Final Fantasy XV, more than a year after its launch, still gets a lot of my gaming time. Aside from the original release, Square Enix has also put out several story expansions, a multiplayer mode, and lots of free new features in the base game. The story and gameplay have kept me coming back, even after finishing the whole game twice over. Unfortunately, several people I think would enjoy the game haven’t been able to play it, because it’s only been available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
It releases on Windows PCs in early March, which will expand the game’s reach even further, but another version was just released on smartphones - Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition.
The existence of Pocket Edition is peculiar - while they are still expanding the game on consoles, here is a pared down version of the original. The core is the same, but the look and gameplay are completely different. The characters, instead of looking like realistic boy band models, are cartoonish and cute. And instead of the offense-focused battles from the original, combat is much more focused on defense and strategy.
Pocket Edition’s story is the same as Final Fantasy XV’s - on his way to his own wedding, a Prince and his friends get sucked into a global war after their home is attacked, and by the end you’re saving the world from eternal darkness. The game plays as a big road trip between these four friends, with lots of great character moments between them.
Even though I’ve played through Final Fantasy XV several times, I found a lot to love about Pocket Edition. The gameplay felt like a whole new game, and it works really well on a small touchscreen. The story, while slightly abridged, hits all the same beats, and still works with the redesigned characters. The Pocket Edition is divided into 10 chapters, a few less than the original. The first one is free, and can be downloaded from your phone’s app store.