The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition

The release of Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition [Free] is fascinating to me, and not just because Final Fantasy is a massively popular series and this is the latest entry. Rather, the way it has made its way to mobile is what I can't wrap my head around. Final Fantasy XV on consoles launched in late 2016 and is a huge, open-world style Final Fantasy game. While mobile devices are quite powerful, and we've seen some pretty impressive ports over the years, there's no way I ever imagined Final Fantasy XV could make its way to mobile, at least not anytime soon. Square Enix decided to prove me wrong, and they did so in a very interesting way.

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is more or less the full story of the console version, complete with the same voice dialogue and all the same cutscenes. To get the game on mobile without massive performance issues Square Enix redid ALL of the visuals for the game, and rather than the very realistic high-end visuals of the console game Pocket Edition sports toned down, chibi-style versions of all the game's characters. Many of the environments are pretty much the same too, but also toned down graphically. The result is a game that feels a lot like the 3D remakes of Final Fantasy III and IV but using everything in Final Fantasy XV proper. The trailer below does an excellent job of comparing the two games side by side.

The scaled back visuals aren't the only concession in Pocket Edition, as it also doesn't feature many of the additional side quests of the console game nor is it very open-world. It's a much more guided experience, and while there are some fairly large areas you can run around in and explore, it's certainly not on par with the console game's massive world. However, in many ways this is to the game's benefit depending on your gaming preferences. If you're the type that likes getting distracted and goofing around completing minor quests, then Pocket Edition may not be satisfying for you. If you'd prefer to have a more linear journey through the game's story, then Pocket Edition excels at this.

As our own Final Fantasy fanatic Shaun Musgrave pointed out in his review of Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, this streamlined approach to the full Final Fantasy XV actually improves the flow of the game and makes for a tighter, more focused experience. Hey, maybe that's not appealing to you, and that's OK! Please enjoy the console version or the forthcoming PC version. If you liked the console version and are intrigued by Pocket Edition, then give it a try. It's actually a different enough experience that I've heard from fans of the console version who still enjoyed another romp through the game via this new Pocket Edition. If you've never played the console game (raises hand) then this streamlined, made-for-touchscreen version is an excellent way to experience Final Fantasy XV, especially if you have no intention of playing it on console.

Whatever the case, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is free to download and try the entire first chapter, with the rest of the game available as IAP per chapter or as an entire bundle at a slight discount. All told it'll set you back about 20 bucks for the whole game. Give it a shot. What will be really interesting to see is if other companies take a similar approach in bringing some of their big-budget AAA games from console and PC to mobile in the future, and based on how Pocket Edition turned out, I'd be all for it.

Link to Forum Discussion: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition (by SQUARE ENIX)

  • Mr. Mayhem

    i actually liked this more than the console version, except for the touch to move controls. There was just way too much riding around in a car doing nothing in the console version and I just got bored and quit playing after a while.

    • pheriannath

      I'd like to present the other perspective; I rather liked the road trip portion of the game, because I could actually chill out and take time to properly appreciate the world around me, which I honestly thought was *beautiful*. It's also my way of paying credit to the environment/world designers - those guys poured so much time and effort building this place, and it's kind of sad if their work gets glossed over because of all the attention-grabbing monsters & characters & plot that's going on. But I also understand that FF is for adventurers rather than tourists, so to each his own.

      (If your problem is with the Regalia itself though, just ride the Chocobos. Prompto will thank you for it.)

    • CodeREd

      You don’t have to ride around doing nothing, you can fast travel between places you’ve already visited. I personally enjoyed riding along, listening to various Final Fantasy soundtracks. A lot is lost in the mobile version.

  • Ernesto Ibarra

    Anyone have problems loading the game? I start the game three times and went leave the game (save correctly Local and iCloud) and try to load my save data my game keep forever on “Loading” screen. 🙁
    I’m so sad guys. Please help me!

    • Mr. Mayhem

      Played fine on my iPad Pro 10.5 with iOS 11.2.2. It does load a bit slowly though compared to most apps. I also downloaded all content from the options menu before playing, not sure if that might help.

      Also, maybe restarting your device might help.

      • Ernesto Ibarra

        Oh, thanks but I try everything. Reinstalling the game, load form iCloud and download all the game content before playing but the data still corrupted, I think. I’m on iPhone X. 🙁

      • Realist82

        hy guy
        i play with my iphoneX too and it works without problems
        ....mmmhh

      • Von Strubel

        same problem here with iPhone 6s. Sometimes data is corrupted it seems. I started a new game, loaded an elder save from the cloud, which worked.

      • boydstr

        The strangest thing is that when you open the app AppStore in the description it says that it is compatible with my IPhone I can download the game but when it loads after the cutscenes the game crashes what a letdown I really want to play this I think Apple must be more precise in their compatibility info,it is such a disappointment that you are hyped and start the game but the game will not work.

      • curtneedsaride

        It crashed on my iPhone X before I ever exited out to world map. And I’ve never been able to get that save to work on my iPhone or iPad. SO, I had to start again. On my second save I exited to world map and synced that save. I’ve gone back and forth between both devices without a loading problem. It’s crashed a couple more times, but I could load it up again. Also on my second save, I avoided that King’s Knight ad at the motel. Hope you try starting over and have good luck!

    • Fahm

      same here, using SE. After third mission, have to load, and then just the same problem as you.

    • 61050

      the game keeps crashing out to the home screen constantly and at random times for me. im working through it, but its super annoying.

      • Paul

        You aren’t alone. Only does it on my X. iPad Pro is fine.

    • Astral Darkstar

      iPhone 7 Plus

      Same here. I left it loading for over 10 minutes cause I forgot it was on. I double checked for a quick save icon before closing but didn't change anything. I'm not going to restart, my backlog is too large for a watered down mobile game with bugs. Blame XIV for that though

    • http://wizodd.tumblr.com Wizard of Odyssey

      Ugh. This is happening to me now, too. DO NOT WANT

  • g.briel_b.tista

    this is how you make a real mobile game

  • DrlRage

    I thought this would be like Final Fight! It's not!

  • Milotorou

    Very good game !

    Im a ff fanatic... without a new gen console, so I couldnt play XV. I love the story in FFs, this one is no exception, the story is great, the voice acting is spectacular (even in english), music is awesome, graphics are very vivid and full of style, gameplay is simple yet fun and addicting...

    From the looks of it so far it looks like its a 15-30 hours experience depending on how much you fiddle around and explore, its shorter than your usual FF but not too short.

    Highly recommended, iPad Pro 10.5 never had crashes mentionned by others, but I believe them, I also trust Square Enix when it comes to a Final Fantasy title, they will fix it.

  • David Taylor

    Am I the only guy that finds this game really linear? It seems to be one location to another, with no ability to explore... There seems to be no ability to go to shops to buy anything and its all within the menu system. I find the battle sequences a little boring and not really engaging. Don't get me wrong, I really like the cutesy graphics, music and acting... but it isn't a Final Fantasy game for me.... What I will say however is I haven't played a FF game since FFX... So is this the way they all play now?

    • Den Lim

      what you want is the original console version. this is a very pared down mobile version.

      • David Taylor

        I have a PS4, but I never play games on it, I only use it for Sky Go upstairs... there is never anything released on PS4 that I fancy playing. Plus I am restricted to the TV, which is why I love mobile gaming.

        FF7 and FF9 are perfect on mobile, I hope they release X.

      • http://wizodd.tumblr.com Wizard of Odyssey

        Since the Vita could do FFX, modern mobile devices should be able to handle it no problem.

      • David Taylor

        Oh I know it could easily handle it... it’s just whether they actually will. I paid my £20 to support Squeenix in the hope they will provide further titles.

      • http://wizodd.tumblr.com Wizard of Odyssey

        Yup, same here ...

  • http://isitgangster.com/ Is It Gangster?

    Sound gets crunchy sometimes for no apparent reason and it crashed once or twice in Chapter 1 (iPad Air 2), I wish there were another way to move around than tapping. It's kind of annoying to move long distances on the iPad because you have to reach so far to hold in the direction sometimes. And once in a while a character speaks in German for some reason.

    But overall, it's a really impressive game, which just needs a little patching. The combat is "automatic" enough to not be a chore on the touchscreen, but way more engaging than the usual turn-based RPG combat that you might as well just let play itself, and in turn, might as well just not play.