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Final Fantasy III arrives on iPhone: Sudden battles, moogles and the rest

The third addition in the Final Fantasy series has arrived on the iPhone, and legendary games-maker Square-Enix has decided to drop the aged sprites of the original in favour of its DS remake from a few years ago. So it’s a remake remake, if you will.

A remake typically means a new splash of paint, better looking characters and, perhaps, an extra hard boss hidden somewhere in the game.

This remake meant a top-to-bottom rejuvenation of the Final Fantasy world, with the four heroes (out to save the world from ‘darkness’, natch) now 3D characters, complete with twee ‘job’ costumes, depending on your character’s equipped skill-set.

The third game’s job system means you can now create any sort of party you want, though the game still recognises that a balanced team is the way forward; you’ll soon run out of magic with a team of Black Mages, and the lack of healing skills in a team of knights would make you utterly dependent on potions.

Having benefited from the extra sheen of the iPhone’s display, compared to the Nintendo DS, characters are sharp, and the backgrounds are vivid.

The game has tried to adapt to a touchscreen controls, and even battles are done well. You can scroll down the battle options, tap once to choose what you want to do, and tap again to choose the target, with big boxes to make certain you’re doing what you intend to. Nothing worse than whacking your team-mate with a sword.

Final Fantasy III isn’t exactly the simplest introduction to the series, but you can soon find your way by talking to anyone (and everyone) on your travels.

Another hint; a bit of extra battling should help against some of the trickier boss battles- it can get frustratingly tough in places, especially if you walk into an area ahead of schedule- your gang of wizards, thieves and knights will get utterly destroyed.

Its steep learning curve makes it a bit of a slog in places, but for just under a tenner, you’d expect something that’s going to last.

For fans of role-playing games (RPGs) the customisable job system should allow you to make the characters you want, and the game  kindly remembers to save (to an extent) where you left off when gaming is interrupted by phone calls, or even to use other apps, making it a great game to play in short bursts.

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