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Final Fantasy XIII or Final Fantasy XIII-2 not doing it for you? Is Final Fantasy VI still your favorite game in the series? Or perhaps you insist that Final Fantasy V’s job system is still the best thing in the world? Well, I have a surprise for you!
Final Fantasy Dimensions released as a mobile game in Japan in 2010. Accordingly, it was a return to the old-school Final Fantasy style: 2D pixel art, white text on blue menus, random encounters, and turn-based gameplay with active-time battles. Oh, and there is a job system.
Interested? Well, Final Fantasy Dimensions is finally coming overseas to iOS and Android.
Dimensions stars Sol, an older gent by the name of Aigis, blue-haired Sarah, and towheaded Dusk. After some catastrophic thing seems to have gone down and arguments have arisen, the group finds itself on a classic Final Fantasy overworld.
Before the view shifts, however, a mysterious, fairy-looking lass wanders into the frame where the party had just been and looks over the scene. She even had the classic “???” for her name in the dialogue box.
Once out on the world map, I booked it towards the nearest town. Puzzlingly, the podunk town was entirely comprised of octogenarians with a strangely slang dialect; the first person I talked to said, “You know why them dragons be all in a tizzy? It’s cause o’ that poison th’ Empire done used.”
Another NPC later informed me that the town was made up of elderly people because all the young folks took off. Probably because of how the old people speak.
The game has three options for movement. A fixed touch-based directional pad is available, but the build I played was set to use a d-pad that simply shows up anywhere on the screen you click, disappearing if out of use for a while. You can either tap each direction individually, or, more fluidly, slide and hold your finger in the direction you want to go. It’s large enough that is sort of obscures the screen if you click towards the center, and occasionally I would accidentally bring it up when trying to interact with the environment. It is translucent, however, and I did eventually get a bit more comfortable using it; that said, talking with moving NPCs was something of a trial.
After buying a bit of armor, I went back to the world map and into a classic Final Fantasy-style cave to get through the encapsulating mountains. The build I played pitted Sol as the warrior, Aigis as the monk, Dusk as the white mage, and Sarah as the red mage. All the roles I expected the characters would be in.
Thankfully, it also had all of the jobs and abilities unlocked and mastered, so I was able to check out the thief, red mage, black mage, summoner, and jobless classes as well. Jobless allows you to use all available armor or weapons.
In battle, the characters wear the standard accoutrements associated with their respective class, though they wore unique garb during dialogue scenes and in town. Speaking of battles, the game uses an ATB system, is turn-based, and features random battles. All classic Final Fantasy fare.
There was a myriad of job-dependent abilities -- Aigis, in particular, had some impressive monk skills, given that I had access to high-level moves.
The brief bits of music I heard were good, the enemy design featured the interesting reimagining and adaptations of pre-existing Final Fantasy beasts and the game played well. Provided you don’t mind the old-school style, Final Fantasy Dimensions could be a plenty good entry in the series.
It could even be great, if the story and characters are any good.