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Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition HD is a fine bite of the original game

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The cute models might be off-putting, but the story is perfectly replicated

Square Enix

The cute charm of Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition has swayed me since the game’s announcement, though I didn’t want to play the game on mobile. But once the game was released for Nintendo Switch, I knew it was time to dive in. I also had a copy of the original game, untouched, sitting with my PlayStation 4 in the corner. So I dusted off those bad boys and played a chapter in each, to see which I liked better.

Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition HD is $29.99. The original version, being several years old now, has varying prices for the different consoles. The original game can be as cheap as $9.99 on Amazon for PS4, or as expensive as $39.99 for the Royal Edition, which includes a season pass for all the DLC.

Combat

The combat in Pocket Edition was far simpler than in Final Fantasy 15. As somebody with notoriously bad reflexes, I preferred it over the chaotic combat of the original. You could still swap through weapons, but it didn’t invoke the feeling of panic I went through while playing the original game, where I felt like I could be dying at any moment.

You should still control your teammates to help you, but their special attacks would only come up randomly, rather than being able to perform them whenever you gauge was filled.

Noctis’ warp strikes felt good in the pocket version and I felt like I was pretty good with the combat, instead of feeling like a clumsy idiot trying to properly fight in the full game. I also had issues with the camera in the original game turning to horrible angles at times, making me not able to see things. That’s a fairly small complaint, though, as I could fix it by swinging the camera back around. The top-down view from the Pocket Edition ensured that I could see all my enemies and keep track of what was going on much better, though!

The biggest trade off is the lack of ability to lock on to your targets in the Pocket Edition, which means it’s a bit harder to focus on one enemy.

It was really easy to see what’s going on in the Pocket Edition.
Square Enix

Story

The cutscenes in both games are exactly the same, but the Pocket Edition scenes feature the cute, simplified models. Both games use the same audio, so you’re not missing out on any dialogue by only playing the Pocket Edition.

There are, however, fewer side quests in the Pocket Edition, such as feeding the cat at Galdin Quay, which is kind of blasphemous. However, the absence of this quest is because the Pocket Edition doesn’t have any of the character’s individual skills.

Skills

The Pocket Edition gets rid of the original game’s system that lets players level up Ignis’ cooking, Gladio’s survival, Prompto’s photography and Noctis’ fishing, though Ignis still does cook and think of new recipes if you find the ingredients.

Pocket Edition’s skill tree system has also been heavily simplified to a single tree. It makes choosing what to level up fairly simple and you’re not sacrificing too much to pick one skill over the other.

Visuals

There is obviously a huge difference between the two game’s visuals and I preferred the original game’s to Pocket Edition’s. Something in me just wants to see the vast world and every individual strand of hair on Noctis’ head, rather than the clump you see in the Pocket Edition.

I mean, look at that fluffy hair.
Square Enix

Final verdict

After playing both of the games’ first chapters, I ended up wanting to continue the game on my PlayStation 4. The graphical difference was just too much for me, since if I’m playing a Final Fantasy game, I want those sweet graphics.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition is a perfect simplified version of the original game. If you’re looking to play this game for the story, or just on the go, this is the perfect way to do it.