Browse around the App Store today and you’re likely to come across the new title from Square Enix for the iOS, Final Fantasy – All the Brave.
On the surface All The Brave looks to be a regular Final Fantasy title with retro graphics taken from the 8 bit era, classic looking characters picked directly from the series and turn based fighting exclusive to iOS platforms, basically a classic looking FF title and for the low price of £2.49 ($3.99 US), Big mistake! What you’l actually end up with is whats known as a ‘Pay to Play’ title that consists of manically tapping the screen, Final Fantasy – All the Brave is a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing in the truest sense of the phrase.
Okay so that’s the opinion of an FF fan-boy like myself, but how does it play as a game?
The main object of the game is this; you have a team of up to sixteen FF characters (you get more character slots as you progress) from all over the franchise presented in an 8 bit style. you will be up against a team of enemy’s or a powerful Boss in what looks to be turn based combat but the fighting mechanic is this… tap like crazy! When you tap one of you characters they attack the enemy to take away a few health points from their life bar, after each attack that character will have a short timer bar to be filled before you can tap them again. If you build up enough energy from your attacks you can build up a ‘frenzy mode’ allowing you to tap-attack without the the pesky refresh time. All good so far then.
Here’s where it all goes downhill; each time an enemy attacks one of your characters that’s it their dead, so now you end up frantically tapping all of your team for attacks to see if you can take down the enemy(s) before they wipe out your team. If the enemy wipes out your whole team then you don’t just try again you get waiting time of 3 minutes per lost character don’t fancy waiting? Then you can use an item called a ‘Golden Hourglass’ to revive your team and go again, how do you get Golden Hourglasses? By paying for them of course, a model now adopted by most mobile titles. Hourglasses are sold in packs which cost 69p (99c) for three, £1.49 ($1.99) for eight or £1.99 ($2.99) for twenty. You also get the option of reviving your team mid-battle so long as you have at least one character available, the cost? You guessed it use another Golden Hourglass.
Now at this point you may be thinking “that’s not so bad, most mobile games work under the ‘freemium model'”, to which I’ll just point out that you have to pay for the privilege of paying more for this title.
Also of course there’s a store where you can spend even more on DLC in an attempt to improve your gaming experience. Exploring the store will offer you the chance to buy ‘Premium Characters’ of which there are 35 available, all completely random. Fan favorites like FF VII’s Cloud Strife can be added to the game at an extra 69p a pop but you don’t get to choose the one you want, it’s a complete lucky dip (So you’ll probably end up with someone you don’t want, like Eiko). Also on offer are ‘World Tickets’ which enable you to play on new stages like FF X’s Zanakand, plus another 2 stages to choose from but prepare to pay up. Each world ticket will set you back £2.49 ($3.99), which makes the DLC as expensive as the game. So if you’re a completionist who wants to play all the levels and have all on the extra characters (putting their cost along with the game), you’ll be shelling out £34.11 ($50.61) which seems like Square Enix are really straining their fan following’s dedication to the brand!
Playing the game (without paying out) can be a fun tittle time waster for fans of games like The Simpsons: Tapped Out, but not one that’s worth paying for. All the Brave has twenty five in-game characters to unlock along with new weapons and new enemies to discover, the 8 bit retro style is very desirable and there is a catalog in the menu to store all the characters items you’ve unlocked or monsters you’ve encountered.
If you want to check what the hoo-ha is all about then you can check out Final Fantasy – All the Brave on the App Store right HERE.[tabgroup][tab title=”The Good“]Beautiful 8 bit Final Fantasy style graphics to make you feel nostalgic
Plays like an addictive tap based title
[/tab][tab title=”The Bad“]The game, items and DLC are all far too expensive for the mobile market
Poor use of a beloved franchise all for the sake of making money
Advertising as an RPG when all this game really is freemium title that isn’t free