This past weekend we learned that Square Enix would be releasing a native version of Final Fantasy III for iPad [$16.99], and the game is now available for download in the App Store. In case you’ve been trapped under a rock for the last couple of months, the iOS version of Final Fantasy III is an enhanced port of the 2006 Nintendo DS title, which itself was a complete 3D remake of the 1990 Japanese Famicom game.

About a month ago, Final Fantasy III [$15.99] was released for iPhone and iPod touch devices, and we found the game quite entertaining in our review. Despite some thoroughly old-school game design, this role-playing game still managed to be a whole lot of fun, and both looked great with Retina Display graphics and was a joy to play with the touch interface.

There’s not a whole lot to tell about the iPad version of Final Fantasy III, as for the most part it’s the same exact game. The gameplay area has been enlarged and much of the user interface has been tweaked to accommodate the larger screen, but beyond that you’re getting pretty much the same experience that was had on the iPhone a month ago. Actually, the low resolution texture work in the game is even more pronounced on the iPad’s bigger screen, making for even more pixelated visuals than that of its smaller screened counterpart. It’s not terrible mind you, but the tradeoff for a larger play area is a slight hit in the visual department.

Interestingly, the game description states that the 3D visuals have been improved for the iPad release, but I definitely have not noticed anything to this effect in my limited time test driving the game. It also mentions story sequences exclusive to this iPad version, but again I haven’t come across anything like this yet. As I’m already 25+ hours into the iPhone version of Final Fantasy III, starting completely fresh with the iPad version just to find out if there’s any additional features sounds like a hard pill to swallow. But my curiosity will surely get the best of me, and I'm already planning on doing just that.

If your’e a huge Final Fantasy fan and only own an iPad, and haven’t yet picked up the iPhone version to play in pixel doubled mode, then this native iPad version of Final Fantasy III looks like a pretty safe bet. If you own both devices and have already purchased the iPhone version, you’re probably better off just sticking with that one as the iPad specific enhancements don’t seem to be substantial enough to warrant another purchase.

If there was some sort of cross-device save file syncing then I might be more apt to recommend both, since you could progress in your game no matter which device you happened to want to play on. The bottom line though is that Final Fantasy III is a great game on either device, and now you have an option of choosing which one you want it on.

  • kentlai

    Using PhoneDisk or iPhone Explorer, you can move save game data files between iPhone/iPad that are not jail broken. It is extremely unlikely that the save game data files will differ between the iPhone and iPad versions, but I usually backup a copy before I overwrite them.
    Tested and proven with many games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Gamedev Story.

  • kentlai

    Using PhoneDisk or iPhone Explorer, you can move save game data files between iPhone/iPad that are not jail broken. It is extremely unlikely that the save game data files will differ between the iPhone and iPad versions, but I usually backup a copy before I overwrite them.
    Tested and proven with many games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Gamedev Story.

    • Kjs00333

      Can you please go into more detail on how this is done? Searching around in iphone explorer is very time consuming, and I have no idea what I'm looking for

  • Iseptimus

    Should be Universal. Gouging bastards.

    • Anonymous

      The developers of World of Goo and Superbrothers: SS have this figured out. Charge less for the iPhone only version so it doesn't take up as much space and release a universal version for a bit more.

  • Vimy

    the prices are just creeping up and up at an alarming rate if you ask me.
    this, despite the fact that the cost have stayed the same thing.

    i dont know what the rest of you think, but I will not buy this game, or any IOS game over 6.99$ Especially for an old port.

    If, as a community, we refuse the price increases, the manufacturers will reduce there price point, If we encourage it, we will soon see the price point of these antique ports reach 40 to 60 $ a title.

    • Omar Aria

      disagree, FF port not just an 'antique' port. it's one of masterpiece in gaming history. with the graphics are enhanced plus some additions over here and there. square deserves some respect. in DS they charge $30 in iOS half of it..

      as a community i encourage them, make AAA quality games. if it is good we don't mind paying a little more. rather than they (major developers) make some half-done port game like devil may cry (graphics looked very terrible) and sell it in cheap price, that sucks !

  • fanboysuckballz

    in the uk its only 10 pounds. not a bad price for such a game. lets see 10 pounds usually is a trip to the local shop or maybe 3 pints of larger at the pub or half a bag of weed, lets not even compare it to the price of fuel. everything costs more than it did 5 years ago.

    i think we should support the high price of a game, surely it will encourage game devs to put more money into development. im no videogame fanboy but it makes sense to me.

    • Anonymous

      So that is the standard conversion in the UK, 3 pints = 1/2 bag of weed = 10 pounds. Good to know.

  • Dude

    So glad I'm totally not into RPGs. 🙂

  • Vimy

    My retort

    10$ price cap, has not stopped any of the other "great" ports from being made. Fact is at 9.99 the producers make as much profit per title as 59.99 retail, where they need to make the box, dvd and trasnport to point of sale.

    What is going on behind the scenes is a market analysis.

    MBA are making statistics to see how high they can raqise the IOS game price points. How many games they can sell and at what price point to try and maximise the price.

    If we as buyers encourage them, ff4 will be 20$, ff5 will be 25$ etc etc providing them with data t0 maximise there profits.

    As has happened to many mobile devices, (PS portable) the game prices will eventually be too high for the buyer to want to pay for the product. The maker will sell less units but at a higher profit rate and so come out ok, but the consummer will turn away and the device will fall out of the market.

    We call this hotshoting a market. Maximise profits today, move on to the next device tomorow.

    So FF is good at 17$
    will you be happy to buy FF& at 59.99$?
    will it be Android only, or shudder, windows 7 mobile only because IOS is gone?

  • Vinylwreckaz

    Complete Rip Off. Look at how much Dead Space costs considering it is way better than this.

  • Robotron2084

    So basically it's just the iPhone version running fullscreen on iPad, with no real visual or gameplay enhancements, despite apparent LIES to the effect from SE?

    Yeah. That's not worth $17. $10 at most, and even then, very questionable given the obvious lack of effort bringing it to iPad.

    People keep saying the DS version costs $30. Yeah, but you also get to OWN a physical cart, box, and instructions allowing you to resell the game when you're done. Furthermore unlike DS games, iTunes apps mean no shipping costs, manufacturing costs, usually lower advertising costs etc. And at the end of the day, this is a slightly improved port of a DS game (and it looks like it, too). My, don't those huge, ugly pixelated textures look great on the iPad screen? Actually, no, they look terrible.


      Just use retinapad on the iphone version....all the text and graphics look great....the 2x version is blurry and fuzzy but retinapad forces the retina grpahics on the ipad....great investment for those non-universal apps

  • Professor Xing

    "The Oatmeal" defence doesn't apply anymore. Most people like to buy hundreds of dollars worth of apps each month. Then jerkoffs like the oatmeal dude go and whine and whinge at people who complain about high prices. It stacks up and it's cumulative. This game is utter tripe at $17. Utter tripe from Peter Cohen's plugged up cloaca.

  • Andrzej Raczynski

    at that price they can keep it. would do us all a favor if they just went out of business.

    these bloated prices for rehashed game code is the only thing keeping them alive. one miserable failure after another since those early days.

    • Aesir

      You have got to be kidding me.

      • Gregory Webster

        I agree. There recent games have been failures. If it wasn't for Deus Ex, they wouldn't even have any big games coming out in 2011.

  • Socialrichard

    To be fair I'm such a fan of the majority of mobile games, even more so if they have been sized down from a console and even more so if they are Final Fantasy related! They should use this game next time they attempt the Guinness World Record of Largest Mobile Phone Gaming Party. The most recent attempt was a smashing 316 all gaming at once. Here is the link to the video!

  • App Developers

    I will have to try this out over the weekend and admire the work of the developers.

  • Veronika

    I'm about half way through the game, and seriously i love it. I've never played the ds version so i wouldn't know how it compares, but the gameplay is just immense. Hands down, i've spent five bucks on games which are not even close to delivering a third of this value. That being said, i'm disappointed on the graphics side. I briefly started the game in 2x mode a while ago and apart from the menu screen there is no real difference. The main character textures are definitely more pixel-dense than everything else, which is meh, but I think that was the case with the iPhone version too? Anyway, the gameplay is excellent so it's not like you're bothered. After a while anyway... Ok, hope that helps someone 🙂 enjoy

  • Nikki

    Sorry, it may be worth it for some folks but I can't help but feel that I'm being taken advantage of when they put a cost of $17 for an app. I will not buy it until the price is reduced.

    • Michael A. Robson

      You either pay now in $ or you pay in time... your choice.

  • Briker Ed

    Eventually they slash the prices up to 50% down after a while for a few days, or when there's a promotion or whatever... so, people who really want this but don't want to pay this price should deff wait. I've personally played way too many JRPGs (and too many pre-3D SE titles) + I don't like the price, nor the ass-to-mouth port from iPhone/iPod and the fact that they just stretched it fullscreen.

    • Scott Colbert

      Agreed. An even lazier upgrade of an already lazy port? Woo-frickin'-hoo.

      • Iderserveeverythingfornothing

        Lazy? This port is great.

        This thread is full of morons. No one is forcing you to buy anything. If you don't think it's worth the money, then the simple solution is to.....can you guess?.....NOT BUY IT.

        And the value of a product has nothing to do with the cost. It doesn't matter if it costs nothing to make, the value is what people want to pay for it. They are not obliged to release the game at a price that reflects the costs. It's a luxury item. The complaints come from greedy people who act is if they deserve every thing (the prices of apps add up etc.), and are unable to recognise that it is their responsibility to determine which purchases to make. They act as if it is their right to have these apps.


        Do you all stand outside Hermes shops shouting 'I can buy thousands of bags for that price! How dare you sell it at 5 grand when it costs less to make!! I deserve to own that bag, so you should sell it at a lower price!!!!


      • Briker Ed

        Exactly, the value IS what people want to pay for it, as you said. So, if we're not wanting to pay the asking price - I guess it isn't valuable that much to us, right? We compare the games and their prices with some other games we paid for and played, and base opinions on that.
        I'm sure most of us who complained about the price can afford to buy it, just chose not to. At least that's the case with me ^_^ and I have a bone to pick with how SE handles their business actually. They used to be a great company, now they're just good(ish), in my eyes at least, but that's what counts for me.... right? 😉

        Port of FF III DS > iPhone/iPod = great
        Port of FF III iPhone/iPod > iPad = half-assed - and that's what I'm not willing to pay for

        Thing is, for someone playing it for the first time, it's a great purchase, no argue about that.

        I'd pay 20$ for a Persona 4 port 😛 just not for FF III on iPad.

        Really no need to go all fanboy-agro on us....

      • FinalFantasyForever

        I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review of all the morons.


    Darn ... I broke down and rebought this now i have an ipod and an ipad version. I hate to say it but I think the ipad version looks great....even better than usign retinapad I am playing it again and sadlt loving it. I spent a week on a boat playing the ipod version on the ipad and now i am enjoying the ipad version. If this is your type of game you will love it. If not, dont buy it and flex you consumer muscles...I like it! But I am also playing FF7 on the ipad as well. I cant wait for FF7 on the ipad...and yeah...I will buy it again.

    What we really need is Diablo....playing this on an emulator sucks....also playing it on the PS1 sux...We need some BLIZZARD games on the ipad!

    • Angie Ng

      How did you get to play FF7 on iPad??? By the way, I second your comment !!! 😀

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