to be excited, as the job system for Final Fantasy Dimensions will be fairly involved. Players will have the option of choosing Freelancer, Warrior, Monk, Thief, Red Mage, White Mage, Black Mage, and Summoner as their starting job, with additional ones like Dragoon, Bard, Memorist, Knight, Devout, Ranger, Dark Knight, Dancer, Ninja, and Magus unlockable later in the game. Why anyone would choose a job that isn’t bard is beyond me, but there’s nothing wrong with giving people the choice to.
During this year’s E3 in Los Angeles, Gamezebo’s own Josh Wittenkeller was given the opportunity to check out the game first hand, describing it as “very reminiscent of some of the older Final Fantasy games, like Final Fantasy V and VI”.
Dimensions didn’t particularly wow him visually, telling us that “there are a lot of cool new effects particles, but the sprites themselves still look like the old 2010 mobile version that it’s based on.” But where Josh was impressed was with the music, which has been ramped up from the earlier version. “A lot of it is orchestrated. It sounds really cool, really dynamic.”
Josh’s overall verdict from his brief time with the game? “Some new elements added to the old formula, but otherwise it’s pretty much staying true to the Super Nintendo feel.”
I should probably note that this game has nothing to do with Final Fantasy Legend for Game Boy. Sad, I know, but maybe Square Enix will do something exciting with that game in the future. Until then we have Final Fantasy Dimensions, a game that’s shaping up to be a brilliant love letter to the 16-bit era of RPGs.