I distinctly remember the feeling of unwrapping and loading up Square Enix's Final Fantasy Tactics on my Playstation as a kid, unsure of exactly what it was, but I knew it had something to do with the Final Fantasy series and it was enough for me. I was, to say the least, confused and disappointed for the first couple hours of the game. But I got used to it and ended up purchasing it again on PSP and yet again on iOS as Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions [$15.99]. I had the same feeling loading up the iOS version as I did the first time on PS1 -- puzzled and unsure of exactly what to think about it.

First, a quick primer for those who haven't been following along at home since 1998: Final Fantasy Tactics was originally released for Playstation and created by most of the team behind the Super Nintendo classic, Ogre Battle. It was the first of what would end up being a billion Final Fantasy offshoot titles and subsequently, for a confused sixteen-year-old consumer, a strange, turn-based strategy version of Final Fantasy. It has since spawned a Gameboy Advance version, a DS sequel and finally, a PSP remake of the original, with the added War of the Lions subtitle. The PSP version is the one ported over to the iOS. It is often cited as one of the best turn-based strategy games in existence for its complex RPG elements, intelligent AI and its labyrinth of tactical options.

Gameplay wise, you'll be taking over a squad of characters and battling on grid-based maps in a turn-based system. As you play through, you'll be able to level up your characters, equip weapons and effects and change jobs. Since the iOS port is based on the PSP version, you'll also get an updated story, a better translation than the PS1 version and a few fancy cutscenes.

For those who haven't played it, that's really all you need to know walking in as there are plenty of reviews that go in-depth into the game's systems out there. If you're already a fan, you're probably playing it right now, possibly still cursing under your breathe about the price point and the wide range of issues. Those issues can make or break the experience depending on how dedicated you are to getting something out of it.

Your enjoyment is going to come based partially on which generation of device you own. On a 3GS, performance is incredibly sluggish and the tiny text can be difficult to read at times. It looks and plays better on an iPhone 4, but lacks dedicated retina support, so the text is still blurry and hard to read. You'll likely still experience some slowdown during more complicated bits. Double-sized on an iPad is probably the smoothest experience, but if you're going to do that you might as well hold off for the HD release this fall. Still, both the PS1 and PSP versions suffered from the exact same slowdown, so for those who played every iteration, it should come as no surprise Square Enix still hasn't cleaned it up.

As far as the touch implementation is concerned, it's a mixed bag. The game features a rather horrendous user interface, accented by the fact everything is so small. It really could have benefited from redone or resized menu screens. The same goes with the newly added camera movement, which, although you can pinch and zoom and slide to move, it doesn't feel like a lot of thought was put into it. Movement works about as well as you'd expect on the small screen, meaning you'll occasionally be tapping the wrong square or hitting the wrong box.

You're also losing the multiplayer of the PSP version, which is only going to matter to a small group of people, but it's a notable loss for anyone who wasted away hours in the ad-hoc wireless battles.

That's par for the course for nearly every aspect of the game. It's a quick and dirty port of the four-year-old PSP version of the game, which itself was based on a thirteen-year-old Playstation game. For fans of the original, you'll get pretty much the exact game you expect, albeit with some performance issues on some devices. If you haven't played either of the previous versions, you'll run into a steep learning curve, but you'll be rewarded with a massive, complex game that happens to be in a crappy wrapper. It would have been nice to get a truly iOS-optimized port, with redone menu screens and text, but no matter how you cut it, if Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions on your phone is all you want, you'll be able to deal with all the issues.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • Eev

    well, good luck with comments.

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

    Not really a quick and dirty port, just a dirty port. How Square took so long putting this out is quite puzzling.

    It's a good game, but looks and feels ancient, and not in a good way. Performance, even on an iPhone 4 is pretty poor too. It must only be rendering a few hundred polys, so 60fps without a single drop should have been incredibly easy to achieve. As it is it rather limps long, rendering to a very low resolution frame buffer.  Poor show Square.

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

      It makes you wonder, if the guys at SE have ever seen an ID game on iPhone... they must sh*t their pants at what other game studios are able to pull off on the exact same hardware. ;)

      • Anonymous

        On the contrary, they are completely thrilled that without putting any effort into their games at all, they still garner significant sales. It can't get any better then that (for them).

      • Soupbandit

        Their iphone dev team is made up of only one developer. Lmfao whereas their FF13 had about 600 :) so...you can lower your expectations a little bit

      • Macaroon

        ...and they can lower their price a little bit...

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

        The iPhone dev team had ONE guy? How are gamers supposed to know that. We just play the games... you're asking the customer to lower expectations because the company slashed the budget. Ugh.  

        Oh well, good to see that Square's recent financials are shit. Maybe that's cuz the smartest guys in the company are working for Mistwalker now.

    • http://twitter.com/michaelklopf Michael Klopf

      I'm sure it's only emulated and an emulator needs a lot of power. So no wonder it lacks.

  • http://www.geardiary.com Michael Anderson

    I thought the game was over-rated when it hit the PSP in 2007 - Jeanne D'Arc and Disgaea are better games overall, with the dreadful visuals and user interface really putting the game as a clunky port of an old game.  The iOS port is dreadfully lazy and over-priced.  PLEASE don't buy this game, it only tells Squeenix that it is OK to do this crap!

    • http://twitter.com/dizietembless Diziet Sma

      I'm inclined to agree, Jeanne D'Arc was fantastic.  Never got into Disgaea as much but plenty of people do love it.

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

      Both are excellent. Sadly Jeanne D'Arc is published by Sony so we'll never see that on iOS, but there's no reason why NipponIchi couldn't port the Disgaea games.

      • Soupbandit

        Yea, we know it's by sony no need to tell us...disgaea port would probably be like FFT with crappy controls....touch screen doesn't work as well

      • Pritchettdavid

        Ummm..  I didn't know it was by Sony.  I thought it was useful info.  Chill.

  • Guest

    Never played any of the previous games, loving this version on my iPhone 4.  Slow down in some places yes, touch screen a little niggly, but easy to over come any problems (which are minor).

    • Stevenmilligan

      I feel the same way. It's really not that bad. The depth of the game is what I care about. 

  • Arthur Hogemann

    When I got the port on my PSP I was really surprised that the game came with the annoying slowdown, but i didn't expect a Iphone port, especially on Iphone 4, with all the issues of the PSP version.
    Removing the multiplayer features was a lowblow, I really enjoyed it on the PSP and the lack of it endorse you comment "... It's a quick and dirty port of the four-year-old PSP version of the game ...".
    I expect much more from a huge software house, but squareenix prove themselves unworthy of thrust more and more ...
    I pray the Gods for fix updates and to add the multiplayer feature again ... but, it's squareenix :/

    • Soupbandit

      It has no slowdowns on my psp nor my psx...you probably just read the article and decided to follow along with this whole "slowdown" theory. It's kinda hard to believe what he says when he said the psp version came out in 2008 when it clearly came out in 2007...

      • John Crossman

        Soup, simply because something hasn't happened to you, doesn't mean it never happens. I have played at least 200 hours of FF: Tactics on my PS1, and I never experienced any slowdown that mattered (there was only minor slowdown during big summon spells on complex levels).

        The PSP version on my PSP 3000 I have played around 50 hours of and I can assure you the "slowdown" issue is not made up. My FF: Tactics: War of the Lions slows down on almost every spell cast. Even using a potion causes slowdown. It doesn't drop frames, it just takes longer to get through the animation. It is not slight either. Some spells took about 50% longer to go off, and battles in that game already are lengthy, especially later on. I still love the game enough that I got used to the slowdown, but I'm never using a Dancer or Summoner or any other job with really long spell effects.

        Some spells cause more slowdown than others, and a select few don't seem to do it at all (thankfully, Galaxy Stop, that long random status altering spell was one of a handful that didn't cause slowdown). I have seen side by side comparison videos of the PSX and PSP versions, demonstrating almost no slowdown. But it's not made up, and it's apparently random how bad it will be for each person. Some people get lucky and don't suffer from it.

        I know you're post is old, but I literally have nothing to do at work for another... 10 minutes. Good day.

  • Anonymous

    "It was the first of what would end up being a billion Final Fantasy offshoot titles"

    Not sure what this means unless you're forgetting the Final Fantasy Legend series for the Game Boy, and Final Fantasy Mythic Quest.

    • Soraxsky

      Actually, the Legend series was part of the SaGa series in Japan, and not Final Fantasy. Also the Mythic Quest was Seiken Densetsu, as we all know, is the Mana series.

      • Jesse

        Also, it was Mystic Quest, not Mythic Quest.

  • Parrabolic

    I feel this review focused too much on "How good of a port was it?". Sure, there are a few small issues: Slowdown, Old textures. But the textures were never going to be updated. The slowdown on a iPhone 4 is minimal. This review only mentions the negative aspects: Small, blurry text (It isn't BTW, I can read it fine), slowdown, bad controls etc.

    Where is the mention of the game at all in this review? Review the game as a whole, not just the strength of the port because now people will walk away from this just knowing about the bad things and nothing about the deep storyline, amazing cutscenes and spectacular character development. All wrapped in a package which is accessible to everyone.

    Also Link the forum page so buyers can see what the people think.

    • eev

      probably because it is a port, and not original ios game?

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

      "Where is the mention of the game at all in this review? "

      Well.. eh, the screw ups with the porting process take it from an A+ down to a B. Unless you want TA to review 15 year old game on a system no longer in production. The ONLY work SE did was port this game and tweak the controls, so .. that's what's going to determine whether or not the rating stays at A+ or drops down. Sorry if I took the 'Grading' thing too far.

  • Andy Raczynski

    square just keeps on milking every old ip they have, and even if they can't do it well, they can count on their loyal fans to just eat it all up year after year.  don't know what sadder. a dead driver beating a dead horse, or the passengers getting on the wagon and waiting for it to go somewhere.

    • Stevenmilligan

      If the driver is dead, how is he beating the horse? Is it a zombie? Because I think I just got an idea for a new game...

      • http://www.facebook.com/felipeolguera Felipe Olguera Jr.

        Horse vs Zombie? or Angry Dead Driver.....please not the ANGRY thing again, most of the games in app store are ANGRY already, angry worms, angry pigs, angry dinosaur, and the list goes to infinity...

    • Martin Clifford

      They've come out with a bunch of new IPs lately.  Maybe you don't like them, but that doesn't mean they are only milking old IP.

      Also, your analogy was terrible.

      • Deadclown

        No, it was a terrific analogy. You just have too much negativity engrained in your attitude.

    • Soupbandit

      You realize they still make original games? Just not on a phone...

      • joe

        but they DO make original games on a phone...Chaos Rings, which was amazing.  I agree though that their ports are sad.  It's frustrating to see Square Enix lay a screen of sh*t over solid gaming gold.  If you want gold, prepare to get sh*t on your hands.

      • joe

        but they DO make original games on a phone...Chaos Rings, which was amazing.  I agree though that their ports are sad.  It's frustrating to see Square Enix lay a screen of sh*t over solid gaming gold.  If you want gold, prepare to get sh*t on your hands.

  • thedavemc

    This review is pretty accurate. Apart from the small & blurry text you're getting what you would expect, they were never going to re-do the graphics and despite the issues it's still one of the best, largest and most adult games available on the app store.

    I expect most veterans unhappy with some aspects (myself included), will be playing it through and enjoying it even though they've played it at least twice before and square haven't turned it into an isometric holodeck programme.

    Just a shame square didn't put more work in for newcomers - this is amazing IP that could have become a way in for a lot of people, rather than just a nostalgia fest for those of us that have been geeking out for 15 years or more.

    Square could have made this a springboard for their iOS development - if you ever look at a mobile gaming site you will have caught the buzz from - but now I think a lot of people won't get past the fiddly interface and squinting, if they even bother with the download based on ambivalent reviews and ropey screenshots.

  • Dave

    Still, FFT is much better than other iOS games from dedicated gamers' Stand point and I hate Angry Birds.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

      Dave, you should try some other games not on the "top paid" list.  There are an overwhelmingly large amount of good games out there.  JRPG and WRPG alike.  I can give you a huge list of suggestions if you need.  Send me a message on FB through my profile.

      • Tazek

        HI Huy, could you share that huge list of suggestions? I just bought an iPhone and I'm looking for good RPG games.

        My e-mail is: tazek at gmx dot com.

        Thank you!

      • Vimy

        i like The Quest, its huge world with old school, (think ultima graphics.)
        Ravensword and its sequel aralon are good,
         zenonia series is loved, zenonia 3 is free for now.
        Eternal legacy is fun, 
        Seed
        Doom and Wolfenstein RPG's
        Mission Europa is more shooter than rpg but is one of the best indie apps I have ever seen, if you like the demo, get the collectors edition
        Celtic heroes is a free mmo, has some good points
        Infinity Blade, more of a graphics showpiece but fun
        Chaos Rings, by squaresoft, original work unlike all there ports

        try that for starters

      • eev

        well, technically there are no good western rpg's on iphone, maybe only Quest is more or less good one.

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

        Not sure I'd agree with your list at all.

        Zenonia is extremely poor. They're just ports of ultra low end dumb phone games from Korea. Far, far lower end than anything Square put out.
        Eternal Legacy is another dreadful GameLoft copycat clone with low production values.
        Doom and Wolf RPGs are also very basic and intended for dumb phones.
        Infinity Blade is just a tech demo.
        Chaos Rings is probably the weakest of Square's bigger iOS games. Brutal difficulty and crude tech do not a good experience make.

        I'd recommend Crimson Gem Saga (decent port of a decent PSP K-RPG), Sword and Sorcery, Final Fantasy 3 (mediocre port, but still a good game), and Ace Attorney (dreadful port of a great game). If you can stomach appalling frame rates Square's dreadful port of Secret of Mana is also still a good game.

      • Joe

        Sure, chaos rings was pretty difficult...but crude tech?  The game is absolutely gorgeous and really shows off the iPhone's prowess.  The controls are tight, the story is solid, and it has great replay value.

      • Joe

        Sure, chaos rings was pretty difficult...but crude tech?  The game is absolutely gorgeous and really shows off the iPhone's prowess.  The controls are tight, the story is solid, and it has great replay value.

      • Soupbandit

        You forgot to mention that chaos rings wasn't developed by square, it was only published and also it's square enix now not squaresoft. Eternal Legacy is just a lame FF13 wanna be. Your list sucks except for zenonia

      • Stevenmilligan

        Some of my favorite turn-based RPGs on the iPhone are Ash, Crimson Gem Saga, FF1, and FF3. Chaos Rings was pretty good. As far as action RPGs, Secret of Mana, Inotia, Heroes Lore, and Across Age are all good as well as the ones already mentioned. If you like dungeon crawlers, Dungeon Hunter 2 is a competent and fun Diablo II clone. Aralon is an amazing original RPG for the iPhone. Eternal Legacy is a clone of FFXIII. There are several gems to choose from if you know where to look.

      • http://twitter.com/Projectwolfie Chris Overbee

        Battle for Wesnoth is probably your best bet for a game like FFT on the iPhone.  It plays multiplayer with the PC/Mac/Linux versions perfectly too.

        p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px 'Handwriting - Dakota'}

        Unfortunately it's more than a little short without the addon support.  But it's fun for a nice skirmish.

      • Vimy

        thank you Huy for stating the truth.

        there are tons of great games out there that are a fraction of the price. Square is really just gouging there fan boys with these overpriced, under-performing antique ports.

      • Gouldsc

        There's 40 hours of gameplay, so that works out to $0.40/hour I'm not sure if you live in a 3rd world country or not, but most forms of entertainment cost a hell-of-a-lot more than that.  I certainly wouldn't consider it "gouging."  Just because some developers are radically undervaluing their software to game the iTunes ranking system, doesn't mean that developers who want to charge a very reasonable price for their game are "gouging."
        Console games cost $60 last I checked, so $16 is a good deal, a $5 game is an absolute steal, and a $1 game is basically being given away to boost rankings.  The problem with the cheapo mentality is that development houses aren't going to want to invest the proper resources because people like yourself are calling them cheap.  If they had been able to charge $30 for the game, then perhaps we would have a high-quality port, but instead we get this piece of garbage, because they couldn't justify spending the resources to make it good.  The result is angry birds and cheap ports instead of a platform that is taken seriously.

      • Vimy

        its not the cheap mentality, its the cheap product.

        no retina,
        not universal
        no new content
        pour quality port with near unreadable text

        13 years ago it was fresh, now its old rehash, does not justify a price point at double other premium games.
        look, if you want to get hosed, send me the money, or just burn it. if your happy to pay for a bad port of old games, good for you

        personally, i dont mind to pay for something good. but if you are charging a premium price, have the decency of polishing it up a little.

        it really disheartening to read all the apologist forgiving square for there gouging. you guys are the reason why square keep pushing out peace meal efforts. 

        i say, raise the price if you must but dont give me such a pour port. i demand retina and universal as a minimum. if you cant do that, your 13 year old game belongs in the 99 cent bin.

        Mission Europa is a great example, heres a guy working over a year, making a game full of content and recently he published a free upgrade to universal. how about gameloft, all there new titles have universal.

        compare that to square,a handful of coders, redoing an already made game so that it could fit with touch interface, keeping low res, to the point that you cant read the text unless your 20-20 and dont even bother to add retina or universal. on top, you charge double the price.
        BTW, here is the reality.
        a game that ships retail for 60$, includes 30$ for the retailer, 10$ for advertising, 5$ shipping, 3$ handeling. the 12 $ left over goes to the studio and publisher. thats for new games that sell at full price. ,ost game titles are sold at discount, usually more than 50% off, or between 10 and 20$. in those case, 50% is still going to retailer, shipping and handling is the same. Game coimpanys make the same selling between 6 and 10 dollars per unit as they do in retail. thats why they all want in.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

        I really am glad you're enjoying it!  And I sincerely hope you get your money's worth.  I think most of us who think of any Square rehash these days are just tired of seeing the same old same done.  This is our way of protesting, though I doubt any Square big wigs care about anything but our dollar.  

      • Soupbandit

        They arn't going for fanboys because the fanboys already have it on psp....they thought about which would be the easiest way to make money only using one crappy developer that hasn't coded a game in his life. And this port of a port is what was produced. Don't judge Square based on a phone game lmao

      • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

        I don't judge them on Iphone alone.  I judge them on every platform as I have played pretty much every one of their games up until now.  They still have a niche market of people who are still hardcore fans, but the fact that their sales are down more so than other game companies is hopefully a sign that the majority of the fan base is protesting.  I look forward to a change, because I really want a Square game to succeed, but thus far recently, I have been left wanting.

  • Artanix

    "It's a quick and dirty port of the four-year-old PSP version of the
    game, which itself was based on a thirteen-year-old Playstation game"

    Amusing how on the last post about FF Tactics I was flamed for saying this exact thing!

    • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

      Probably because the people that posted on the release log are busy playing it or tucking their tails between their legs as they wasted $16 bucks on garbage.

      However, they're probably playing FF Tactics on their PSP or PS1 to make up for it. So I expect them not to have any time to post for a few days.

  • Anonymous

    I'm staying away from all Sqaure ports if they're handled this poorly.  I bet if they released the source code to the public someone could of come out with a better game in less amount of time (that wouldn't of just been ported)

    • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

      I will always be wary of anything Square Enix in the future.  I've saved a great deal of pain and folding money on being highly skeptical of the company that was my former secret lover.

      • Artanix

        This one comment sums it up completely.
        less than 10 years ago, and I would've bought anything by Square and eaten it up and loved it, nowaday's, they seem to be trying to find new ways of making money for less : I think the release of Final Fantasy X-2 sums it up for me

      • Soupbandit

        FFx-2 wasn't the only thing. All their successful games are like that. Look at FF4 Afteryears. Or FF7 advent Children. Now they're making FF13-2. I gotta admit FFx-2 really messed up the storyline. But have you seen FF13 versus? I'm preordering it soon

  • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

    I for one am glad that I had resisted the urge to purchase it.  Squeenix has proved time and time again over the past several years that they simply are there to milk the franchises they own till their own demise.  

    The last game they suckered me into buying was FF13.  Boy what a mistake that purchase was.  My girlfriend is even more of a hardcore FF fan than I and she couldn't even get through it.  

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

      that's cool, but if this game had been done properly it would have been an A+ title. the fact that they bungled such a beloved game, puts it down to a B+... its still a great game.. just with a kludgy interface, since, of course, it wasn't originally a touch based game.  

      As to non-retina graphics, if there was a SE employee on these boards, he'd probably tell you that the graphics would all have to be re-done from scratch to get Retina.

      Please Square, fix the UI, and menus for Retina clarity, and you'll be done. It's actually decent, rotating the maps, etc with a touch UI is actually a nice way to do it.

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

        Not true. The environments are polygons so could be rendered to any resolution. Re-doing the menus to retina res would be pretty quick, as with the font. Even the sprites wouldn't take that long to re-draw as they have so few frames of animation.

        Square could have redone the lot many times over in the time they spent on this port, and with only 1 artist.

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

        So, redo all the graphics in the entire game? Pretty much...?

    • Anonymous

       You're so right.  Square has become the laziest bunch of designers in the industry.  Hasn't been a good FF game since IX, and this port seems pretty disappointing.  I won't be giving my money to Square for this.

      • Soupbandit

        FFX was the best FF....

      • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

        It really does seem as if they're just plopping out remakes / ports simply to take money from us and milk a dead cow.  I mean, it really does show that they have lost the love for gaming and instead seek the pleasure of money.  They still have some of the best graphics in the industry currently, but graphics cannot sustain the interest level in any game.  It's the game in game play that makes any game worth while.  Game... there I said it again.  GAME GAME GAME not GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS. 

    • Soupbandit

      FF13 was good imo. The music was amazing. Snow was badass. Hope was cool. I hate people who say FF7 was the best and crap when FF7 was pretty bad. Most people are just bandwagoners, I'm a huge FF fan , I bought a ps3 just to play it and I wasn't disappointed. I skipped school for 2 days to play it and beat it.

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

        I wouldn't say bandwagoners... I'd say nostaligic.
        You can find people who say Goonies 2 and Kid Icarus on NES are two of the best games ever made too. It's nostalgic.  It just means those ppl were about 10-13 yrs old when they first played FF7

  • Anonymous

    I don't recall slowdow on the PS1, are you sure? Worked fine for me.

    • Tazek

      It also worked fine for me.

    • Stevenmilligan

      I thought the slowdown started on the PSP version.

    • Stevenmilligan

      I thought the slowdown started on the PSP version.

    • Stevenmilligan

      I thought the slowdown started on the PSP version.

    • Arthur Hogemann

      110% sure the slowdown began with the PSP version, I owned a PS1 version e there was no slowdown, not even you cast Zodiac summon ... I think Bahamut would slowdown a bit :/

    • Soupbandit

      He made it up, he even said the psp port came out in 2008 when it came out in 2007.

      • Soupeater

        You are nothing more than a dbag.

  • Tazek

    I loved FFT for iOS. I think that there's some points that they should try to do a better job, but it's a really good RPG game ported to the iOS platform.

  • Anon

    There is no real"review" here...

  • http://www.muschamp.ca/ Muskie

    When I downloaded this at one AM the night it was released I was extremely disappointed.  It is way too much clicking.  You can't skip through cut scenes or once you're down to only AI controlled characters you can't just skip ahead.  You have to watch them fight it out blow for blow.  You can not always reach the game's menu, such as during these in-game cut scenes or during the AI's turn, even the AI that is on your side.

    Restoring is not always an option either.  The text is too small.  It take too many clicks to do stuff.  In 2011 on the iPhone people expect better more intuitive more efficient UIs.

    I am disappointed with this game and am waiting for an update.  I've gone back to playing the games I was before, I invested time and money into this program.

    Finally despite watching the video tutorial multiple times, know it was possible, I've never successfully been able to change the job of any of my characters.  I can change gear, I can change skills, but not jobs.

    This game was extremely frustrating to play and with all the competition on the iPhone from free games and newer games, I wouldn't recommend this to any but the biggest diehards of the series.  Go play Battleheart or something instead.  Battleheart isn't turn based but if you just want to fight with little characters that get better, find gear, learn skills etc. Battleheart is worth a download.  If you want an indepth RPG go with Undercroft or one of the many many massively multi-player online ones that are out there.

    Good review, better than the ArsTechnica one and others that refuse to say anything bad about Square or their efforts of late.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ngohuyq Huy Ngo

      Great comment!  Unfortunately I don't think they listen to us little guys and will do things as they see fit.  They've already made their money on you and countless others.  

    • Soupbandit

      GTFO you old fart. Square is amazing.

      • http://www.muschamp.ca/ Muskie

        Uncalled for, unprofessional, unnecessary, and unproductive.  Square has not produced a game in recent memory that has set the world on fire.  Even their classics are showing their age and showing their lack of cutting edge skills.  Small developers are eating their lunch on the iPhone and Android despite people online who speak otherwise is not the first choice for mobile gaming or even the second.

        With a clever handle like Soupbandit I probably shouldn't have even replied.  Your comment is destined for the dustbin of history.  It added nothing.  You provide no support to your statement that "Square is amazing."  Whereas there are obvious flaws in this game that just shouldn't be in a game from a major publisher asking 16 bucks for an old game.  Not a new game, not a revolutionary game, not a cutting edge game, they want 16 dollars for an old game and I gave it to them the day it was released.  I spent several unproductive hours fighting with the UI before retiring and waiting for them to fix obvious flaws.

        As for being old.  Age and experience beats youth every single time, especially in strategy games.  Take your hatred, acronyms, and unsupported statements and go bother someone else.  I'm a paying customer, an unsatisfied paying customer who waited a long time only to be disappointed.  I'm not alone and Square's brand ain't what it used to be, I'm not inclined to give them more of my money or time.

        I had more gamer cred before the existence of this website and trolls like you learned to type and most importantly of all I can successfully articulate my opinion publicly and back up my statements with facts rather than insults.

        Enjoy your life, may our paths never cross again.

    • http://www.geardiary.com Michael Anderson

      Muskie:

      Have you played the PSP version?  I had never played on the PS1, but was unimpressed in 2007 by the interface of the PSP version.  Bottom line - if evaluated without rose-colored glasses the game would have scored about the same as Generation of Chaos and others, about 5/10.  It would fare no better now. The interface is terrible, the graphics awful, and releasing a ~15 year old game for a 50% premium over the generally recognized upper limit is just an obvious money-grab from sentimental fans.

      • http://www.muschamp.ca/ Muskie

        Yes I did play the original on a friend's PS1, so only a couple times.  My friends loved this game, but I was always a PC gamer or usually a PC gamer.  I've been gaming on my iPhone more and more and completed Undercroft.  I was looking for an old school RPG with tactical combat.  Final Fantasy Tactics fits that bill.  It is a genre that is dying out.  Everything is real-time or action which isn't the best necessarily on a tiny screen with one real button.

        Avernum is supposedly coming to the iPad but even he admits the screen on the iPhone is just so small, difficult to make the big maps and big battlefields work in tactical combat RPGs. I want something like the old gold box games or Ultima, even more Undercroft would be good.

        This game is frustrating to play.  Has not been updated to take advantage of the iPhone technology and is priced very highly.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.  I downloaded right away, played right away and came away disappointed.

        I'll give it another try in a couple weeks maybe, but my time for gaming is limited.  I don't mind giving it all to one game, but that game better be "insanely great".  Final Fantasy Tactics for the iOS is not insanely great.  It won't be part of a Steve Jobs keynote anytime soon.

      • http://www.geardiary.com Michael Anderson

        I completely agree - I was playing the PSP and iPod Touch together last night and usability of the $9.99 PSP version is *much* higher.

        Since you mention Avernum, I assume you already played Avadon?  I have been fortunate to be involved with beta testing Spiderweb stuff the last several years and feel it just gets better and better.  Very much looking forward to the Avernum remake, but we likely have ~6 months until we see the iPad release.

  • Macaroon

    It is a crippled mess. Yes, it's playable, but then so is an out of tune piano...

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

      By the way, I seem to remember with the GBA version there was a sweet tutorial where these little kids played in a snowball fight. That was so cool! I wish they'd left something like that in the iOS version, cuz, honestly there is NOTHING intuitive about this game at all. After several hours, yes, I know what I'm doing.. but it was a lot of trial and error.

  • Dave

    Still, FFT is the best game for dedicated gamers on iOS. Hands down. There are more than 400,000 apps on iOS. But no one can beat FFT. If you say no, you will get only indie's 1 dollar app or fermium app on iOS. Activision Blizzard CEO and Take Two CEO already told that App Store is economically meaningless. Major companies sees App Store is too cheap.

  • Symmetrian

    You know, some of what they did is completely awesome. being able to rotate the maps to any angle? *Fantastic*. Could never do that before. Zooming in and out of the battle maps is also new (the old zoom had two levels, I believe) - I can get all up close or far away as necessary.

    These changes alone make it a more playable version of Tactics than I have played before. I am playing on a 3GS and yes, it is a bit clunky... but I have Final Fantasy Tactics on my phone.

    • Guest

      Urgh, I hate that last sentence. Yes it's lazy, shoddy, slow and ugly... but I have Crysis/Halo/Call of Duty/Diablo/Portal/your mom's boobs on my phone. So that makes it all right!

      • Soupbandit

        Yea but I don't have crysis/Halo/Real Call Of Duty/Portal/Guest's mom's boobs on my phone. I have a crippled version of FFT which is still the best game in the appstore :)

      • Cilo

        When is the Mom's Boobs game coming out?

      • Symmetrian

        It does make it alright, to me. It runs, I'm happy.

      • Symmetrian

        It does make it alright, to me. It runs, I'm happy.

  • Herbmasterscorpio

    Hey all,
    somebody posted in the last article about ff tactics that if you go into options and turn ON #12. Touch based items You barley ever need the ok and other buttons, which is nice but the menues and grid selection process need slot of work still.

  • Briker Ed

    Playing it, but can't get over how disappointed I really am that it has been done in such a sloppy manner :/ I most definitely CAN say I DID NOT expect anything better from SE considering some of the other sloppy work they've put out in the past months/year. Shame.... but at least we can play it on iOS, although, that 'at least' seems to be the card SE (and some other developers/publishers) play on. They know we will still buy the game in big enough numbers if it's 'at least' playable. There's no need for them to make it a really good port. Share the blame.... but I kinda hate how SE turned into an asian EA altogether. 

  • agsub

    You can change job by selecting a character and clicking "menu" at the bottom corner. Took me a while to figure that out and I only guess it cox I played it many times over psp and ps1 before. The controllers are a mess =_=

    • http://www.muschamp.ca/ Muskie

      I know it must be possible.  I watched the tutorial twice.  I have a 3GS.  I just had enough.  I'm familiar with the game and the brand, it just ain't what it used to be and I don't think Square as the development and graphic talent it used to.  Not inclined to play this game right now, nor feed the trolls, except to let them know that their antics aren't appreciated and will come back to bite them if they think they can make a name for themselves as Soupbandit...

    • http://www.muschamp.ca/ Muskie

      I know it must be possible.  I watched the tutorial twice.  I have a 3GS.  I just had enough.  I'm familiar with the game and the brand, it just ain't what it used to be and I don't think Square as the development and graphic talent it used to.  Not inclined to play this game right now, nor feed the trolls, except to let them know that their antics aren't appreciated and will come back to bite them if they think they can make a name for themselves as Soupbandit...

  • Jon

    I'm sick of people complaining about the price point. This isn't a casual title like Fruit Ninja or Angry Birds. Yeah the port could have been a lot cleaner and smoother, but a few minor annoyances doesn't warrant all the criticism it's received.

  • Anonymous

    Now that, it has retina.. blah blah.. Does this game live up to its true potential?

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS: THE WAR OF THE LIONS Reviewed by Thorin Klosowski on . Rating: 3.5