Review by BlazeRunner
"Final Fantasy: Interactive Screensaver"
I purchased this game on release, extremely excited about the trailer. I blindly thought that it had to be worth the $4, especially since it is one of the only Square-Enix ios games to cost under $10 in quite a long time. Full of nostalgia and interested in the experience that the trailer promised, I was really excited to finally choose a team of many of my favorite Final Fantasy heroes over the years and use them in an All Star lineup.
I was wrong in every way.
You swipe a screen.
The gameplay looks like a Final Fantasy battle, but the designers removed all of the customization and strategy out of the ATB system.
Battles consist of mindlessly swiping or tapping your characters. After they finish attacking, wait for the ATB bar to fill up and you can swipe them again to attack again. You aren't allowed to target or decide which enemy to attack, and you have no choice of attacks. There are no defensive techniques or any healing spells. Each battle lasts approximately 20-30 seconds, but if you are killed by the enemy you have one of three options:
1. Wait 3 minutes per character to revive and continue battling. (This is necessary for end game bosses even at the max lvl 99, so if you decide to not purchase any in game items, there will be lots of waiting.)
2. Pay between $1 and $10 for hourglass packs to revive your party instantly. The game gives you 3 to begin with but they require you to use 1 during the tutorial.
3. Quit back to the map screen and go grind on easier enemies.
This game is also full of many glitches, a few which will erase your save data or put you at a disadvantage permanently. To unlock party slots 33-40, you are required to advertise the game on either Facebook or Twitter. You can post an advertisement message once per day to earn one bonus slot. If you do not enter your information/data correctly the first time, you will receive error messages and there is no way to re-enter the data, leaving you with 32 out of 40 possible slots forever. I used the icloud integration to back up my save data and deleted the app, and when I rebooted FF:ATB, my icloud integration was unavailable. The icloud integration does not work, so make sure you never delete the game or you will lose EVERYTHING.
You can unlock equipment for your characters, but it is unlocked at random, and it is auto-equipped. I'm not sure if it actually does anything substantial.
To unlock nostalgic heroes from past Final Fantasy games, you must pay $1 PER CHARACTER and you will receive your character AT RANDOM. To unlock past Final Fantasy worlds, you must pay $4 PER WORLD.
In order to unlock all 35 legacy characters and legacy worlds, the player must pay over $50 for a game that consists of mindlessly swiping a screen. Final Fantasy: ATB is not actually a game, but a time waster.
The story is told to you in a scrolling block of text at the beginning of the game and at the end of the game. Other than that, the only other dialogue is bosses/mini-bosses telling you that you are about to be destroyed.
The graphics and sound are actually very cool and very nostalgic. The pixel art takes great advantage of the retina display and the chip-tune soundtrack has many classics from the series.
The game can be finished in a few days, but it takes hours of grinding. Luckily, looking at the screen is not necessary to play this game, just rapidly swipe and you are good to go. I tested out the "no look" battling and was able to defeat bosses/grind while taking care of my dog, while putting on clothes, and while eating lunch.
This money hungry game is inexcusable and I feel like I have been taken advantage of by misleading advertising and unfair in-app purchases. There is no strategy involved and the game practically plays itself.
Reviewer's Score: 1/10 | Originally Posted: 01/22/13
Game Release: Final Fantasy: All the Bravest (US, 01/17/13)
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