Square Enix’s latest mobile Final Fantasy entry is looking pretty great.
Disclaimer: I played this game for close to 2 hours on an iPad Pro 9.7″ model, I played it with the sound off. I completed the tutorial stage, a few of the game stages and the first temple, unlocking the region map.
Mobius Final Fantasy (MFF) is Square Enix’s latest foray in to the Gacha Free to Play genre on iOS and Android. Gacha games have an element of luck to them, you gain new items/characters/skills from a pool of 100s with the ability to swing the RNG in your favour. You can pay for pulls in this game, or you can get the stuffs for free by playing. This system is very popular in the mobile market and you’ve probably come across it without even realising.
MFF opens with a cutscene telling you the story, which was something about loads of people being told they can become the Warrior of Light. This sort of reflects real life players in a way and they make a point to drum this in to you. It feels as though Palamecia, the world of MFF, is suspended between other existing Final Fantasy Universes, as elements of the other games appear in this world. The main character known as a Blank, is an absolute edgelord.
The gameplay itself is a fast paced version of Rock, Paper, Scissors with a couple of mechanics stacked on top. There are four elements which are Earth, Wind, Water and Fire. Each enemy and your special abilities (Gacha #1) are governed by this system. You hit an enemy with your regular attack and it will randomly spit out elemental orbs for you to use as ammunition for your special abilities. You also have the ability to Draw which basically means, in battle you can set the element of your player character. So you set him to Fire, it uses your Fire orbs up, in return you get Fire resistance and the enemy will drop Earth, Water and Wind orbs for the next 3 turns.
While this all sounds very complex, in practice it really isn’t. I have found so far the battle flow is regular attack, draw to match the enemy type, hit them with the opposing ability (Water>Fire) and that’s all there is too it. There is also a Draw ability to boost your health and the game has been dangling the typical Final Fantasy style summons (Gacha #2) in front of me but I haven’t had a chance to use them. Your Blank also has Limit Breaks that change depending on their job too. The other side of the gameplay is in your preparation.
You can have different decks (sets of abilities to take in to battle) which are created when you get a new job class (Gacha #3). Each class also has it’s own stats and you can add to your classes skill board using points from fusing cards or winning battles. Again not complicated, but the way all these things start to stack up you can see a bit of depth in creating the most balanced and powerful character deck.
The card fusing element is like Pokemon Go, to level a card (in battle ability) you just need to get more than one of them and fuse them together. Also available are special cards (Gacha #4) that give you a boost when fusing, but have no use in battle. All standard stuff. When all of this information was being poured on me during the tutorial I could hardly keep up, but in practice it’s relatively easy.
In between battling your character will stand around looking moody or will automatically run forward. I came across one free roaming section which was easy to control but all I had to do was speak to an NPC then run in a straight line. Other Blanks populate your world and all have slightly different cosmetic touches, they are sometimes crawling along the floor or looking pretty pleased with themselves.
The presentation is really quite something, MFF runs in portrait which at first seems quite weird but Square’s presentation and UI (while cluttered) has been worked to fit. After you complete the tutorial you can change the resolution and frame rate via sliders, with them both on full you could be fooled in to thinking this was a Playstation 3 game. It has a lot of flair with particle effects everywhere and some cool slow motion effects while you make your choices in battle. The different classes have different outfits and there has already been a nice variety of environments too. It is an absolute battery and data hog though, so make sure you’re on wifi.
With all these systems and Gacha pulls stacked on top of each other it can look like you need to pay to win or play for hours and hours to stand a chance, but this does not seem to be the case. I think there is a stamina system but I didn’t see a pay wall in two hours, so it shouldn’t be a problem to most. Like most Final Fantasy games, I feel like I am missing something. I don’t know what that is, I sort of understand the combat system, I sort of understand the story. However, I do recommend this game. Playing around with the combat system is a blast, even if you’re an RPG newbie like me.
Mobius Final Fantasy is available on the iOS Appstore and Google play stores world wide right now.