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Monday, February 13, 2023

Final Fantasy: All the Bravest

A mobile take on Final Fantasy, or so it claims; if you're expecting anything resembling a captivating narrative or an interesting world to explore or clever character building and combat mechanics to play around with, you're going to end up severely disappointed.  So what do you get?  An exceedingly simple monster mash where you form a party of up to 30 (!) characters, have them spam their single move over and over to defeat enemies, and if they fall in battle, you get to either wait 3 minutes of real time for them to return or pay up real money (of course) to replace them.  And if you shell out even more money, you can get a random handful of proper named characters from the Final Fantasy series like Cloud, Tifa, Rinoa and Zidane to join your ranks; otherwise you just get to use generic Fighters, Mages, Monks, et al from the early titles.  Not that it matters because the named guys function exactly the same as the generic characters, just with maybe a slightly flashier animation or inflicting slightly more damage.  Yes, somehow the gameplay is even more shallow than Final Fantasy XIII's legendarily braindead design, and the fact they've added a gambling/pay-to-win angle to it just adds an extra layer of scumminess.  The only thing even lending it a faint resemblance to Final Fantasy is some sprites ripped straight from the old games, a handful of music tracks and the Active Time Battle combat, but with no depth to its gameplay and no story to tell whatsoever, there's just no reason for any franchise fan, new or old, to care.  So who will All the Bravest curry favor with?  Nobody really, except possibly very young kids; like the vast majority of mobile games it's predatory junk engineered to secure that all-important demographic of grade schoolers whose parents only buy them games that resemble something popular and are safe in content, simple to play, easy to win at and (most importantly) have a dirt cheap entry price.  Well, I say that even young kids deserve better.  Shame on Square Enix for lending their brand to this slop, and especially for trying to use it as a crutch to make their other terrible games of the early '10s look better by comparison.  If you want something that effectively pays homage to the series' formative days, play World of Final Fantasy or Final Fantasy Dimensions instead; yes those games have their flaws, but they're far more worthy of your time and respectful to the source material than some bottom-shelf cash grab mobile game will ever be.

Developer: Bitgroove
Publisher: Square Enix
Released: 2013
Platforms: Android, iOS