ARTICLE | iPhone Fantasy

by David Meek

There have been many transformations in the way we game over the past few years. The portable market is no exception.Portable gaming has been riddled with “Revisions” and “Online Stores”, making it hard for an uninformed buyer to make a spontaneous purchase. There are many types of Nintendo DS’s which all cater for different needs. Now, big-name titles are heading to the newcomer in the portable games market (arguably) – the Apple iPhone/iPod Touch.

In the vein of Final Fantasy III and IV appearing on the DS, a trailer by Square Enix recently announced Final Fantasy 1 and 2 were coming to the iPhone. To some – myself included – this may seem rather idiotic. But to others, this is a great chance to relive the days when they sat at home all day having to play Final Fantasy on a couch with a controller, and revelling at the idea of taking it outside on their fancy Apple products.

So what qualifies the iPhone as a gaming device? It has one button and no cartridge for games. But with the device clearly being a phone first and foremost, I would personally rather carry around some extra weight for a portable console that that was built for actual games. I’m pretty sure Apple had not intended it to have full games on there, but when they noticed how people were storming the app store for games, they leaped at the chance and declared it as their own gaming platform.

Thing is, most games on the device prove to have controls which leave something to be desired. Buttons are lazily shoved onto the screen taking up valuable room on an already small screen, then making you move your thumbs onto the screen taking up more room. This just feels clunky and can sometimes be annoying when you are trying to play properly.

Also some games require you to tilt the iPhone, which can be a hassle when you just want to rest the iPhone on something to give your arms a rest. Overall, it’s difficult to judge the demand for an experience like Final Fantasy on the iPhone, especially considering those gaps in the handheld market for fans of the game have already been filled.

Perhaps these new iterations of Square Enix’s popular JRPG will change the minds of those who nay-say Apple’s iPhone as a proper gaming device.

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