I’ve played a lot of Final Fantasy games, but the only one I’ve completed is the first. (Though I completed the Gameboy Advance version, rather than the NES original.) It was released last night on the iPhone and I bought it, despite the relatively steep £5.49 price, because I’m dying to play through it again. While it was downloading, I read my blog posts about my playthrough of the GBA version to see if there were any hints and the only one I found is that I wished I hadn’t had a thief in my party.

With that in mind, I decided to go with a party consisting of a Warrior and one of each of the mages. I may regret the lack of heavy physical damage dealers in the later game, but we’ll see.

Final Fantasy

My heroes - Doc, Donna, Rose and Martha.

I haven’t done much so far. I went to see the king, bought some new weapons and magic and ran around killing some goblins. All my characters are up to level three now and I’ll see how much grinding I can stand before I set out on the real adventure. Probably quite a lot, because there’s just something charming about the game, even (especially?) in these early stages.

Final Fantasy

Setting forth on our adventure.

Running around triggering random encounters, returning to the inn to sleep, it’s all intensely familiar, like a favourite blanket. The nostalgia factor isn’t hurt by the fantastic music and the much-loved sound effects. It’s the gaming equivalent of comfort food.

Final Fantasy

Who's better - goblins or heroes? There's only one way to find out...

There are a few niggles. The touch screen controls work wonderfully for the most part, but sometimes seem not to register properly, especially when trying to talk to people. It’s as if the hit box is slightly smaller than the sprites you’re trying to click. A very minor issue. Another annoyance is the terrible framerate in the town. It doesn’t hurt the gameplay at all, but it’s very unpleasant to look at.

Final Fantasy

The little animation when you sleep at an inn still doesn't appear to be skippable.

Whether or not you’ll like this if you’ve not played it before, I don’t know – but four years ago when I played the GBA version I’d never played it before and I loved it then, so it might be worth a go… unless you hate the traditional JPRG mechanics.