Release Date: 17/01/13
Final Fantasy: All The Bravest Review
Brands are a very powerful thing. People will give money to a brand that they recognise purely on their perceptions of said brand. McDonalds, Nike, Red Bull – you know exactly what you’re getting with each of them. In the video game industry brands are equally as important and it’s the reason that sequels get made; players will blindly purchase games based on a name alone. Call of Duty is probably the greatest example of that, another is Final Fantasy.
Final Fantasy: All The Bravest is a new iOS game from Square Enix and if you read the promotional descriptions it actually sounds pretty good:
“Final Fantasy: All The Bravest is a touch-action RPG in which you continuously battle enemies to advance through the games many stages. Defeating foes earns you the experience points you need to level up, which in turn grants you character slots to add more and more members to your party.”
You would be forgiven for thinking that All The Bravest would play out like any other Final Fantasy game, probably because you think you know what to expect from a game that has the words ‘Final Fantasy’ in it… but be warned. Final Fantasy: All The Bravest is the most disappointing use of a licence I have come across and as a game there is unfortunately nothing in that will leave you wanting to come back. The game sees you ‘fight’ battle after battle with a huge amount of party members, invoking character types taken straight from previous FF games; Black Mages, Knights, Thief etc. Each class unlocks as you gain more experience, as does the amount of characters you can have in your party. One of the many kicks to the groin comes when you realise you aren’t able to control who is in your party: the game randomly assigns character classes into your party so you have no real way of shaping your experience.
And what exactly is that experience? Using tried and tested tactics to defeat certain types of enemies? Think again. Making sure you use potions at the right time to keep your party’s HP up? Not a chance. Swiping your finger up and down on the screen as fast as you can every single battle, where you then attempt to watch what is happening past said finger? You got it.
As you touch or swipe your finger over each person in your party you attack the enemy in front of you… you don’t get to choose an attack, magic, or item – the character just attacks and does a set amount of damage. Enemies kill party members with set attacks and your characters replenish themselves every three minutes, so if your whole party dies during a fight you just carry on with your life for 45 minutes and jump back into the app. You could always pay for a golden hourglass, however, that will revive everyone straight away… then swipe your finger all over again until you win the fight, or start the arduous waiting game again. Once every three hours there is a ‘fever’ button that shows up: when you tap it your characters can attack again and again without waiting for about fifteen seconds, great huh?
There’s a catalogue that shows you the characters you have unlocked, as well as the items that enemies drop occasionally (you can’t equip your party with these but I think they are automatically used, I can’t tell). It’s a way of trying to keep you going – you know you only need to unlock three more characters to get to 100% so you fight a few more battles.
Final Fantasy: All The Bravest costs you £2.99 straight off the bat and then it is full of in-app purchases. You can buy famous characters from previous Final Fantasy games for 69p, but you don’t get to choose which one you want. They are given randomly after paying and with 35 characters available for purchase that’s an extra £24.15 out of your pocket if you want all of them. There are also extra levels you can purchase based on areas from FFVII, X and XIII that cost you an extra £2.49 each. If we add the cost of all that together, including the extra characters and the app itself that’s a total of £34.61 (not including hourglasses) that you can spend on All The Bravest. As I mentioned at the beginning of the piece, with the power of the Final Fantasy brand there will be people who spend that amount of money. If there was a decent game in there it wouldn’t be so bad, but there isn’t. Apart from looking pretty on the screen there is no other reason for Final Fantasy: All The Bravest to exist, except to line the pockets of Square Enix and take advantage of customers who are so invested in Final Fantasy that they will literally spend any amount of money on it.
A word of advice, even if you are the biggest Final Fantasy fan do not purchase this game. Not just because of the insane amount of money but mainly because as a game there is nothing there; nothing challenging, nothing exciting, nothing to draw you back. It is the epitome of the phrase ‘cash cow’ and it is something that needs to stop.
No real battle system; swipe your finger until you win/die
Horrific use of in-app purchases
Apart from All The Bravest looking pretty, there is nothing here that really resembles a game. It preys on your attachment to the Final Fantasy name. There isn’t really much more I can say about it - it is just a game that you should never play.