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Review: Final Fantasy Dimensions (iOS)

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 by

Final Fantasy Dimensions represents something old, something new, something borrowed – make that everything borrowed – and something… true… to the, uh, spirit of Final Fantasy, or something.

Forget I said that. Let’s instead say that Dimensions is the Frankenstein’s monster of the Final Fantasy series, stitched together from the functional parts of the SNES era and powered by an artificial soul that, while respectable, fails to authentically replicate the series’ yesteryear magic. Which is a little sad, because that’s what Dimensions blatantly and desperately aims to do, and it’s also the thing we hoped it could do, more than anything else, but it falls just short.

But please don’t go thinking that Dimensions is total garbage – on the contrary, it’s surprisingly fun. Make no mistake about it: this isn’t your typical flash-in-the-pan style of iOS gaming; this is a fully-featured Final Fantasy epic that takes around 50 hours to complete. You may have guessed as much from the cumulative $30 price tag, but yeah.

Don’t let the cost creep you out, though – thirty bucks may feel like a small fortune by App Store standards – but for fans of old-school Final Fantasy, Dimensions is worth every penny. There’s a lot of vintage Final Fantasy action to be had here, perhaps more than you’d find in any other FF game.

Yes, it really is that big. Thankfully, you can purchase the game in parts, as needed, and the introduction chapter is free for all to try. This helps soften the impact of Dimensions substantial asking price.

Sadly, the game’s plot is fluff and the dialog is some of the cringe-worthiest ever penned. Contrived, banal, and at times, insulting in its badness, the writing in Final Fantasy Dimensions is far and away the game’s weakest link. The words I’d use to describe it… let’s just say they rhyme with “schmucking schmitty”. Enduring the game’s story can be a real twist of the knife at times, but there’s a lot of good game there in between the parts where they talk.

Dimensions employs the job system from Final Fantasy V, with a new-ish range of jobs that feel more balanced but less inventive than the originals. The battles are fluid and controls are about as good as you could hope for on anything less than actual buttons. The game’s music is wonderful, too, and feels right at home in a retro game, despite having a modern production value. Everything that’s truly outstanding about Dimensions comes from the sum of its gameplay and presentation; functionally, it’s a wonderful homage to the series’ earlier feel.

Final Fantasy Dimensions is, ultimately, a ton of fun with a few caveats: First, check any expectations for a riveting story at the door. Second, you must be prepared, and willing, to power through a sometimes exhausting abundance of random battles. Forgive the game those sins, and you’ll discover that Dimensions is a solid and worthy addition to the halls of Final Fantasy.

3 stars

About the Author

Mark A. Brooks uses the A. initial in his name so as to seperate himself from the teeming legions of other Mark Brookses (there are at least 65,000 in the state of Michigan alone). Keep up with him on twitter, because why not. @unoriginalG

Mark A. Brooks has written 642 posts on Delta Attack
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  • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

    For the record, I hate just about every character’s name. When “Butz” seems like a good alternative, something’s wrong.

    • Mark A. Brooks

      Just rename them all “Sabin” and call it a day.

  • Markham Asylum

    The only good thing about the lack of compelling story is that when I eventually cancel my hiatus with this game I won’t be trying to put the narrative pieces back together.

    • Mark A. Brooks

      Hell, I was playing it without a break and by the end of the game I had pretty much forgotten how I got there.