Switch version tested
Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Editon HD was revealed during the most recent Nintendo Direct along with a load of other Final Fantasy games (admittedly all ports of older titles). It released on the eShop not long after for an introductory period at a discounted price. I instantly picked it up as overall it dropped the price by a tenner, which isn’t to be knocked and because what I really need coming into the peak of new release season is more games to play.
I’ve played the “proper” version of Final Fantasy 15 a lot and there are a few key differences between the two games. The most glaring is the graphical style, the pocket edition makes characters far more cartoony and the open world aspect takes a hit too. The car segments now seem to serve in a similar way to the elevators in Mass Effect, glorified loading screens with characters talking amongst each other. This is very much a simplified version of the main game.
The key hooks are there still, the story is obviously going to be pretty consistent and follow the journey of Prince Noctis and friends who are undertaking a road trip on the eve of his wedding. Thankfully the character interaction that was one of the main things people loved about this game is still intact. The combat system has been simplified but not in a negative way in my opinion. An observation I have with this version is that there doesn’t seem to be a great variety in terms of enemies although the boss fights, so far, have been and they are pretty tricky so it seems to be a bit of a trade-off.
One of my big complaints about the main version of Final Fantasy 15 is that it’s so vast it sometimes feels a little intimidating and unfocused, so it is nice that this is much more focused. As a result, less time is spent dicking around. Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Editon HD works really well on the Switch because of the way it has been designed, splitting the action into bite-sized chapters. It is ideal for quick goes but also works if you are having a longer session. This is a fresh premise with an RPG as usually you’d have to put in a decent stint to make any progress. The main story clocks in at the ten-hour mark providing enough content without hitting the fifty plus of its home console counterpart.
In summary, it’s a decent little game, it’s got flaws but I think largely it sets out to do what it aims to do in simplifying a pretty complex game. I will say that I’m glad I got it at £15 as £25 seems a little much personally although I paid full price for Colonial Marines so what do I know about value for money. If you like RPGs though then it’s definitely worth investigating at least and it’s nice to see the level of support that Square is giving to the Switch.