Final Fantasy Dimensions II ($14.99) by Square Enix is a brand new chapter in the Final Fantasy universe. If you're a fan of the franchise or just seeking a great adventure, then FFDII is a worthy addition.
While the Final Fantasy franchise has been around for a long time (30 years this December), I joined the party a bit late. I didn't get really into the series until I was in high school, when I got more invested into video games in general. My first Final Fantasy game was the Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls bundle on the Game Boy Advance, and from that moment forward, I knew I fell in love. Japanese RPGs (JRPGs) became a big part of my life since then, as I was intrigued by plenty of new titles and poured dozens to hundreds of hours into them when I could.
While many of the older Final Fantasy games have been ported to iOS in the past few years, I didn't feel the need to get them since I had most of them on other consoles. But I was excited for FFDII, as it's a game that hasn't been released before. I had to get my hands on it.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, FFDII is gorgeous and a faithful rendition of what you'd expect from a Final Fantasy game on iOS. Those who have played older titles will feel right at home with the 16-bit pixelated character sprites and lush environments. Character portraits for dialogue boxes is beautifully drawn, and the blue text boxes are familiar. The colors in FFDII are a nice range of bold and vibrant hues to dark and muted tones. Animations are smooth and fluid on my iPhone 8 Plus, with no lag or choppiness whatsoever. The game also has the typical Final Fantasy music and retro sound effects, so old-school gamers get a sense of nostalgia when playing this.
Unlike traditional Final Fantasy games with an over-world map, you're not able to freely walk around and explore in FFDII. I was disappointed when I discovered this, but I suppose that's to be expected from a Final Fantasy game designed for mobile devices. Instead, players get a world map with points of interest marked as destinations, and multiple stages in each. These levels consist of waves of enemies, where players engage in turn-based battles with them. You'll earn rewards and experience points for your party members for successfully completing these stages. And with no towns and inns to rest in, all party members' HP and MP are restored after every level.
The combat system is turn-based like the old-school Final Fantasy games. On the left side of the screen is a gauge that shows you the turn order between your party members and enemies. On the right, you'll see the menu of actions that your currently selected party member can do. This consists of the basic "Attack" with their equipped weapon, "Ability," and "Summon."
The abilities that each party member has varies, and they can learn new ones as they level up with their Signet Stones. These stones are earned by defeating Eidolons, who are bosses that you must face off against in trials that test whether you're worthy. Using abilities costs MP to use, with more potent skills costing more. However, they can do much more damage than a regular physical attack, so make sure to take advantage of them when you can, especially since your HP and MP get refilled after battle.
Summon allows party members to summon powerful creatures onto the battlefield to help you out. But like previous Final Fantasy titles, you must find and earn these summons by defeating the creatures in battle first. They'll be tough foes to face, but owning their power to use at your command is well worth it.
The cast of characters in FFDII are completely new and span across different races and eras. Eventually, you'll find items to equip, and can spend the gil you earn to buy more gear for battle. The storyline is your standard Final Fantasy fare, where a great disaster is caused by human error and destroys everything as we know it. Then it's up to you, as a young boy who seeks adventure, to save the world by traveling back and forth between the past, present, future, and even beyond.
The latest Final Fantasy addition to the App Store.
FFDII is a nice, streamlined Final Fantasy adventure for mobile devices. The art style is true to the older games with the pixel art sprites and settings. The music and sound is a fantastic throwback to the classic games too, and gave me a bit of nostalgia when I hear it. The turn-based combat is simple and intuitive, so even Final Fantasy newbies won't have issues with it, especially with the tutorial in the beginning. The game has plenty of content to go through, so this is one that will take up some time.
Even though it can be quite a lengthy adventure, this is still a watered-down version of Final Fantasy. There are no towns to check out, you can't interact with other NPCs, and you can't explore the world freely. If you're used to this from older Final Fantasy games and come in expecting this, you'll be disappointed.
I also think that the price for FFDII is a bit high, considering it doesn't play like a true Final Fantasy game. For almost the same price (give or take a few bucks), you can get other classic Final Fantasy titles like FFV, FFVII, FFIX, and more. Personally, for this kind of money, the real games are a better pick.
Overall, I'm liking Final Fantasy Dimensions II, but not sure if it's worth the high price tag compared to other Final Fantasy games on iOS. The art style is lovely, the music and sound brings back memories, and the turn-based battle system is easy to follow. I'm a bit annoyed that it takes away the free-roaming exploration aspect of the long-established franchise, as that was one of my favorite elements. The game itself is good, but I'm not sure if it's worth $15. Perhaps if this was a bit lower, considering that it's a watered-down Final Fantasy.
Final Fantasy Dimensions II is available on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for $14.99. There are no in-app purchases.