Relive Cloud’s adventure in Final Fantasy VII for iOS. Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET
Get ready to travel back to Midgar — on mobile.
The fictional city where Cloud Strife first mounted his resistance against the Shinra Electric Power Company is coming to iPhones and iPads, as Square Enix on Wednesday released the critically acclaimed game Final Fantasy VII for iOS devices.
“Thank you thank you thank you! I have waited so long for this,” one customer wrote on Australia’s iTunes store, reflecting the general excitement about the announcement.
For the uninitiated, Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing (RPG) game that follows protagonists Cloud, Barrett and Tifa as they embark on an adventure against the evil company Shinra and the super-soldier Sephiroth.
The iOS release (no word on Android yet) is a port of the PC version of the game, which offers slightly improved graphics from the original 1997 PlayStation version. It also features tweaks to make the game more easily playable on mobile devices, including an overhauled touchscreen control scheme that makes it easier to move characters around.
There are some controversial additions to the mobile version of the game. It lets you turn off random enemy encounters, for example, and has an optional max-stats command that instantly bumps all your characters to level 99 with 9,999 hit points and gives you 999,999,999 gil — the fictional currency from the game — to work with.
Toggling on both of those options lets you coast through the game with ease, and since a key gameplay aspect of RPGs is building up your character and overcoming defeat, that kind of defeats the point. Though I’m sure some people will appreciate not having to face random enemies when just trying to see what happens next in the story. To each their own.
But Final Fantasy VII, widely regarded as one of the best role-playing games of all time, isn’t the only treat Square Enix is giving gamers this week. It’s also released an app called Final Fantasy Portal — available for both Android and iOS — that includes the popular, addictive card game Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII.
The app lets you gather cards from all of the major Final Fantasy games, and use those cards to play Triple Triad against both AI and human opponents online. Both the Final Fantasy Portal app and the Triple Triad game are free to play, but Triple Triad has a stamina system that only lets you play so often unless you spend real-world money to fill your stamina bar.
Final Fantasy VII for iOS will set you back $15.99 (£11.99, AU$19.99), and is best played on newer devices like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the iPad Air 2. Final Fantasy Portal is free and available for both Android and iOS, though at press time it looks like the iOS app isn’t yet available on the US or UK App Stores.