Final Fantasy has long been a definitive name in the world of RPG’s, ever since the original on the NES. Since, there have been thirteen numbered games, countless spin-offs and sequels, a couple of movies, plenty of remakes, and a legacy that has made the name Final Fantasy a familiar one no matter who you’re talking to.
As far as remakes go, though, the latest remakes of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II for Android are not all they lived up to be. Practically a direct port from the PSP re-makes, the new Final Fantasy ports manages to preserve that nostalgic sense that you get from playing any of the other remakes, but the one key thing that lost me here is the controls.
The setup is a bit awkward feeling. Sure you’ve got a pretty standard D-Pad on the left, as usual, but it’s the right side of the screen that threw me off. There’s a single button on the right side of the screen, and it doesn’t do what you’d think it does. Logically, you think, “Oh, that has to be the action button you press to talk to people, etc.” right? Wrong. This is actually the run button. Pressing the button will turn it red, and makes your character move twice as fast. A function that was not available in the original NES, but did manage to make its way into the remakes since at least the GBA remake (correct me if I’m wrong). But that’s fine.
Final Fantasy II
The problem is the button itself seems like it should be an action button, and by reflex, anyone who has played an Android RPG will hit this button in an attempt to perform an action, only to find that not only is it not performing an action, but their character is now running everywhere. To stop running, you hit the button again. So how do you perform an action? As with the Final Fantasy III remake, you can tap anywhere else on the screen to talk to NPCs, read signs, whatever else you may need to do. Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II also do not have a menu button on the upper right hand corner of the screen. In order to access your menu, stop walking, and your party info will appear on the bottom right, practically under the run button. If you touch this, your menu pops open.
Other than that, though these remakes did manage to preserve the nostalgic feeling of their previous remakes, and include the bonus areas that have been in the games since the GBA remakes, the controls still leave quite a bit to be desired. Maybe we’ll see an update eventually that will make the controls friendlier, like those in Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy Dimensions, but until then, avid fans of these games will have to either settle for these controls, or get an emulator and play the originals.
The music remains as beautiful and nostalgia-inducing as ever, using arranged remakes of the original games’ music. The combat system has been revamped a bit, and is actually much easier to use on a touch screen.
Square Enix dropped both Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II as separate games, and will cost $7 each on the Play Store. So if you’re okay with the controls being a bit awkward, and want to relive the classic RPG days, by all means, pick them up.