Square-Enix has made many spin-offs of Final Fantasy XV, from an anime to CGI prequel film. However, none were more weirdly compelling than Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition. Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition took the sprawling open-world epic of the main game, and compressed it into an episodic smartphone game featuring adorable chibi versions of Noctis and his friends. Now, Pocket Edition is leaving your pocket for current-gen consoles.
It is rather impressive how they have managed to preserve the heart of the game, despite the radical changes in presentation. Although all the characters are now surprisingly expressive chibi representations of their former selves, the plot and voice acting remains intact. The episodic presentation means that a lot of the side quests and open world exploration has been cut down. However, it translates the main experience of playing Final Fantasy XV into a more manageable, bite-sized portion surprisingly well. At least it retains the heartfelt banter between Noctis and his friends, which was the emotional heart of the main game.
Even the combat, whilst altered a lot for touch screen devices, feels recognisable to anyone who has played through the main game. Players still directly control Noctis, and can perform special moves and team attacks with specific QTEs. Mercifully, most of the uneventful driving sequences have been reduced; overall, Pocket Edition is something of an abridged version of the main experience.
Pocket Edition may not hold much appeal for anyone who has played Final Fantasy XV already. However, it is perfect for anyone who would prefer to play through the game without the open world busywork. Instead of being released episodically on console, like on smartphone, it is a single purchase to access all 10 episodes.
Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition is available for purchase on PS4 and Xbox One, with a Nintendo Switch version “scheduled for release soon”.