‘Final Fantasy VII’ for iOS

Back in the heady days of 1997, just before I turned twelve, a TV commercial for a little game called Final Fantasy VII caught my interest. A video game that looks like a 3D anime? I had never heard of such a thing, but knew I needed to upgrade from my Sega Genesis to a PlayStation ASAP.

I was lucky enough to get the game and a PS1 for Christmas later that year. I quickly learned two things:

  1. The animations in the commercial were not the actual gameplay, but something called “cutscenes” that only appear in the game occasionally. I’ll admit, 12-year-old me was disappointed. I got over it eventually.
  2. There were such things as “game saves”, which required “memory cards” β€” another concept I had never heard of (and apparently, neither had “Santa”). After replaying the first two hours of the game several times, I finally got this one.

And thus began a teenagehood-long obsession with Japanese RPGs. I played ’em all, man β€” the more discs, the better.

Fast-forward to today. Final Fantasy VII is now available for iPhone and iPad, which seems crazy to me. It’s a direct port of the PC game rather than the Playstation version, but the story is the same. How could I resist?

As it turns out, everything I loved about the original is still there, but there are some weird choices. For one, there’s an ever-present toggle to disable random battles, which defeats the purpose of like half the game. Also, in the menu a setting exists that maxes out all your characters and gives you unlimited money. Huh? Why include these sorts of options and make them so prominent?

Despite the weird cheat options, the game is just as enjoyable as I remembered it. There’s obviously some deep nostalgia happening here, but it’s Final Fantasy VII in my pocket for crying out loud.

Eli Hodapp of TouchArcade sums it up well:

As far as thoroughly stoking the coals of fiery nostalgia for this epic RPG, this port will definitely do the trick, and all the more janky aspects likely won’t come as much of a surprise if you’ve played any of the iOS Final Fantasy ports released on the App Store so far.

Get the game for $16 on the iOS App Store.