On July 1st, Square Enix tweeted that the first three Final Fantasy titles would be coming to mobile as remasters on July 29th. Well, it would appear someone has pulled the trigger a little early, and so all three are now available on the Play Store. This is why the original Android ports for I and II are now unlisted, where these remasters are being released as updated replacements that many of us will have to purchase again if we wish to see support. Final Fantasy I and II retail for $11.99, and III is $17.99, which is up there for 20+ year-old games.
Final Fantasy I
First up is Final Fantasy I. This is the original, the OG, the game that started it all. Much like all of the remasters released today (as well as the upcoming releases for IV, V, and VI), the graphics are all-new, albeit 2D, sitting somewhere between the style of the NES games and the SNES releases.
You can expect a new rearranged soundtrack, an updated UI for touch controls, 60 FPS gameplay, but there is no controller support. While the touch controls are much more serviceable than the original Final Fantasy I port on Android (now unlisted and unlikely ever to see another update), the missing controller support is highly questionable for a game that's being sold at a premium price point. On the other hand, cloud saving is supported, and there is a quick-save option in the game so you can save at any time, which is pretty convenient.
So sure, $11.99 isn't much for a polished RPG, even if it's an old classic, but it's hard to trust Square now that it has seen fit to remove some of the old games, which is a convenient way to get people to pay for the new ones if they want to receive updates, another sticking point with Square since the company has allowed many of its premium games to languish in broken states for months at a time. This all adds up to a tough buy to recommend since Square has demonstrated over and over again that it does not care about customer satisfaction on the Play Store. Will these new games break like the old ones while seeing barely any support? Only time will tell.
Final Fantasy II
Next up is Final Fantasy II. Just like I, this is a remaster that offers 2D pixel graphics while offering an updated UI for touch controls. FF II also does not offer controller support, but cloud saves, and rearranged soundtracks are here. Also, just like I, II retails for $11.99, which is up there for an old game, especially one that just replaced an older version that was poorly supported for years. So again, you have to wonder how long Square will actually support this title because if history is a judge, it does not reflect well on Square one iota.
Still, the port is solid if you enjoy touch controls, so if you've yet to play Final Fantasy II and don't mind parting with $11.99 that may or may not guarantee further support, there's an enjoyable RPG here that's a classic for a reason.
Final Fantasy III
Last up today is Final Fantasy III. Unlike the 3D remake (that's still available on the Play Store), Square has reverted back to 2D graphics to match the style of the new remasters for I and II. Controllers are not supported, though the new UI for touch controls works just as well as the previous two games. You can also expect cloud-save support along with quick saving. Unlike Final Fantasy I and II, Final Fantasy II is $17.99, which is really up there.
All in all, Square's first three remaster for the Final Fantasy series are better than the previous ports, thanks to polished touch controls, cloud saving across the board, and convenient quick saves for on-the-go play. All three titles play at 60 FPS, and supplemental extras such as the bestiary, gallery, and music player are welcome additions.
Still, Square's reputation on mobile is awful, and the company only has itself to blame for letting so many of its premium ports languish on the platform. One could say this is why new ports/remasters are needed. But then how can we trust Square will keep these titles updated? It's a bit of a conundrum, and I doubt I'm the only one torn between wanting to purchase all three or avoiding them entirely.