Final Fantasy III crystalizes onto Windows Phone 7 and 8

On the whole, it’s been a rough year for Xbox games on Windows Phone. Most weeks go by without new releases, and several publishers like Gameloft have stopped publishing their games as Xbox titles. And yet, a couple of new Xbox releases have turned up in the last few weeks: Temple Run 2 and Rabbids Big Bang.

Today another Xbox Windows Phone game showed up out of the blue as something of a late Christmas present for Xbox fans: Final Fantasy III from Square-Enix. This makes the third Japanese role-playing game the publisher has released on Windows Phone, following the first Final Fantasy and Chaos Rings. Final Fantasy III runs on both Windows Phone 7 and 8, but it carries a hefty price tag… Check out our hands on video, impressions, and Store link after the break!

A world reborn

Final Fantasy III first appeared on the Famicom, the Japanese version of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Although the NES game never made it to America, Square-Enix did bring the 3D remake for the Nintendo DS to our shores in 2006. The remake boasts a slightly improved story and cinematics, new dungeons, gameplay tweaks, and other features.

The DS version of Final Fantasy III was the basis of the iOS game, which has now been ported to Windows Phone. Being a Windows Phone 7 game, Final Fantasy III doesn’t take advantage of higher Windows Phone 8 screen resolutions. But it does take up the whole screen, at least! And it still looks just as good as the DS game, with cute polygonal characters and colorful 3D environments.

Both modern and old-school

You’ll remember that the first Final Fantasy had only a threadbare storyline, with the player’s party having no personalities of their own. In Final Fantasy III, your party will include four distinct characters who actually do a little talking (via text) in the story scenes.

Their quest: to recover the four elemental crystals and heal the land. Don’t expect a riveting fantasy tale – that wouldn’t come until Final Fantasy IV for the Super Nintendo. But this one still feels more modern and engrossing than the previous Windows Phone entry.

Final Fantasy III adds one major gameplay system that would reappear in several subsequent sequels and spin-offs such as Final Fantasy Tactics: a job system. Jobs are like classes, and include such roles as Warrior, Thief, Summoner, White, Black, and Red Mage, Ninja, and more.

Each party member starts out as a freelancer, but they can freely change to new jobs as the story progresses. This gives players a lot of freedom – no need to pick a party and live your decision for the rest of the game this time out.

Playing on the go

Final Fantasy III has been optimized for mobile play much more than the first game. A virtual thumbstick appears wherever you touch the screen, much like in Chaos Rings. During battle, players can select menu options like always or simply tap enemies directly to attack them. That’s so much more convenient than before!

The save game system didn’t receive quite as much mobile love as the control and menu systems, however. In the overworld and towns, you can access the menu and save at any time. But there is no real saving once you step into a dungeon. You can make a temporary quick save there, but the save disappears after you resume from it. Die inside a dungeon and you’ll have to restart the dungeon from the beginning.

A costly fantasy

Square-Enix is known for pricing its mobile games much higher than other publishers, a trend they continue on Windows Phone. Up until now, their Chaos Rings was the most expensive Xbox Windows Phone game at $9.99. Final Fantasy III rings up a bit higher: $15.99. That’s a lot for a mobile game, but it is the regular price of the iOS version. Considering that Final Fantasy III sold for $29.99 on DS, paying about half of that for the mobile version doesn’t seem so bad.

Expensive or not, role-playing fans won’t want to miss Final Fantasy III. Remember, you’ll need at least four times as much storage space as the game’s file size in order to download it – so about 2 gigabytes in this case. We’ll have an Achievement Guide later today, followed by a full review in January!

  • Final Fantasy III – Windows Phone 7 and 8 – 451 MB - $15.99 – Store Link

QR: Final Fantasy III

Thanks to Hengxiang32401 for the tip!

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Ahh!! Look Xbox!! Happy?
  • 16 dollars. Not so happy
  • Even gta will not be of 16 dollars
  • It's on par with iOS and Android versions.
  • That does not make the price ok.  
  • This game coming out on WP seriously made my night.
  • And my morning ;)
  • And my axe!
  • You can't go without me!
  • Myaha
  • My day will be made when gta sa came out
  • Likewise. Not buying any more WP games 'til that comes out. ;)
  • Is that ever coming out? I believe they used the word "promise" when saying they were going to release it the week following he iOS release.
  • I was just saying this game should be on windows phone last night and here it is
  • And my bow?
  • Yes... yes I am! Now for Microsoft to get the stick out of their ass and revise Xbox Mobile so that smaller names can publish(and update!) Xbox Live Mobile titles painlessly. What makes me even happier is that it actually isn't letterboxed on 16:9 displays like all their other releases are.
  • some pc games are even cheaper than this
  • Some console games are even cheaper than this lol 16 seriously
  • too bad we live in a country where USD16 holds so much value =..=
  • Some like FF VII & VIII on Steam right now! LOL
  • Yeah, and both of them are $3 cheaper than the mobile game
  • I don't thing it is really fair to call FF3 a "mobile" game. It is a full fledged home console game that was ported.
  • I think that makes it worse. You'd expect that price on console or PC... Not for mobile & not for a console port
  • And a 16oz bottle of Coke is often cheaper than a 2L bottle of Coke but I don't see you on the subway sipping your 2L. This is an AAA game title on WP. Its a pricey game on all platforms.
  • Lol.
  • Oh stop with the AAA. This game is decades old. AAA wasn't even a term when this was released. Its a great, old, severely overpriced game.
  • Idk what the big deal is. This game is good I guess if you're into RPGs I personally I'm not a fan but it's good to see another Xbox live game. IMO no game on a phone should be worth over $10.00
  • The developer side of me thinks it's outrageous that people expect so much for so little... The consumer side of me wouldn't pay more than $3 for a mobile game :P
  • Not AAA? I'm not even an FF or RPG fan but I can see the significance of this game on this platform.
  • You mean A LOT of PC games are cheaper than this. Even blockbuster titles are cheaper, not on release, but still. Considering I just got Assasin's Creed 3 Deluxe version for $15, it makes this mobile game just insanely expensive, not that I care much since I would not give $2 for Final Fantasy, but still must suck for fans of the game that would like to buy it. The bottom line is for $16 you can get a lot more for your money on Steam, and I mean A LOT more.  
  • I'm sure that was a sale price on Assassin's Creed 3, not the regular price. Yes, Steam does fire sales and there are plenty of fire sales and low priced games on iOS and Android. But Square-Enix charges what they want to charge for their mobile games, and it works for them.
  • Yea it was a sale price, but not a fire sale and actually also had it at the same 75% off for a Steam code. I would be curious how well it works for them, I personally don't see a mobile game at that price as a huge seller. And btw Hitman Absolution a Square Enix game was also for just $6 and thats a full PC game, so perhaps its just a mobile thing for them to overprice, if I really wanted FF3 on WP I would definitely wait for a sale that put's it under $8.      
  • Really wish they would release these on W8. Nokia's anemic batteries cave under the pressure of even the most basic games in mere hours.
  • Actually, you know what, It would even be nice if they came out on the Xbone. With the touted compatibility with apps and all.
  • I'm getting this!
  • I've bought both Chaos Rings and Final Fantasy III. A lot of money but great games, I am feeling a lot less left out lately, way to go Windows Phone. The only games I miss now are Plants versus Zombies 2 and Candy Crush :p
  • I can't imagine how much you folks play games. I got Halo the first day it was red priced, I'm still somewhere on the 3rd pack of missions (most of them done 3-4 times to smack em :) ), and moreover I've got dozens of top games still not played trough since the 7.5. Do you run em through one per day or maybe I'm drag and play too long?! :)
  • I ask the same question! Paul often mentions how weeks go by without games but hell I'm fine if 6 games came out a year, I still wouldn't finish half of em haha
  • I download, pay and never play.
  • Same here! I don't know why during the trial it's fun, after paying full version it becomes meh.. :p
  • Sounds like me with Steam games :P
  • I was thinking about buying Chaos Rings, now I don't know if I should buy this one instead. In your opinion which is the best one of the two?
  • Chaos Rings has a much, much better story. But FF3 has way more environments and enemies. It's a larger scale game. I'd probably start with this one since it's an older design and then move on to Chaos Rings after finishing.
  • That's a hard choice...  I personally have both, but if I were to choose one I would probably go for Chaos Rings.  It has a much more modern design/feel and the story is better.  Both are great games though!
  • Chaos Rings is a repetitive slog. FFIII is a superior, overpriced game.
  • I want aoe and sim city.
  • Me too, these two are great. Same as heroes of m&m.
  • May pick this up to hold me over until GTA shows up.
  • Too expensive...
  • Don't worry. It will be on sale for only $12 soon!
  • I've been waiting for this all my life!!!!!
  • You probably could've played it all your life...
  • 14€? Wtf?
  • Is the trial same as the full game but with ads?? :D
  • The trial version will only let you go as far as Castle Sasune
  • Sorry if I missed it but does it come with a Japanese version?
  • i'll wait till it gets red striped,16$ is too much for a wp game!
  • For 15.99 it should have cloud save support.. So happy FF3 made it to WP8! :D
  • $16.99... well, it's not a bad price, but considering how old the game is they could have bumped it down further. Honestly if I hadn't already played it on DS many years ago and San Andreas wasn't just around the corner, I'd definitely be considering it.
  • Also, there was no 3DS version.
  • Fixed.
  • Paragraph 4, sentence 1.
  • He said "DS"
  • Paragraph 4, sentence 1 did.
  • Nice to see... But the price is way off. Looking forward to the 50% off red stripe deals.
  • Square-Enix does like to overprice games...I'll wait for this to go on sale. I'm not paying 14€ for a mobile game.
  • Same, I waited for ff1 to drop (I've paid for it how many times now?) and waited for steam to drop the price on 7/8 before grabbing them on the winter sale. I've got enough copies of the 10 and under FF games that paying what they keep asking is not going to happen.
  • Especially when app data is impossible to back up unless they utilize Skydrive or other cloud resources.
  • Did square make FF2 for mobile's?
  • They ported it to iOS, but skipped WP. FF2 is widely considered to be the worst of the cartridge-based numerical Final Fantasy games, so we're not missing out on too much.
  • As someone who completely finished FF2 on NES, PSX and PSP... I can say it redefined systematic broken-ness, didn't improve over any revision... and that we should be blessed that SE skipped FF2 to give us FF3.
  • FF2 wasn't too bad, but I'm honestly not heartbroken that they skipped it.
  • 820₹ ? FML. :|
  • 14€ ???? Ahhahahahahahahhaha
  • The big question for me is, are your saved games backed up to the cloud? I made a lot of progress in a couple of games (The Harvest / Final Fantasy / etc) on phones before only to lose everything when changing handsets. I'm not buying anymore huge games that only use local storage for saves.
  • Sadly, that seems unlikely. I lost my original Final Fantasy save when my old phone died too.
  • I just don't understand why this wasn't built into the platform from the start. Just ridiculous. This is probably the number one reason I don't buy hardly any phone games other than puzzlers.
  • That's my issue as well. Makes me hesitate to buy games. I have to restart my device too many times. And I upgrade once a year. I've beaten ilo milo like twice but you wouldn't be able to tell fro. My 1520 save progress!
  • Same here, lost all Final Fantasy (which never receive any updates since it's initial release) saved game data when I change to a new phone. After that, I'm just too lazy to start playing from the beginning again. Cloud backup should be built into the game right from the start since FF3 cost more than 2x the pricing as compared to the initial FF.
  • This. I have held back on starting Spectral Souls because i lost all my saved data when i sent my device for repairs. MS needs to stipulate cloud saves for all games xbl or not. I hope that gta is being held back to add this support in. 300k servers, come MS, make it happen.
  • I agree, after a warranty repair I've not started it again because of that.
  • This is also my single biggest problems with games on Windows Phone. Everybody is hot for GTA San Andreas right now. Thats fine until you realize, that you are fucked, when you try to switch to another handset, have to reset your phone or just temporarily need some storage freed up. I can only hope that Final Fantasy and GTA can point enough fingers on this issue. I recommend filling the rating comments in the store and hoping someone cares.
  • Too bad, it is not available in Indonesian region.
  • If you're using WP 8, go to settings, language+region, and change your region to US and then restart your phone using restart button on the bottom of that screen. After that, you can buy it from WP marketplace. Note that you'll need US credit card or at least paypal (this paypal can be linked with any credit card or even top it up by buying other People’s paypal balance) to buy it.
  • Wow thanks for your help, but I don't have either payment method. I will be patient to wait Square Enix bring this game to my region.
  • Hehe. No problem. I'm Indonesian myself. That's why I know this region change whenever I need apps that aren't available to our region (and buy it if I need to). I've tested the PayPal payment and it's works :)
  • I would've bought it if I didn't have the DS version already. Now if tactics were to hop onto the platform I'd get that in a heartbeat. I'm a huge fan of tactics.
  • Agreeing here. I want to play FF Tactics as well. Or any good strategy game, for that matter.
  • Oh wow, it's actually NOT letterboxed on 16:9 displays! Maybe Square-Enix is getting out of their lazy ways.   ...$15.99 is asking WAY too much, but if it will push towards us seeing FF4, FF5, the rest of the Chaos Rings games, Final Fantasy Dimensions, The After Years, Final Fantasy Tactics and such come to Windows Phone with Xbox support... I will bite the cost.   Please don't make me regret supporting you, Square-Enix.
  • There's no way, but hey, whatever makes you happy.
  • If this were ffiv then i might jump on the price but ive been getting a whole load of stuff on steam... This is too expensive - will wait for gta! And i wish this keyboard would add in apostrophes automatically!!!
  • Already got it on DS so there is no point rebuying, but it is an absolutely stunning title in the FF series that is well worth playing.
  • Enjoy it for the low price of only... SEK 126?!! ($ 19)
  • $16 doesn't seem like too much for this game.  There is a lot of hours of gameplay here and I like to see a push towards having real games on a mobile device!  I will gladly pay more for FFIII than I would for Angry Birds.
  • Yep, a lot of hours of gameplay that will be wiped clean everytime you need to do a hard reset (and on Windows Phone, we all know how often it happens) or send your phone to be repaired. *Sigh.
  • Holy crap 14.50€ ! I rather play the classic versio
  • Buying it because; 1. Xbox 2. great support for both WP7 & 8 in a game, seriously I think the only other Xbox title to do this is Wordament 3. its Final fucking Fantasy.
  • ^This.
  • No cloud save game support.
  • I can't believe all of the people complaining about the price of this game.  It's the same price that the IOS/Android versions launched at.  Plus you can't compare the price of this to what we see on the PC or consoles.  We will pay for the convenience of being able to play this game on the go.   Will be buying this for sure.
  • People complain about the iOS and Android prices too... Square-Enix games cost more than other mobile games, but their price is usually offset by their quality and wealth of content/playtime.
  • Ehh... moreso just the arrogance of knowing their name sells. There's tons of long-lasting quality games on mobiles that are more modest about the pricing.
  • In all honesty, I think a lot of mobile game developers sell themselves short on price just because it is a "mobile" game.  I think that $16 is a very reasonable price for a game that has the quality and length of FF3.
  • I agree to an extent that they are pricing it this high because they know the FF brand name sells.  However at least we're getting a quality title for this price and not some shovelware.  Like Paul Acevedo said, the price is usually worth it due to the quality and wealth of content.
  • Yes, there are. And they are also stuffed with stupid In-App Purchases. I would rather see higher quality games combined with console-like pricing than all this cheap-ass stuff.
  • $16 is a crime. Shouldn't be allowed.
  • I woke up to such good news today! Yay!!!!
  • Really, realllllllly worth the price if you're a fan of FF's, thx for the post Paul
  • No, thanks.
  • This game was fantastic on the Nintendo DS and is one of my favorite FF games...The first FF is still my favorite though.
  • What ever happened to GTA... Lies. Been waiting.
  • 16$!!!
  • So I'll just use snes8x and my backup of my ff3 cart and moga controller.
  • You can do that, but legally playing a much improved version (and supporting the developer) is a better option.
  • What about using my backed up SNES cartridge is illegal? I'm all for supporting a developer, but 16$ for a mobile game I just can't justify.
  • Also, on the emulator you can save whenever.
    Still no way to backup your saves in the cloud, though.
  • U can export the saves to SkyDrive and import them to your PC emulator and save it and re sync the save to and from sky drive on your devices. So not automatically but you can do it.
  • 14€...Are you crazy...❗❗❗
  • I love Final Fantasy and would buy this just to encourage SE to release more games on Windows Phone if it were $10 or less (which what I was hoping for while I was reading the article).  However, at $16, I've already played this game on the DS, and I doubt I'll actually play it much on my phone so purchase now looks unlikely....
  • Not available here in Brazil, what a surprise. :'(
  • Hold my beer!!! 2GB , 16Bucks and 200 hours for achievement? At least it no have subscription fee too...
  • Have this on DS. It is really fun. The price is crazier than usual for a phone game, but don't let that scare you away from a great game.
  • Mother of god! 2 gigabytes???
  • It's actually 461 MB. You just need 4x that in order to install the game.
  • I'd pay that for the better releases. No Palom & Porom or no Gau, no deal.
  • We'll never see the newer Final Fantasy games if Chaos Rings and FF3 don't sell well, so...
  • At $16 I doubt anyone other than hardcore fans will buy it. I'd rather get a modern high end game for that amount on Steam, heck maybe even two or three if there is a good sale.  
  • again indonesia cant download :(
  • Glad to see it.  I dont game enough on my phone to purchase it, but would love to see FF Tactics or FFV.  Im really happy it wasn't FF IV as I probably beat that 10 times since the SNES days.
  • i hope SE bring Chrono Cross to mobile soon, especialy to WP, i love Chrono Cross,
  • I always love to see Xbox LIVE games coming to the platform, but I'm not a Final fantasy person. Throw in the ludicrous price tag of $16, and I'm not even going to consider buying it as a 50% off Red Stripe Deal.
  • Can everyone just pay this price, if not for a great game alone, for a reason square enix should keep WP in it's sights
  • rofl price
  • WTF is this overpriced FF game? I am a huge fan of FF but this is too expensive! I'd rather play FF games on my PC using emulator for free.
  • Emulation is great, but unless you own the original game it is software piracy.
  • I bought it, and will buy any Live-enabled FF game with achievement support they care to throw at us. IV/V/VI next please!
  • Does this have Moga controller support?
  • We want ff iv too.pls told square Enix about that !