Review - Final Fantasy: All The Bravest
Final Fantasy: All The Bravest is by definition a tragedy. It is a shining example of what happens when a company decides against fleshing out a good idea, in favor of cashing in on gaming nostalgia. It is disappointing when a franchise built around some of the greatest RPG Battle Systems gaming has ever seen is reduced to fapping your smartphone.
There is very little to appreciate about FF: ATB, but the visual style and presentation is actually perfect for the platform. You have the overworld map with a little warrior of light, which you can navigate between battles. There are over 25 adorable job sprites and 35 premium characters from past games. The UI for the menu system is ripped right out of past Final Fantasy iterations and is easy to navigate.
The game really shines visually when you enter a battle and can send a party of up to 40 members out to steamroll enemies left and right. There really is nothing quite like it in the universe and seeing a gaggle of Sages casting Firaga is a sight to behold. This is especially true when you activate Fever mode and are swept up in a seizure-inducing background, complementing the unrelenting attacks you dump on your enemies.
The audio is what you’d expect from a Final Fantasy title with themes from a number of different games, each doing a good job of creating atmosphere. Attack animations are also accompanied with a corresponding audio cue. Navigating the UI has the same familiar bleeps and bloops fans of the franchise will enjoy, and the notification system features the lovable Chocobo coo.
All my appreciation for the universe aside, this game is total garbage. In fact, it isn’t even a game, let alone something that deserves the title of Final Fantasy. You basically navigate from battle to battle, rubbing your iPhone and hoping the enemies die before you. The ATB gauge dictates when each member can attack, with Fever mode allowing you unlimited attack for a short period of time. The core problem is that it is incredibly boring and puts absolutely zero confidence in the player. Your party is randomly generated. The grid pattern varies based on the game’s logic. You can’t choose which enemies you attack. You can’t see what your party members’ stats are. Each job class only has one ability -- and those aren’t even the worst parts…
The worst part comes from every aspect of the game having some sort of microtransaction. I spent more time playing the meta-game of trying to keep Square-Enix out of my wallet, more than anything else in FF: ATB. Since each character can only take a single hit, parties will be wiped out quickly by bosses despite being level 99 and having most weapons. This design choice seems geared towards two options: either you wait 3 minutes per character and after about 2 hours your party will revive, or go spend real money and revive your party instantly. You can navigate back out to the world map and grind more, but it won’t matter for some enemies. You cannot become strong enough without spending money--and now the spiral down goes even deeper.
Those 35 premium characters consist of fan favorites such as Terra, Cloud, Tidus, etc. They are more powerful than most jobs in my experience, but they cost a dollar a piece… They’re also awarded at random, so it might actually take you $35 real dollars to finally get the character you want. In the menagerie of 40 party members, that doesn’t incentivize me to go spend money. Also getting your party up to 40 requires you to utilize social media. Every 24 hours you can Tweet or Facebook message the game to increase your party size. I’ve done this five times and I am still three party members short after hitting the level cap of 99.
Eventually, you’ll fight all the enemies, collect all the gear, and be done. Then there are the expansions and they’re an even bigger rip-off. Of the three available, I chose Midgar. It costs just as much as the game, contains a quarter of the content, and the XP is less than what you receive from enemies in the end game overworld. Coupled with the fact that the expansion’s enemies felt more difficult, I am flabbergasted as to the point of its existence other than to suck more money out of your wallet.
If I were to review the entire experience, the “game” would cost in upwards of 50 or so dollars. This is completely insane when compared to a proper Final Fantasy installment. The visuals might appeal to fans of the franchise, but even $4 is too much for such a vapid experience. Square-Enix should feel ashamed for taking advantage of their fanbase by cashing in on their loyalties. It’s insulting they think we are stupid enough to find this entertaining. Now don’t get me wrong, I still look forward to future Square-Enix games, but believe me when I say... Fuck Final Fantasy: All The Bravest, I wouldn’t wish it on my own worst enemy.
|ScrewAttack's News Director Sean Hinz worked in logistics for over four years before decided it was time to switch industries. After a couple years spent getting an MBA and freelancing, he finally found a home at ScrewAttack.com. As far as games go, Sean likes to play anything he can get his hands on, but especially enjoys third-person action RPGs. Is that really a genre?|