PT Guides: Like... Final Fantasy? You'll Love These!23 Nov 2017 0
There is surely no RPG series more monumental or more inaccurately titled than Square Enix's long-running Final Fantasy. With fifteen main entries and more spin-offs than I care to count, Final Fantasy ports to mobile have usually been received well.
One of the best is Final Fantasy IX [iOS and Android], and one of the most disappointing is their port of Final Fantary VI [iOS and Android], which replaced the original's beautiful spritework with clipart covered in Vaseline. Their original series, Chaos Rings [iOS and Android], is also a great mobile take on the formula. However, all of these games are (rightfully) priced well-above the typical mobile RPG.
What if you're on a budget, but also don't want to play some gatcha nonsense piled high with anime cheesecake and Over 300 Hats To Discover? Of course, there are lots of mobile developers building games about spiky-haired kids in unlikely outfits that need to collect all the MacGuffin crystals to stop the Big Bad, but it can be tough to dig through the dross. Here's some of the best Final Fantasy-inspired games on mobile, and a few other JRPG options in the same lineage.
The easiest Final Fantasy style RPG to recommend is Doom & Destiny [iOS and Android], which has been amusing gamers for a long time. It's a real, full Final Fantasy-style JRPG (actually Italian) with hours of storyline and combat, but also a tongue-in-cheek approach that keeps the goofy jokes and references flying. It follows a party of nerds sucked into a fantasy world who have to get their hero on. Doom and Destiny Advanced [iOS and Android] is basically a sequel in terms of the more advanced and streamlined mechanics and a reboot in terms of storyline.
If you need some genuine J in your JRPG, but don't want to pay an arm and a leg, KEMCO [iOS and Android] is the finest purveyor of low-rent premium epic party-based RPGs from a stable of Japanese developers that can churn out a game every month. They have titles that mix and match keywords from the hottest AAA games and bring to mind the dollar DVD bin at Wal-Mart that tries to trick you into buying something called 'Transmorphers'.
The games are pretty much all considered only better than mediocre, with stereotypical stories and little innovation in mechanics. But, they are also all very cheap and very long and will definitely scratch that itch. Symphony of the Origin [iOS and Android] is a recent one generally considered one of the best. If you want freemium, Revenant Dogma [iOS and Android] is a good one, with ads and IAP that amount to bonus content that you could unlock with grinding too. There's dozens of these things and they go on sale or get bundled often, so keep your eyes peeled.
If the first Final Fantasy trilogy is more your speed, give Gurk [iOS and Android] a try. It's a venerable series of mobile RPGs going back to the pre-smartphone days. Yes, that means you'll be controlling the action with a virtual numpad, but the gameplay is solid and the first entry is free. Entries II and III are only a few bucks, but only III is on iOS. If all you really need is some JRPG combat on the go, Fearless Fantasy [iOS and Android] is a good and twisted choice. It adds gesture- and rhythm-based bonuses to traditional turn-based combat. The story is forgettable but the monsters are decidedly not.
Maybe you weren't a FF player back in the day, but a fan of its predecessor and the godfather of JRPGs Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior). There are great ports of these games, but they are more expensive than your average mobile game (except for the early ones, which haven't aged well). If you don't want to spend the cost of a DVD of 'Sharknado', Gailardia [iOS and Android] has all the grinding you could wish for for the price of no dollars, with no ads or IAP in sight. More pricey but more polished is Dragon Fantasy [iOS], which will bring you back to the days of losing yourself in 8 bits of wonder without also bringing back throwing your controller against the wall for the difficulty. If you were more of a Shin Megami Tensei fan, Siralim [iOS and Android] is where its at. It's a crunchy crunchy crunchfest with hundreds of monsters to snatch up, equip, and summon to do your dirty work.
Or, if you have a hankering for some of the more old-school FF titles, have you considered broadening your horizons? The SNES wasn't the only console in suburban rec rooms, so maybe you should try doing what Nintendidn't with the ports of classic Sega RPGs from the same era. Lunar: Silver Star Story [iOS] is a lost gem of the Sega CD and Saturn. It has well-developed characters and a deep combat system that avoids most of the classic JRPG pitfalls (eg, no grinding). Phantasy Star II Classic [iOS and Android] trades in the typical fantasy world for a sci-fi setting and has a great story with lots of unexpected and dramatic twists.
There's so many JRPG-styled games out there I must have missed a few. What are your faves?