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Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD Review - GamerKnights
I can see for Eos: So here we are; full circle. Final Fantasy XV was a massive, sprawling game that I absolutely loved when I reviewed it a few years back. In a genius move, Square Enix ported that huge, impressive game to mobiles, through a smart aesthetic overhaul (and plenty of witchcraft), stretching all the hard work over the decade-long dev cycle to reach more players. An understandable, smart business move that resulted in a cute, super-deformed game that had all the grandiose spectacle of its console brethren – at least when viewed on the diminutive display of a mobile phone. But now, in 2018, that mobile port has been ported… back to consoles? And we have FFXV Pocket Edition HD right next to FFXV Royal Edition on my PS4 menu – and the two games cost about the same price. I don’t get why we’re here but here we are. Let’s dive in. Story: FFXV Pocket Edition HD – henceforth referred to as Pocket Edition – takes the familiar story of Final Fantasy XV, trims the fat and presents it as a leaner, cuter through-line to that game’s biggest, best moments. As Prince Noctis you’re sent on a roadtrip with your buds whilst your kingdom is overrun (convenient!) and, upon hearing the news, you embark on a journey to get stronger, nab some cool weapons from the hands of royal corpses around the world and learn how to summon various deities, all so that you can reclaim your lost kingdom. But as bombastic as that all sounds, the real heart and soul of both XV proper and Pocket Edition is the comradery between you and your burly party of hunky dudes. The cute aesthetics of Pocket Edition further solidify this relationship as the beating heart of FFXV, and it’s just as charming and endearing here as it ever was in the main game – if not more so. Because of the nature of the original mobile game, Pocket Edition is presented a lot more straightforwardly than its console counterpart. The story is streamlined into easy-to-digest chapters and you’re shunted through it at a pretty breakneck pace. The latter half of the game had a propensity to waffle, and Pocket Edition serves this well, cutting out a lot of the gumpf. But you also lose a lot of the natural evolution of the game’s first half – where the party got to really know each other on the road at a pace you as the player set, deciding how much you’d just trek around and listen to them as you went about side quests and monster hunts. It’s a sacrifice that ultimately balances out, but players who’ve already connected with Ignis, Gladiolus and Prompto will be a lot more comfortable with this loss than newcomers. Gameplay: Much like with the story, Pocket Edition sidesteps a lot of the main games intricacies – for better and worse. A lot of the time combat in FFXV felt cluttered, hectic and just hard to stay on top of in general, so it was actually refreshing to see how clean and easy Pocket Edition’s combat is. Forgoing complexity isn’t always a good thing, but Pocket Edition makes the loss work in its favour, and it comes away as a more enjoyable title because of it.