Review: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition

It is a true wonder when a mobile game impresses the gaming community, but that is exactly what happened when Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition was released on mobile devices just a week ago.

What began as a ‘do we really need this’ became a ‘this is truly a great portable edition of Final Fantasy XV’.

Honestly, who knew that the gaming community needed a 3DS-like ‘demake’ of an already great console (and now PC edition) game but it proves to be a great option for those who haven’t played Final Fantasy XV or those who just want to play through the game again portably.

GAMEPLAY

One thing players will notice about Pocket Edition is cutscenes are nearly perfectly recreated, though now in the ‘chibi’ graphic style.

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Players of the console edition of the game will feel right at home, with dialogue between characters copied word for word, complete with voice acting for nearly every text bubble.

Banter between characters is still funny and an important piece of the story and atmosphere.

Movement has been reduced to just tapping or holding onto a point on the screen but somehow it works, especially in battle.

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Though simplified, the battle system in Pocket Edition feels right. Attacks are automatic once you target an enemy with Noctis’ warp ability returning, and the having the camera facing down, you can see exactly what you are doing at all times, which is a breath of fresh air fom the hectic camera system in FF XV.

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Areas of the game are fairly large for a mobile game, though it certainly isn’t open-world.

Outside of battles players will explore areas looking for barrels to smash, or sand piles to grab items out of. Exploration is still fun, with features like camping returning.

Of course, Ignis’ cooking sessions have returned as well.

The first time I saw Ignis snap his finger and exclaim, “I’ve come up with a new recipe,” I smiled, knowing I was about to embark on another adventure with Noctis and gang.

GRAPHICS

The game is still beautiful, though everything has been shrunk down to ‘chibi’ size.

With graphic settings set to high, light blooms seep onto the scene, colors are deeper, but even with settings set to low, it feels like playing a 3DS game, which is an amazing feat for mobile.

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Battles are still action packed with effects and characters all working flawlessly.

I experienced almost no lag, though there were a few slowdowns in some areas when transitioning from one place to the next, though it isn’t always noticeable.

The game runs in 30fps by default but I found playing in 60fps was a more enjoyable experience personally.

SOUND

Everything is nearly identical to the console version in the sound department. Music, sound effects, dialogue, its nearly perfectly adapted to the mobile edition.

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Hearing ‘Somnus’ play on the main menu when opening up the game was a nice touch, and instantly made me want to play through the game again.

One noticeable difference is right in the beginning scene. When Noctis and the gang are pushing the car along the road, I expected ‘Stand by Me’ to start playing but instead another song began to play, with no lyrics.

It’s a small complaint but the only noticeable one during my playthrough of the game.

SUMMARY

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is a great feat for mobile gaming. It is a true Final Fantay experience that feels just like a 3DS remake of FF XV, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

It doesn’t feel like mobile game. I never once thought, ‘I’m playing on my phone right now’. Most of the time I was too engrossed in the game to worry about what device I was playing on.

Essentially, they recreated the entire game for mobile devices. Everything is intact, including cutscenes.

It is certainly an enjoyable experience for the price and definitely worth the investment.

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is available to try for free. The full game is $19.99 for all 10 chapters.

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Review: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Opera Omnia

Even with a title that makes little sense and proves to be a mouthful, Final Fantasy Dissidia: Opera Omnia proves to be a shining title on mobile app stores just a week after its release in the United States.

The game features over 25 notable Final Fantasy characters so far with updates seeming to come at a fairly quick pace.

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Like other mobile games of the same nature, it runs off of quests that allow for a 3 character party to bring into battle. Various spots on the world map open up at a time with more opening as the story progresses.

Each spot either contains a story progression spot, or just a random enemy battle, with bosses interspersed towards the end of each “island” on the world map.

The battle system is what really makes Opera Omnia shine, however, with a strategic and turn-based style with added flair.

Battles work like classic RPG systems, turn-based but Opera Omnia has added new twists.

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The player will now have to deplete the enemies Bravery (brv) before they can inflict damage on the opponent. Once the opponents bravery has been lowered or broken, the player can inflict HP attacks, allowing for damage to be dealt.

The upside, players also have bravery, meaning enemies must first deplete that before characters can sustain damage, sometimes giving players an extra layer of protection against strong attacks.

STORY

The story follows a meager moogle (that’s a mouthful) and it’s mission to band together the best warriors from multiple universes to fight back against Torsions that have been opening across the games various islands. These torsions threaten the entire world, including the universes that each of the characters originally belong too, giving each character a motive to fight alongside strangers against the darkness brewing in the games universe.It’s not the most intricate or deep story, but nobody asked for a mobile game to contain a AAA story, it just has to be fun, and Omnia definitely is.

GAMEPLAY

Gameplay is standard fair for games of its type on mobile, there’s no open-world to explore. Instead you tap around on nodes on the world map to navigate to different battles or dialogue sequences.

The game mostly centers around battles with dialogue in between. Chat sequences of course either reveal a character or further the story. The balance of the two is well done.

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The battle system is the main focus of the game. The refreshing new bravery system is nice and the strategy it adds makes the usual RPG fair exciting and fast.

SOUND

The usual Final Fantasy soundtrack can be heard in certain moments in the game. Gone is the prologue song usually played at the beginning of each entry, but an original soundtrack replaces it.

It does the job, its not as catchy or exciting as the soundtrack for Brave Exivus, but it does the job, and does it well.

GRAPHICS

The game isn’t beautiful by any means, but it’s nice to look at. The graphics are akin to 3DS graphics, with characters taking on chibi-like forms.

Light rays come from the top of the screen in grassy plains, and cutscenes are done well with characters taking on their respective traits, armor, and weapons.

OVERALL

Opera Omnia is a wonderful mobile experience, especially when waiting for Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition. It has all your favorite FF characters such as Cloud, Tifa, and Warrior of Light from FF1.

The gameplay is addictive, with co-op quests to participate in when you’re done playing alone for a while.

With planned updates and more characters added, Final Fantasy fans will enjoy the experience.

Overall, the game is a unique take on the typical RPG battle system with added features and graphics alike to a 3DS game.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Review

Outside the village players are used to playing in in Animal Crossing, mobile gamer’s are now going to get a taste of the camping life with the recent release of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

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Pocket Camp has been out for two weeks now and having played for this long, this gamer can say that it is a true Animal Crossing title worthy of the series.

Despite its blatantly obvious in-app purchase model, the game can be enjoyed and experienced by everyone, regardless of premium currencies. As far as I can tell, all items in the game except for speed boosts are available with in-game currency.

Luckily, even the premium currency (leaf tickets) are easily obtained by completing quests.

The current holiday event gives out over 100 leaf tickets alone.

Gameplay

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp plays identically to previous titles in the series, with a few changes.

Players familiar with the world will feel at home while running around the new world shaking trees for fruit, fishing, or catching bugs, but old and new players will also love the new camp aspect.

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Whereas AC: New Leaf introduced the ability to customize the town with things like swings and lampposts, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is what probably inspired Pocket Camp the most.

The main idea is the game is to build an appealing campsite for visiting villagers to stay in while they’re on vacation at the various islands surrounding the camp.

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Players have the ability to craft furniture and amenities, new large-scale building projects that level-up villagers of that type (ex. Cute, Cool, Sporty, Natural). Furniture can be placed in the campsite, some of which is required to invite specific villagers to stay in the camp.

Players are also given an RV to customize and decorate. The inside can be decorated the same was as the camp, whereas the RV can be customized with paints and designs on the outside.

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Upgrades to the amount of space or adding rooms to the RV works the same way as previous iterations, with loans being taken out for the work. Players will then have to pay off the loans with the in-game currency, bells.

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One of the main features of the game is the requests system. When talking to villagers, whether they are visiting or permanently living in the campsite, they will present requests, which essentially are fetch quests for items around the various areas in the game.

Unfortunately, new players will likely run out of storage fairly fast as there are more items on the map then pocket space to put them in. Requests become a little mundane after a while when you realize you’re missing one Tiger Butterfly and there are none on the map.

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Luckily, the game still has familiar features such as the clothing shop and a very small version of Nook’s Cranny among other new features.

The game is sadly plagued with timers, some taking upwards of 48 hours to complete, but with several other activities to do, it never feels like you run out of things to do.

Graphics

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a good looking game, or at least as good looking as an Animal Crossing game can look on mobile devices. The graphics are on-par or even better than Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pocket Camp’s predecessor.

All the assets are nearly identical to past renditions of the titular series, the fish look fishy, the tree’s look tree-y, the villagers retain their cuteness, and for some, weirdness.

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The game perfectly retains the cute art style that Animal Crossing is known for, and some items are probably straight out of previous iterations of the series.

Sound

Music in Animal Crossing is chill and relaxing, like a mini-zen garden but with sound.

Pocket Camp manages to maintain that relaxing musical quality with songs changing across the various areas of the game, as well as the time of day. (yes, there are day and night cycles).

Summary

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was thought to be just a town-builder with Animal Crossing slapped on the label but it turned out to be much more.

Pocket Camp is a full-fledged Animal Crossing title, worth of bearing the name of the series, and not just as a mobile game.

With frequent updates being promised by Nintendo and DeNA, players will likely enjoy the game for years to come with more features likely to appear over time.

Overall, the game gets a perfect score from Consumer Friendly. Though it has flaws it is a genuinely enjoyable Animal Crossing title with a lot of fun packed into a small package.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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