By now, most App Store gamers shouldn't really be surprised by Gameloft's method of operation. Basically, they “borrow heavily” from a popular style of console game and come up with their own version of it. Opinions are mixed on whether this is right, wrong, good, or bad. But regardless of your feelings towards Gameloft, it's hard to argue with some of the compelling gameplay experiences that they've brought to iOS that we might not otherwise have. One of the newest offerings from them is called Eternal Legacy [$6.99], released earlier today, and is a riff of the most recent Final Fantasy console games.

I've spent a bit of time with Eternal Legacy today, and like most of Gameloft's other titles, it's not bad, and offers a comparable experience to the game that they draw inspiration from. For what is supposed to be a story-driven game, the borderline laughable voice acting detracts from the experience some. But the story itself is fairly engaging, and the turn-based battle sequences are a lot of fun. Plus, it has feminine male characters that carry huge swords, so really, what more could you want?

Enemies roam around the 3D environments in Eternal Legacy, so you have an idea of when you'll be engaging in battle. There can be up to 3 members in your party, but you'll only have full control over the main character by default, though you can change this in the options. You can choose from a number of different attacks, skills, or items to use during battle. Up to 3 of these can be queued up and a small timer gauge denotes when each move will be executed. The secondary characters in your party will perform moves on their own, but you can choose the demeanor of those moves, such as if they should attack enemies or focus on healing your party.

You will also have full control over equipping each character in your party, and there are a ton of equipment and weapon options. Also, you can collect rare fragments that can be fused with your equipment to add special properties to them, like fire damage or healing. There's quite a lot going on in Eternal Legacy, and the game does an excellent job at walking you through the process each time you do something new. The menus are all clean and easy to navigate, and the default setup of the gameplay is very conducive to gaming on the go.

For anybody who has been looking for a fully 3D RPG experience that is similar to a contemporary Final Fantasy game, Eternal Legacy should quell that desire pretty well. The battling is entertaining, with plenty of weapons and gear to equip, the magical skill attacks have over-the-top animations and graphical effects, and there appears to be a sufficiently interesting storyline if you can look past some of the terrible voice acting (or better yet, turn it off altogether in the options screen). The environments are pretty linear, but look nice visually and still contain a good amount of areas to explore and secrets to discover.

If you're looking for some more information or further impressions on Eternal Legacy, check out the thread in our forums which has been abuzz with activity regarding the game all day long.

  • Don04091975

    yep

  • Tohuva

    I think I'd rather just play Chaos Rings. Or FFI. or FF2.

    • Anonymous

      For those of us who've already played through those games though, this looks to be a great new modern RPG. Other than Chaos Rings, new RPGs are a little scant on iOS, which always confused me because it seems to be the perfect system for them.

      FF1 (and especially FF2) are dated at best, and have been ported to a thousand other consoles before so people have likely played them by now, and while Chaos Rings is great, no other game could match it. I'm glad there's a second modern iOS-designed RPG to step up to the plate, and I hope more companies will follow!

  • Alferitu

    After Chaos Rings took my breath away, I've been scanning iTunes or a remotely comparable experience. I hope this is it.

  • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

    It's too bad Crimson Gem Saga never gets a mention when people are talking about iPhone RPGs. It's still far and away the best on the system.

    As for this new clone from Gameloft, well it's a blatant FF13 clone (curious decision to ripp off one of the worst Final Fantasy games...) with the usual rough edges common to all Gameloft titles. Compared to Infinity Blade, with it's near Xbox 360 level visuals, this looks more like a bad Dreamcast game, or a good PS1 title. Voice acting is mind bogglingly bad, but can at least be turned off, and it all reeks of mediocrity.

    Stick to Crimson Gem Saga, then Across Age DX. Not too keen on Chaos Rings myself though as it lacks polish and is brutally difficult.

    • Achy

      My thoughts exactly. I'd stay far far away from this game.

    • Bramsey89

      Really? Infinity Blade? Can you even call that a game? It's like Mike Tyson's Punch out coated in pretty graphics.

      • http://skoshy.com Steve Koshy

        Is Mike Tyson's Punchout not a game?

    • Giraffe

      Crimson Gem Saga is a great game with one of the ugliest and clumsiest port jobs I've seen. The UI is, at best, terrible.

      • Philosonic

        Looking at the PSP version of CGS, you really wonder how were they able to mess up the port. As for FF13 being the worst FF game, it seems like every new FF flagship title is the worst FF game, I say half of it is highly enjoyable and visually enticing, but the rest is dull, Lightning and Sazh were disappointing has new hero archetypes compared to how they were marketed by Square and the rest of the cast was almost has annoying has Vaan. I think Chaos Ring is WAY TO EASY but the storyline gameplay, while developing the story furthermore make the gameplay redundant, they could have made at least different bosses and maps, they did make different puzzles.

        I'm not reluctant to enjoying rip off, remakes and clones, but while I don't want to say this is crap, because I would like to think there was somewhat a lot of work into developing EL, the fact is this game reeks of misguided efforts an lack of hindsight to the games they are emulating.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        @phil

        "As for FF13 being the worst FF game, it seems like every new FF flagship title is the worst FF game, I say half of it is highly enjoyable and visually enticing, but the rest is dull"

        Did you ever think that maybe you're too old for Videogames?

    • Xiao Long Gui

      >>Chaos Rings
      >>brutally difficult

      lol

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      @phil

      agreed..."It's too bad Crimson Gem Saga never gets a mention when people are talking about iPhone RPGs. It's still far and away the best on the system"

      Until you get to the underground which is just impossible without a cheat (map)... I loved that game, but deleted it after i got to that part. Also the menu system is migraine inducing.

  • Andiron

    Wow. No love for Gameloft in here. I've about an hour and a half into Eternal Legacy and I am actually enjoying it. Is it the "best" iOS RPG? No - but it is far from the worst in my opinion. I've played better RPGs, but I haven't played very many better RPGs on iOS yet. Maybe I'm a little more drawn in by the graphics but the gameplay is so far a lot deeper than I was expecting, its not too easy, it has a cloned system of break-limits (called "ultimate skills" in EL), and it has weapon and armor customizations you can add that give you additional skills (called "fragments").

    My feelings are that so far the combat gameplay is a lot of fun - almost as much fun as in Chaos Rings - but the storyline and characters are very generic. For me, I had no hopes of a good story or characters and was really hoping for fun battle gameplay and the game hasn't disappointed me (so far) regarding the battles.

    Basically, its like the game exists solely to have Final Fantasy style battles with the characters and story tagged on to help give the battles some framework. For what it is, that is completely fine by me. If I want a detailed story in my RPG I'll play something on a console or PC. What I'm saying here is that I feel that Gameloft must have read my mind regarding what I'm interested in for an iOS JRPG and I feel like they've delivered and I'm getting my money's worth. I just hope that doesn't change several more hours in but I'm prepared to be eating crow... :)

  • D8bree

    asd

  • Mamasbra

    Who cares if its a ripoff, clone or whatever u call it? It is by far the best 3D game i've seen besides Chaos rings and Infinity blade ( though those game is the easiest to beat and storymode is tooo short ). Hope for the better in future games as IOS is build for 3D and are meant to do much more!. You can throw that PSP of yours finally :P

  • Rosh

    THIS GAME IS NOT RPG!!! It lacks character creation, dialogue options, choices that matter etc. I don't know why people keep calling FF an rpg

  • Lanstar

    Jeez guys. Just what's so bad about the voice acting? I really like it! It gives the characters... what's the term for it... Yeah! Character! The game oddly reminds me of Crisis Core FFVII for PSP. I am really enjoying it! Now I just hope the game doesn't end right as it's starting to get good like most Gameloft games...

  • Raphael_sr20

    It must have been very ungrateful for lower level Gameloft employees to be ordered to make clone of somebody's else's franchise, not even leaving creativity to design their own characters. Only thing that Gameloft management desires is money, even if it means emulating someone else's successful franchise. I wont play this kind of soulless game even if looks like a million dollars. On the other hand I don't understand Square Enix for investing most of their effort in PSP platform which (outside asia) rapidly looses popularity. I'm begging Japanese developers, Square Enix, bring proper 3D Final Fantasy to the iPhone. Konami: I'd love to see proper Metal Gear Solid game on iPhone, even it means porting old MGS games to the platform. Capcom: you actually do very good, other japanese developers should take you as an example.

    • Fatalbertxxl

      well if you wont play it, 1,000,000+ others will.  No worries.

  • Xopilax

    id replay the hell out of a .ipa version of the facelifted mgs. Must've beat the original a million times.