Final Fantasy 6 is touted as one of the best RPGs ever made. It has a long story, dozens of hours of game play, memorable music, and was one of the titles that made Final Fantasy the fan favorite it is today. The game is out now on Android with revamped graphics but it costs much more than most Android apps at $15.99. Is it worth the price? You can watch the review video above or keep reading for our full review of the Final Fantasy 6 Android release.
If you’ve never played Final Fantasy 6, it’s about a girl named Terra who can cast magic in a world where no one can cast magic. She’s liberated from the enemy early on and asked to fight against them with a resistance group called the Returners. As you play, things get complicated, you pick up about a dozen playable allies, and end up going after the Empire and Kefka head on which carries you through the rest of the game.
The game itself is pretty much like every other Final Fantasy title on Android to date with a few minor changes here and there. You walk around on the world maps, in towns, fly around on airships, fight bad guys, and use chocobos to move from place to place while you watch the story progress. So if you’ve played an earlier Final Fantasy title or any JRPG you pretty much know how this works.
One of the biggest perks about Final Fantasy 6 isn’t just the good story, but also all the sub plots. Once you get to a certain point, there is a vast array of things you can do outside the purview of the main story. This includes all the new magacite, bonus dungeons, and extra content that came with the 2006 remake. Otherwise, everything else is as it used to be. The enemies, events, story, bosses, and more remain relatively unchanged aside from the improved graphics.
As you can imagine, the controls have been re-imagined for use on a smartphone. You can now choose between 4-way and 8-way controls so you can now move diagonally if you so choose. Unfortunately, the controls are a tad clunky as you can see here the input takes a moment to translate to actual movement. This isn’t a lag issue actually but rather a delay in the input. It kinda sucks until you get used to it.
The battle controls are actually a lot different than prior ported Final Fantasy games but thankfully Square gives you a help window in your first battle so you can get it. It relies more on scrolling than tapping and the whole screen is utilized. So if you want to scroll down on a character, you can slide your finger anywhere above their window or in their window to scroll commands, then tap to access them. It’s a little difficult to get used to but it’s not so bad once you do.
The menu remains pretty much the same as the prior Final Fantasy games. You can access all the game’s music, the bestiary, and a game log from within the menu now. The game log can also be accessed in the main screen in the top left corner and it’ll tell you what you need to be doing if you don’t know what’s up.
Overall, the mechanics are a step sideways. They aren’t any better than Final Fantasy 4 or 5, but they aren’t any worse either. It’s simply a different method of performing essentially the same tasks, but we did like the extras in the menu and the game log is helpful. About our only complaint is the clunky controls.
Here’s what we liked about the game
- It’s one of the best stories ever told in an RPG. Most people in the know in the gaming industry rank this as one of the best RPGs ever made. It really is a very good game.
- The improved graphics are fun to look at and it’s definitely a vast improvement over every prior release.
- The extras like the bestiary, accessing the soundtrack whenever you want, the in game help, and others are pleasant additions, especially for prior fans of the title.
- It has most of the augments found in prior Square Enix smartphone titles like auto-battle and game speed settings to help move the game along at your pace.
- There are some Google Play Games services. Namely, achievements are available.
And here’s what we didn’t like so much.
- Many people, including me, were hoping for a full 3D revamp like they did with Final Fantasy 4 and the rumors of this not being true are disappointing.
- The controls are clunky. It isn’t game lag but rather a delay in the input and until you get used to it, you may find yourself taking unintentional extra steps. The 8-way controls don’t really add anything and I actually ended up using 4-way. I really hope Square Enix fixes this problem.
- The DRM always-connected means you cannot play the game where there is no internet access. Lame.
- Some root users have complained that you can’t use the game with Xposed installed. I have Xposed installed and as you can see, the game works fine for me, so it’s likely a specific module or combination of modules that cause the problem. If you’re unsure, buy the game and try to play and if it doesn’t work, get a refund inside of the 15 minute refund time. There are likely device and OS incompatibilities that we don’t know about yet as well.
- There are no cloud saves. Double lame!
At the end of the day, this is a classic. It has an amazing story, great music, and the improved graphics make the game feel new again. The menu extras add some peripheral depth, the game log makes playing the game for the first time easier for new fans, and the touch controls are about as good as you can reasonably expect them to be aside from the delay issue.
So is it worth the $16? It’s hard to decide. I don’t mind trying to talk you guys out of spending a couple of bucks on a legitimately good app or game, but $16 puts this among the most expensive games on Android. So I’ll put it to you this way. If you’re a fan of RPGs, JRPGs, Final Fantasy, or Square Enix, or if you’re personally wealthy this game is a must have because it’s simply one of the best.
If you don’t fall into that category, I would recommend waiting until Square Enix tosses a sale so you can grab it at a more reasonable price or, at the very least, wait until they fix a few of these bugs. It is a great game, it really is. I’ve been playing it since it came out 20 years ago, but between the issues and the price, it’s difficult to readily recommend it to everyone who isn’t already a serious fan of the genre for right now.