GAMES - Review
10:13 - 14th July 2016, by Tom Smith

Final Fantasy IX

The last of the PSone era Final Fantasy games makes its way to Android and iOS stores, bringing with it every bit of charm from the original.

Visuals have been polished, kind of. The characters and menus have been given the HD treatment, becoming bright, vibrant and super sharp. The backgrounds, however, are anything but. We were using the iPad Air 2 and the larger resolution screen meant the pre-rendered backdrops looked especially lo-fi.

It wasn’t quite as noticeable on the iPhone 6+, but the contrast between the characters and the location art makes it a little jarring at first. Mind you, already weighing in at a whopping 2GB, imagine how much hard drive space you’d have left if the backgrounds were high definition!

The touch controls work seamlessly. No more messy buttons slapped on screen, as per Final Fantasy VII’s port – thank goodness. Simply press the menu option you want to select. This works especially well in combat, where you can select which character to use next by tapping them, without navigating any menus. Outside of battle, slide your finger anywhere on screen to bring up an analogue style virtual-stick. Alternatively, tap a location and have your hero trot there directly.

Even with the graphical niggles, we’d go as far as saying that this port is better than the original (just check out the “extras”, below!) and we cannot wait to see what wonders Square Enix has in store when the PC version arrives later this year.

Expect to miss your bus stop, take hour-long loo breaks and get very little sleep as the massive world of Final Fantasy IX has crammed its way onto mobile devices. Swanky HD visuals and extras bring this classic RPG beautifully up to date.
SCORE: 5/5
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