Sunday, October 16, 2016

Android Final Fantasy

Dissidia is the last Final Fantasy game that I play in console. And that was so many years ago. With the rise of mobile gaming, it is just a matter of time before Final Fantasy joins the bandwagon. I am not interested in port version of the old games while spin off Final Fantasy titles tend to be rather bullshit. Surprisingly, currently there are 3 Final Fantasy games that I am (still) playing. I will just talk briefly about each of them.
1. Final Fantasy Record Keeper
I have been playing this for more than a year. I almost quit at one point but surprisingly, I am still playing it now. The game introduces a new character, Tyro, from a kingdom which keeps paintings of events from various Final Fantasy series to inspire peace and heroism to its citizens. Darkness falls upon the kingdom and the picture from these paintings start to fade. Tyro has to 'go' into the painting to take parts of the various events to restore the paintings. That is the background story.

The gameplay, however, has very little RPG aspect. The focus is on turn-based fights with characters from various Final Fantasy series to be used as the characters. The challenge, however, each character in the fight can only bring 2 skills with them. It is like a 'limit' that makes the game difficult but at the same time, it makes the challenge of the game is the strategising part: which characters to bring and which skills to equip. I personally see the game just to collect the characters while at the same time get strong equipments, play the missions and events, etc. Passing or failing or even skipping the events has no bearings whatsoever to the story. So it is really a casual game for fun.

The RNG for the strong weapons is shit as I keep getting shit and that is the thing that makes me wanna quit at times. However, the game is pretty generous with mythril (which is the currency to draw the random weapons) and I have yet to spend any real money. The game difficulty is quite steep at the high end as even having the maxed out characters and their unique weapons may not guarantee you to beat the strong bosses.

Tyro is mediocre: average on all stats but yet able to equip all weapons and all skills. While he may be easily overshadowed by native FF characters, he carries the most useful skills, Sentinel's Grimoire, which makes him still relevant character. That is one thing that I think the game does well. Tyro is not neglected while they continue to milk from nostalgia of the other FF characters.
2. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius introduces 3 main characters: Rain, Laswell, and Fina. It has a nice CGI render of these characters and I am a sucker of eye-catching graphics. This really feels like an RPG as it includes travelling at the world map, at the dungeons, on top of the battling. Despite the emo faces at the CGI images, these 3 characters are actually big jokers. Their interactions in the game are very funny, ridiculous, and tend to be silly which make the overall feel of the story somewhat light hearted. That's a good job to deviate from the typical emo and brooding FF characters.

The turn-based battle is also more true to typical FF as each characters will get stronger and learn more skills as they level up. Sadly, the game maker seems to be more eager to cash in from the characters from other FF series. Rain, Laswell, and Fina are significantly more useless than the native FF characters and you may end up with a party of native FF characters and completely forget that you are playing a different game altogether. What a waste since they have 3 interesting original characters already.

The progress with the story is rather slow so the gamemaker try to make us busy with side quests which are not relevant to the main story. It gets grindy and repetitive to repeat the same dungeons all over again just to collect x number if items or to defeat x number of enemies.

I have stopped playing this although I have not deleted it from my tablet. At the beginning, I enjoy the dungeon exploration as it really reminds of me of the traditional RPG games in which I can control the characters to move to which direction etc. However, due to the grindy nature, I find it too time consuming. Perhaps I am also getting old and getting shorter attention span that I prefer playing something that I don't need to stare so much on the screen. I feel quite sad for this game because I think it has a lot of potential as an original standalone FF game but yet it falls into the trap of being cash machine milking native FF characters and neglect everything original from this game.
3. Final Fantasy Mobius
Final Fantasy Mobius introduces Wol in the world called Palamecia (no idea why they choose the name of the empire in FF 2). The world is in the verge of destruction by Chaos and Wol goes on to a journey to fulfill the prophecy to be the Warrior of Light to save this world (sounds similar to FF 1).

I am enthralled with this as the graphics are insanely awesome for a mobile game although on the negative side is that it is draining the battery. Although it is an RPG, the focus is more on the fighting and strategising as the story is quite linear and the exploration of the map only involves clicking from one point to the next.

The battle system is confusing at start but once I get the hang of it, it is quite enjoyable. The battle system stems from Final Fantasy job system. There are 3 basic jobs: warrior-type (strength or defense type), mage-type (magic type), and ranger-type (agility or critical damage type) and all the more advanced jobs are based on any one of these. Each job can wield 3 elements and only skills belonging to the elements can be used, rather than the job type i.e if your job can wield fire element, you basically can use all types of fire cards.

The battle is action-based which is interesting at the start but get boring with the same grunting sound effects. That 'auto' function is a blessings as the AI is damn smart. Does it make the game boring? Not really. Because for some of the more difficult battles, controlling Wol manually may still be preferred. Yep, no matter what AI still cannot beat human intelligence.

I honestly got bored of this game quite quickly but recently Mobius becomes my favourite. It is frustrating if you are a completionist because there are so many jobs and so many skill cards but the resources to have them all is very limited. Having said that, there is no necessity to become a completionist. I am still playing with the ranger basic job and I am still doing fine. My cards are mediocre too.

But I am such a sucker for graphics, seriously. Different jobs have different costumes and I like this gimmicks. Lol. Mobius is really crazy in the sense that even for the event scenes, what Wol wears depends on the job that you currently equips. It is that 'personalised' instead of using a standard template. Haha.. Although usually I like magic type of characters, I hate mage jobs here as they all wear mask and I can't see the face. I like ranger best as the clothes are the skimpiest. Haha.. When the game was announced, it created quite a ruckus about how sexy Wol is. Yes, the warrior and ranger clothes are too skimpy and not battle-proof. The warrior wear heavy armors but their back is exposed (silly right?) while the ranger has exposed torso.

Multiplayer mode was introduced about 3 weeks ago and I am impressed even when I lose my connection, when I login back to the game again, I can still go back to the the real-time battle. Usually for internet based multiplayer games, once a player is disconnected, that's it.

That's all from me :) It is pretty clear that currently Mobius is my favourite and I hope the developer can keep it at the right track.

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