A $16 iPhone game that’s worth it: Final Fantasy Tactics

The iPhone version of Final Fantasy Tactics is a port of a port, an enhanced remake of a game that was originally released more than a decade ago. It’s a game that costs $16—roughly 16 times the price of most iOS games. It’s old, expensive, and you can find it elsewhere for cheaper. Then again, it’s also one of the best strategy RPGs of all time, playable on your phone. so maybe it’s worth it.

This isn’t actually a port of the original; it’s the PSP remake, subtitled The War of the Lions, that was released a few years back. this means that it has the beautiful, animated cut-scenes from that version, as well as new content like additional classes to unlock. so it’s a pretty meaty package, with easily dozens of hours worth of content.

The game itself is the same as the PSP version, with the same epic story and turn-based combat system. If you’ve played that game, there’s nothing new to see here. And it still looks wonderful even squished onto the iPhone’s tiny screen.

Final Fantasy Tactics: the War of the Lions

What is new, though, is the inclusion of touchscreen controls. these are a bit hit and miss. Navigating the menus via touch is rather clunky, especially since you’ll need to tap an OK button outside of the menu itself to confirm most actions. a simple double tap for confirmation would’ve been very welcome. on the other hand, being able to rotate the camera with a swipe of your finger is a welcome addition.

There have been some reports that the game is laggy with a good deal of graphical slowdown. however, during our time with the game—which was spent on a not-exactly-modern iPhone 3GS—we didn’t run into any significant issues. it actually felt slightly snappier than the PSP version.

Sixteen dollars is a lot for an iPhone game, especially considering the game is available on the PlayStation Network—both in remake form and as the PSOne original—for $10. Then again, if you have a PSP to play this on, this version isn’t really for you. Considered outside of the iOS ecosystem, and factoring in all of the content that’s here, the asking price really isn’t all that high. sure, you could get 16 versions of Angry Birds for that price, but this will probably last you longer. An HD version for the iPad is coming later this month.

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