Final Fantasy All The Bravest was released last week on the iOS to huge criticism. Square Enix has never been beyond cashing in on the Final Fantasy name, but this game in particular has showcased a certain level of greedy practise that people are just plain uncomfortable with, and by uncomfortably, I mean angry. The game is barely a game, and Square has put into place systems designed to suck money out of its fans. In fact, I have a hard time telling you what kind of game this is. It’s some sort of arcade-style beat em up, I guess, but the gameplay doesn’t resemble much at all. Sometimes it’s fun to play a game that you know is going to be a train wreck and today we’re going to look at why Final Fantasy All The Bravest is a pretty bad game with some far more upsetting business practices behind it.
|Don’t buy this game
The gameplay of All The Bravest is about as simplistic as it gets. You will command, and I use that word loosely, a team of up to 40 party members and use them to attack and defeat various enemies. As you defeat enemies, you’ll gain experience and gil as per regular Final Fantasy games. The higher your level gets, the more damage you do, the more party slots you open and the more classes you have access to. This sounds pretty good on paper, but it doesn’t work well. Firstly, commanding your party means sliding your finger over them. You cannot choose who they attack, what commands they do (It’s always the same), or anything else. You touch; they attack. If an enemy hits you with their attack, that team member dies. There is no defence, only attack. This means that the battles amount to nothing more than a fireworks show. There is no strategy, no input, no thought. There is only mindlessly swiping at your mobile device until enemies are dead or until you are.
|This looks far more impressive than it is
There are some upsides to the game. It was built entirely for nostalgia and it shows. You’ll be going through various levels (Read: unconnected battles) from older Final Fantasy games. The game primarily focuses on the Super Nintendo era with most of the enemy sprites coming from Final Fantasy 4, 5, and 6. There are representatives from Final Fantasy 1-3, primarily from the Gameboy Advance remakes of the former, but it’s the SNES generation that this is targeting. Sprites are there, as is music and there is a certain level of joy that comes from beating Kefka or Zeromus complete with their famous tracks. Your party is comprised of different jobs that have been featured throughout the series. These are mostly represented by Bartz sprites from the plethora of jobs from Final Fantasy V, but there are additional ones, particularly jobs that were not present in V such as Sages or Vikings. The fireworks that is the gameplay shines from a nostalgia level, as characters will be using iconic moves such as holy and flare, and if you get ahold of one of the premium characters, you’ll see moves like meteorain.
|Yeah, White Mages aren’t known for their healing ability anyway
Here is where the major problem comes in. You would think that a game based entirely on nostalgia would want to give you the iconic series characters to play with, but you’d be wrong. In order to unlock characters such as Cloud, Zidane, or Firion (Nobody wants Firion), you have to pay a dollar. This is a four dollar game, so one character costs the price of a quarter of the game. This isn’t even the worst part. Square Enix has decided that a booster pack system would work best, and you have no control over what characters you get. For fun, I sunk four dollars in this and I received Cloud, Tifa, Seifer, and Eiko. But you could easily end up with characters you have no interest in at all, thus wasting your money that you’re already kind of wasting. Then there are a couple of extra levels you can buy. One from Final Fantasy VII, X, and XIII. These each cost four dollars, and are roughly the size of one 6th or 7th of the game, yet the cost the same as the entire game. Basically, Square is hoping that fans of those games are willing to pay a premium for a pixelated version of several locals and music.
|Want to see this? You’ve got a 1 in 35 chance of getting him.
The ripoffs don’t stop there, I’m afraid. When your team dies, and they will without a huge amount of grinding, you can wait for each of your team mates to revive at a rate of one per three minutes, or you can pay a dollar to revive them all immediately. In other words, Square has built in a mechanic that encourages you to pay them so you can keep playing the game that they already sold you. This is standard fare for many iOS and browser games, but it doesn’t make it any less of a despicable business practice. The game is swimming with ways to try and get you to spend more money. In order to unlock all the premium characters (Doing this unlocks an achievement), it will cost you thirty five dollars. This is the price of a new 3DS game. In order to unlock all of the extra stages it will cost you twelve dollars, bringing the grand total of the game with all of the content to forty one dollars, plus any you want to spend on revives. This game is barely worth the four initial dollars, no less that. The biggest issue is that there’s no reason for the price gouging. You earn gil in this game as currency, but there is no way to spend it and as far as I can tell, it serves no purpose. If this money was used for premium characters and revives and stages, then this game wouldn’t be such a total ripoff.
|This game is $35 on the 3DS. It’s free for the iOS, but if you want all the content on the iOS, it’s $140. Not cool Square.
Aside from the nostalgia factor there is only one other facet of this game that I can use to recommend it. There is a significant completionist factor. Each enemy has a chance of dropping equipment that permanently boosts your attack stat. The game tracks how what weapons you’ve found and trying to get them all can compel some to play the game longer. The same is true for certain extremely rare encounters such as Shinryu or Tonberry. These have a low chance of appearing in certain spots and some people may find it compelling to try to find them all.
|Why yes, you can pay for achievements in this game.
Truthfully, the gameplay is relaxing and there’s nothing wrong with using it to waste a couple of minutes here and there. It isn’t special, but there’s nothing wrong with a nostalgic jaunt every once and awhile. The problems in this game stem primarily from the fact that there could have been a lot more game here considering all that is forcibly locked out, and the fact that Square is blatantly ripping people off. This is what’s rotten to the core with this game. It wouldn’t have ever been a good game, but at least it wouldn’t be as insulting to all fans of the series and the industry as a whole.
– Nostalgia level is high
– There might be something here for completionists
– There is barely any gameplay
– Very little content
– Horrible business practices
– Nostalgia hampered by having to pay for characters
– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer