Hot on the heels of the release of Final Fantasy VI [$15.99] last night, Square Enix has issued an update for one of the previous games in the series, Final Fantasy III [$15.99]. The update includes widescreen support for 4-inch devices, which is an incredibly welcome addition as nothing drives me crazier than those darn black bars on games that are not optimized for widescreen. However, there's sort of a catch: Square Enix simply stretched out the visuals to fill up the screen. So, it's essentially the same visuals as before, just slightly… elongated. Here's a comparison of the original screen up top and the new widescreen version below it.

ff3before

ff3after

As you can see, it looks like all your characters have gained a bit of weight or something. It's not the end of the world mind you, as I'd much prefer this over black bars, but it's something to think about if you're highly familiar with the game as it was originally since the elongation will probably stick out to you. The other major part of this update is controller support. The update text specifically mentions support for the Logitech Powershell, but we loaded the iPhone version of Final Fantasy III up on our iPad an found out it works just fine with the SteelSeries Stratus controller too. Our Moga Ace Power is currently MIA, but I'd imagine it would work with that one too. So why the specific mention of the Logitech controller only? I have no idea.

This latest update is only for the iPhone version, but I'd guess a similar update for Final Fantasy III for iPad [$16.99 (HD)] should come at some point, at least to add in controller support. At any rate, it's nice to see Square Enix updating one of their older titles, so if you've been ignoring Final Fantasy III due to black bar annoyance, head over to the App Store and grab the latest update.

  • Smurgendorf

    I can confirm it works with a Moga, dpad only though. No analog support. Also if you don't like the stretched look, you can change it back to the normal aspect ratio, with bars with the FF3 logo added on the sides.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Yeah, it's also D-Pad only on the Stratus. Weird.

  • othernine

    Was just thinking of buying this yesterday and thought it would be even better with Stratus support! :oD

  • nekros

    Any chance FF6 has/will have controller support? kind of on the fence wanting a steelseries myself.

  • falco

    Breaking news the guy who made Flappy birds makes $50,00 USD each day!

    • falco

      I mean $50,000 lol!

  • reidypeidy

    I prefer the black bars over a stretched image. They had the same option in Final Fantasy IV and it looks terrible stretched out like that. If both options bother you, just get Final Fantasy V, it was a better job system, story, and isn't stretched out.

    • curtneedsaride

      It isn't? Final Fantasy VI is stretched out as well. There's an option in the settings to toggle full screen vs. wide screen. I thought it was probably the same for FF V too.

      • reidypeidy

        Final Fantasy V and VI are the same, The sides are much smaller than III and IV and they include a clock and battery so it looks alot nicer. I really like those two ports.

      • curtneedsaride

        Yeah, I definitely am loving FF VI and the stretching isn't as bad as FF III. But it's just a bummer that all screens can't be the same aspect ratio. That's gotta make it hard for each developer to decide what to do. I think SE have made a decent choice with these... but I'm concerned that Chrono Trigger may look even more stretched if they add this same kind of support. But the option to toggle it off is nice!

  • curtneedsaride

    Also, if you don't want your characters stretched, and you prefer seeing it at its intended aspect ratio, there's now an option in the settings that allows you to toggle this "widescreen" support on and off. Unfortunately, they put "Final Fantasy III" in text along the side black bars instead of leaving them just plain black. I'll probably try to get used to the fatty characters... I just PRAY they add side visibility instead of messing with the aspect ratio for Chrono Trigger. I mean, can't you add more visibility to the large maps your characters are on, and then move the menu boxes out to the edges without changing the aspect ratio? Or do you have to program that from the ground up?

    • Alan Baldwin

      I actually wouldn't mind the black boxes / "no" widescreen support in old games, but I just tried playing Bug Heroes today, and the biggest problem isn't the viewport, but the fact that the drag canvas is too far in. If you just had the black boxes with the ability to drag on top of them for d-pad movement, I wouldn't care about widescreen support. Stretching the screen is absolutely the wrong way to do it though.

      • curtneedsaride

        YES! I totally agree. I would keep playing games in their respective aspect ratios without a problem if I could use the joystick within the black bars. That would be great. Less thumb obstruction!

  • geno11233

    For some reason mine isn't widescreen? And there is no option for it. Using an iphone 5

    • curtneedsaride

      What iOS are you on?

      • geno11233

        Ios 7

  • TJF588

    Well, then, still no love lost on the PSP version I picked up, with arranged and original scores, art gallery, and inherent buttons. Why not just incorporate that version into the mobile releases? Heck, I'd have to compare, but it's touted as actual widescreen support.

    And figures they update FFIII during, of all things, FFVI's release. Shrewd bastards'll prolly get some mistaken sales from buy-happy yesteryear re-players.

  • TheRybka

    WOAH, $16. No. A thousand times no.

  • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

    Works great with all controllers, though yeah, dpad only.

    The stretched look doesn't bother me too much - I suppose I got used to it in ff4...

  • ap3604

    Wow :-O

    I never thought I'd see the day that Square Enix actually updates an old 3.5 inch screen game to the new 4 inch screen size. I always figured they left their games for dead after making the quick cash grab during the games initial release.

    Not to mention controller support too? Kudos Square Enix! You have restored my faith in purchasing your products.

    Now do the same update for Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, FF 1 & 2.

    • 61050

      i wont go so far as to say my faith has been restored, but will agree that this is a welcome surprise.

  • http://www.threeboy.net Threeboy

    That's a pretty lazy fix for a $17 app :(

  • Earth Vs. Me

    Not really sure how a turn based RPG would benefit from controller support. If anything, a controller would probably make the game harder to manage.

    • hotpotty

      How about achievements, Square-Enix?

      Widows Phone has them ...