098096_largerIf there's such a thing as a quadruple take, that's what I did this morning when I saw the latest Final Fantasy Tactics [$13.99 / $15.99 (HD)] update appear on my device. This might be the most significant update that Square has done on one of their iOS games, and I couldn't possibly be more stoked to seeing them giving some love to such an incredible title.

First off, they've totally redrawn the game's graphics. You could argue that the game has lost a bit of its "retro charm" with such sharp sprites now, but overall it looks tons better. Additionally, they've totally redone the animation system so choppy animations and spell effects are a thing of the past. Last, but certainly not least, is full iCloud save game support allowing you to migrate your game data across multiple devices.

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Old sprites left on the left, new sprites on the right. Thanks L.Lawliet!!!

iCloud works a little weird in that it doesn't transfer your specific save state, but rather, just your "memory card" save game between devices... But, hey, that's still really awesome especially for a game with this kind length and depth.

...Oh, and it's half off. If you need any more convincing, check out our review, which admittedly is a bit out of date now that the iOS port has been so significantly tweaked and upgraded. Don't miss this classic tactics game, which has only gotten better with this update.

  • Chuck Ankenbauer

    Never played the series, but like the idea. Is this small unit 6 to 8 characters or is this that video i saw awhile ago where a bunch of units were engaging each other like crazy. (and no IAP's?) Thx.

    • ExcaliburEdge

      You get a lot of characters, but most of the time you have 5 participating in a battle. Sometimes you'll have a "guest" join your group, but they'll be controlled by the AI.

    • ExcaliburEdge

      ... And no... No IAPs! It's from the glorious days when games were released with all the content at launch.

      • Ragnar Dragonfyre

        That's a misnomer.

        Games back in the day cut content too. It's just that you never heard about it and DLC didn't exist so instead of cut content being finished after going gold, it used to just be left on the editing room floor forever.

  • chriscambell

    What exactly do you mean by "it saves your memory card"? I don't think I've understood what it's saving.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Well, it's a port of a PlayStation game, so saves are largely handled like the original game in that you're maintaining distinct saved games on a virtual memory card of sorts. iCloud functionality works like if you have a third memory card slot that uploads to the internet instead of being local on your device.

      • chriscambell

        Okay, cool. Thanks!

  • handycapman

    And no iPhone 5 support which is understandable considering the 5 has only been out since... I don't know, last September?

    • VeganTnT

      Woah there! Let's not forget that FFT launched with the promise of retina graphics TWO YEARS AGO.

      I'm sure you'll get your iPhone 5 support... In 2015 ;)

      • ExcaliburEdge

        He'll probably want iphone 6 support at that point. So needy...

  • coach

    so... if I want to play on my iphone AND ipad, do I have to purchase the iphone version and play on my ipad with low resolution? Or purchase BOTH versions to get HD on my iPad and regular iphone version for my iphone?

    I would prefer just buy the HD, but want to be able to play on both devices.

  • Arkais

    Kinda makes me happy that I stopped for a bit in the fourth chapter. Now I have a reason to start playing again but I won't have to play the whole thing again!

  • Guilhermo Barretti

    Still no support for iPhone 5 screen? Really? :/

  • klouud

    I'll buy it - AGAIN - when we get more content, and by content I mean classes and missions AND we get 1/2 off the price. Until then... its not worth it for vets like me.

    • ExcaliburEdge

      If they add more classes or characters, I'll bet it'll be in the form of IAPs.

    • Ragnar Dragonfyre

      More content? This is a feature complete, 16 year old game that easily has 40+ hours of content.

      You'd think a "vet like you" would be old enough to understand that there is no new content coming. S-E can't even make a proper sequel to this series. I wouldn't trust them at this point to do anything other than ruin the game with new additions.

      I'm honestly surprised S-E even went this far with an update to begin with.

  • spi7fire

    What are the odds of Square-Enix doing this for all of their iOS games?

  • magus269

    Great news. This is by far my favorite game of all time so looking forward to this update. I have the iPhone version but had not purchased the iPad version but now with iCloud saves and it's half off sign me up.

    Also I love the way the new sprites look (based on the picture). I think they look much sharper but yet retain their same charm. Damn good job.

  • icepulse

    The absence of iPhone 5-optimized display seems really obtuse.

  • spi7fire

    Oh and FYI - iCloud saves are not enabled by default. You have to go into options first.

  • PureRumble

    We all have our cups of tea, and mine says theres no way ill play the thing one more time as i still want back the man hours spent playing through it the first time!

    The AI sucked c*ck bigtime, but what bothered me even more was the UI! The whole game was just one f*cking long chain of clicking/tapping through gazillion of menus.

    Look, i understand that true rpg games must have menus for what they do! Take for instance ff7; man i love that game and can play it forever! But fft is a failure! They could have streamlined and flattened the menus with little effort, providing the exact same functionality but reducing the nr of clicks/taps with 80%... But no no no!

    • VeganTnT

      "They could have streamlined and flattened the menus with little effort"

      With little effort? No disrespect but you do understand that this iOS version is a port of a 6 year old game (2007) which in turn was an updated port of a 16 year old game (1997), right? Heck, that slowdown bug Eli mentions is a bug from the original PSOne version and it even plagued the PSP game.

      As much as I'd love to not dig through menus it would be a lot of work to dig through all that code and start changing things without ruining a game that relies on those same menus so heavily.

      • Tyler Piderit

        Someone actually fixed the slowdown issues on the PSP version with an injectable file into the ISO (http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=465744). You have to have a hacked PSP and an ISO of the game, but its quite amazing and makes the game 10 times more enjoyable.

        I downloaded the ISO, but I own the game 3 times over (PSX, PSP, iOS) so if they wanna come arrest me, do your worst.

        Also I cannot BELIEVE no iPhone 5 support in this update. What in the world. I thought it was required now by Apple. Maybe they submitted it before the cutoff date.

      • mclifford82

        I never once experienced the slowdown bug in the PSone version, played at release. That was an artifact introduced by the PSP version due to the shitty UMD format.

      • Protoman

        Wrong. The PS1 version has no lag.

      • VeganTnT

        I have the Greatest Hits version since it's release and I've played it from start to finish every 6 months or so on my PSOne, then my PS2, and now I play it on my PS3. There is definitely a tiny bit of slow down when some abilities are performed. I remember the iso of the game increased the lag too.

        None of it near the chugging of the PSP version but still present.

        I think the only reason I notice it all is because I'm some used to playing high frame rate games but still regularly play PSOne classics (discs not digital versions, as my ps3 is 100% backwards compatible).

      • Protoman

        Hmmmm. I've only played my copy on my PC emulators the last few years. I'll bust out the ole PS1 and see if I'm just not remembering this lag.

    • Nick

      I've decided that I do truly loathe you. Between your comments on the forums and your foolish comments here, you seem to pride yourself in sounding like a complete fool.

      The world you live in must be terrible. I do my fair share of complaining, but at least I don't come across like you do, as a spoiled child whose mommy still makes time to wipe his nose.

      Next time you post on the Internet, please run it past an adult so they can point out all of the ways in which you should just not.

      • DranDran

        Kids these days, eh? They run on entitlement and self importance. Wah, this game has too many menus I gotta click on! Motherfucker, back in my day we had 4 onscreen colours and we were fucking GRATEFUL.

        Grumble.

      • Nick

        Back in my day, we didn't even have color! It wasn't even black and white, it was green! Can you imaging trying to look at porn in green?!?? Bah!

  • ExcaliburEdge

    iCloud saves don't seem to be as glorious as they were in my dreams. Saves don't seem to work transfer between the ipad and iphone versions of the app. Behold, yet another reason to gripe about the app not being universal.

    Still, the updated graphics are pretty slick. +1 for the update!

    • VeganTnT

      Do you have iClod syncs turned off in the options menu?

      When you save it should send it to iCloud. When you switch devices you will probably have to manually force an iCloud sync unless your other device happened to meet the auto sync criteria of being plugged in, locked, and connected to wifi.

      • ExcaliburEdge

        Yes, I had it turned on. I just checked the app page again and it says iCloud isn't working on the iphone version. They claim to be fixing it now.

  • jamarohn

    Very tempting! But I think I'll wait for xcom for my tactics splurge... Though half off, eh? Oye.

  • Gustav

    Still an expensive game, even when it's half off.

    • Protoman

      9 bucks is expensive for FFT? I feel ripped off for paying fifty when I got it for PS1 back in the day.

      • mclifford82

        You shouldn't, since it was well worth it back then. Just like it is now, except now we live in a throwaway culture. Maybe if it had you slingshotting Chocobo at the enemies people would say that's worthwhile.

      • blackharon

        "... slingshotting Chocobo ..." SHH! Don't give them any ideas! *Shudders at FFATB installment

      • Protoman

        I should have been wearing my sarcasm hat for that last statement. I was commenting on the whininess of someone complaining this game was 9 bones. My bad.

  • TJF588

    Still waiting for it (and others) to become Universal.

    • Nick

      Well, you are waiting for nothing. Many companies respect "universal" and their customers, other companies don't and only care about making their shareholders money, no matter what it means for their customers.

      Especially when it is an IP like this with the knowledge that everyone will buy it because of what it is.

  • handycapman

    What's frustrating to me is that the game was released on psp in widescreen! They already have the code for it so why won't they just port it over? Oh and while I'm raging, I also think its stupid that you have to purchase 2 separate versions of the app... Ok I'm done now.

    • mclifford82

      That code also introduced lag like nobodies business. The game was just fine without widescreen in 1997, it's fine without it now.

    • Protoman

      Agree with McClifford. This game was garbage on my PSP. Even with it overclocked this game lagged. Not everything that was 4:3 needs to be stretched to f'ing 16:9 ratio. Gods!

  • JaysUsernam

    I'm curious, maybe the TA crew can enlighten us...what % of ios use is on the iphone 5? Is it a high enough % to warrant iphone 5 support?

  • curtneedsaride

    How in the heck can you iCloud sync your saved game file on the iPhone
    version with your HD iPad version?! I thought iCloud syncs would only
    work between devices using the SAME app. So, I would imagine you'd have
    to have the iPhone version on both devices, right?

    • Dave Christensen

      I was thinking the same thing. Sucks for those of us that bought the more expensive iPad version and still can't play it on the iPhone.

    • ExcaliburEdge

      That was my thinking. It's not working right now, but the app page states that iCloud saves has a problem on the iphone. A fix seems to be in the works. I'm hoping they will be able to transfer saves between the two versions, though.

    • ExcaliburEdge

      Either they fixed something behind the scenes, or I was having connection issues. It's working between the ipad - iphone apps.

  • bigred447uk

    This is joyous news indeed. One of the few Square games i held off buying because of the graphics.

    Bought and the graphics are beautiful imo.

  • riChchestMat

    About bloody time. I'm glad this made it out before that Mobage social FFT considering this update was promised since launch.

  • ratsinheat

    This is a tactics game, based on Final Fantasy Tactics.

    • HelperMonkey

      This is a comment.

      • ratsinheat

        TA likes to reference other SRPGs as Tactics Games but they forgot to on this one.

  • sortvind

    so smooth, and much faster than the psp battles!

  • mkdms14

    Ok maybe someone smarter than me can explain why this update does not include iPhone 5 support? Was Apple just joking when they made that announcement or was that announcement for mandatory iPhone 5 support requirement just meant for newer apps and that old apps published before could continue to be updated without iPhone 5 support?

  • chriscambell

    I want FF7!

    • ExcaliburEdge

      Get to chapter 4, and recruit Cloud. It's probably the closest you'll ever get (without a jailbreak).

  • Morgan01

    It's an update, at least. Still waiting for retina (and iPhone 5 for those that have one)
    support. Update still not out here, however, the characters looks washed out in the picture sample in the article.

  • ratsinheat

    Tyrion is the best character in FFT but Jon Snow has Long Claw, he is more powerful.

  • Morgan01

    It's an update, at least. Still waiting for retina (and iPhone 5 for those that have one)
    support. Update still not out here, however, the characters looks washed out in the picture sample in the article. Hopefully, it looks better in game.

  • Mrwubbs

    God I hope they update the world ends with you. iPhone 5 widescreen support would be nice, at least.

  • arnoldc

    For those like me who bought the game when it first came out, this update is a big improvement. Finally I can enjoy the game like the portable game version.

  • Zerol3onheart

    They always do this in between pay weeks! Come on! All jokes aside, it's great to see SE finally show some love to their iOS apps. Nows the perfect time to buy this.

  • diaskeaus

    Bought! This is an amazing game. I first played it in high school, and can hardly remember any of the story. Playing through it again, it really is one of the best games ever made.

    I'm loving the challenge. Just random encounters are hard; refreshing.

  • Morgan01

    Don't care for visuals in the new update. Avatars all look washed out.

  • curemyeclipse

    Animation chugs on when a potion is used. Anyone else getting this? iPad 2.

  • Bobus X

    I there a graphics diff between the HD and Normal now? Previously the Hd was the same as the iPhone when in 2x. Want to know if I should rebuy it now.