Review: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD

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Final Fan­ta­sy XV has been a huge suc­cess both finan­ci­al­ly and cri­ti­cal­ly, despi­te the fact that the game went into a com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent path com­pa­red to the rest of the series. The main cha­rac­ter, Noc­tis, has beco­me one of the most well known of the series and the ori­gi­nal game has been con­stant­ly impro­ved sin­ce then. Squa­re Enix wan­ted to be able to let ever­yo­ne enjoy the sto­ry, and that’s whe­re the Pocket Edi­ti­on comes in.

As you pro­bab­ly have figu­red out, it’s a ver­si­on spe­ci­fi­cal­ly deve­lo­ped for mobi­le pho­nes and fea­tures a much simp­ler game­play and gra­phic style, with the use of chi­bi cha­rac­ters. Becau­se the Switch wouldn’t be able to get the ori­gi­nal expe­ri­ence (unless it gets down­gra­ded a lot), the team deci­ded to port the game on that sys­tem too, as well as the PS4 and Xbox One sys­tems once again.

We need to address the “ele­phant in the room” imme­dia­te­ly: con­si­de­ring that on PS4 and Xbox One the game is cer­tain­ly not hard to find and buy, what is the Pocket Edition’s pur­po­se on the­re? Sim­ply put, it’s the ide­al choice if you don’t wan­na bother too much with the explo­ra­ti­on, side activi­ties and length of the game and just want to focus on what the sto­ry has to offer. If you alrea­dy play­ed or own the ori­gi­nal Final Fan­ta­sy XV, then this game will pro­bab­ly offer you very litt­le. The HD edi­ti­on pro­vi­des the who­le expe­ri­ence in one packa­ge. You won’t need to buy every epi­so­de indi­vi­dual­ly, like it hap­pen­ed for the mobi­le ver­si­on. So it’s eit­her “buy the ent­i­re game, or don’t buy it at all”. Sin­ce the ori­gi­nal game was very well done, we were curious to see first-hand how they were able to port the expe­ri­ence to infe­ri­or sys­tems and how they mana­ged to com­pro­mi­se.

First of all, we were plea­s­ant­ly sur­pri­sed to see that all the main sto­ry is still nar­ra­ted effec­tively wit­hout skip­ping any parts. The ori­gi­nal sound­track and the voice acting (in Eng­lish, Japa­ne­se and more) are still in the­re and the sto­ry pro­ceeds as you would expect if you’ve play­ed the ori­gi­nal. As we were say­ing, the side activi­ties have most­ly been remo­ved and most secon­da­ry stuff has been redu­ced to a more simp­le minigame. That doesn’t mean that important sto­ry parts that invol­ve the­se are get­ting skip­ped eit­her. For examp­le cer­tain dia­lo­gues that hap­pen only while in the car will still hap­pen and you’ll be able to steer the wheel for a while, until the dia­lo­gue is over and it auto­ma­ti­cal­ly cuts to the next part of the level. The levels are much simp­ler and strai­ght­for­ward, not giving much room to the explo­ra­ti­on part. Keep in mind that, after all, this is still a mobi­le game, just por­ted to other sys­tems.

Let’s talk a bit about how the game­play works. You’ll be able to equip and chan­ge 3 dif­fe­rent kinds of wea­pons, using only one but­ton to do simp­le com­bos. In addi­ti­on to that you’ll be able to use warp strikes to tele­port into a dif­fe­rent part of the sce­n­a­rio or to try and wea­ken your enemies. Most other com­bat actions, like the assists from the allies or par­ries, will be done via a Quick Time Event. The com­bat can beco­me chal­len­ging as you move on, but it’s not that com­pli­ca­ted and much more rela­xed. The reci­pes are still the­re, but you’ll need to grab spe­ci­fic ingre­dients for every level (they will be con­ve­ni­ent­ly mar­ked on the map, so you won’t have to worry) and once you’ll do that you’ll get a boost to your stats once the game will make you camp (even the abi­li­ty to rest is most­ly scrip­ted this time).


My only real com­p­laint is that the chi­bi style makes it almost impos­si­ble to take the sto­ry serious­ly, espe­ci­al­ly whenever the prot­ago­nists beco­me serious or the­re are sad moments hap­pe­ning. Per­so­nal­ly I only mana­ge to laugh whenever one of the­se moments hap­pen becau­se of their expres­si­onless faces that con­trasts the ama­zing voice acting. Becau­se of the artstyle, the sce­n­a­ri­os also look poor and unin­spi­red most of the time. To recap, it’s pret­ty much what you would expect from a mobi­le game. A gre­at mobi­le game, but with its obvious limi­ta­ti­ons. Like I said in the begin­ning, I high­ly recom­mend it to Switch-only users (as it’s the only way they’ll ever get to expe­ri­ence this game), while for the con­so­les – we review­ed the game on PS4 – it’s a pret­ty big dilem­ma. If you want to enjoy the full expe­ri­ence and have enough time on your hands, then you might as well just grab the ori­gi­nal Final Fan­ta­sy XV. Other­wi­se, I belie­ve that the Pocket Edi­ti­on is a pret­ty good sub­sti­tu­te if you want a much more rela­xed and quick game­play, let­ting you enjoy the sto­ry as fast as you can.

Have a First Look in our Gameplay Videos

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