Yeah, so I bought the ¥350 Final Fantasy ATB app. Whatever. Do you know how much I used to spend on alcohol? I’m talking less than a month ago before I had a huge breakdown and had to reconsider the projection of my life, but it could easily go over ¥1000 a day. That’s more than ten dollars. And why? Because I was sick. So do I regret plunking down ¥350 for some useless digital Final Fantasy accessory? Not really. But god fucking damned if they expect me to spend another single dime on the now infamous add-on content. You can just forget about it, and I suppose I’m about to explain why I and anyone with an ounce of self respect would feel that way.
Final Fantasy All The Bravest is a throwback app to the golden age of 8 and 16-bit Final Fantasy games, celebrating the crisp, classic art of its trademark heroes and monsters. Throw in an collection of unaltered Nobuo Uematsu jams, and my fiend, you have a shiny pellet of fan service just waiting to be fed to you for your good and compliant behavior (namely worship and patronage). You get a randomly assembled team of various fighters, mages, dancers, and other hero-types who you can dispatch to fight monsters just by touching them. Since you have an ever-expanding team of allies (up to 32, I believe), this generally means continuously stroking the right side of the screen so that you can touch as many dudes as you can in a series of single strokes. Stroke, repeat, stroke, repeat, expunge, joy. You’ll be really good at it, trust me. All you have to do is level up a whole bunch by fighting weak enemies, and then you can choose to move on to the next stages and challenge the stronger ones. This is ostensibly the only mechanical similarity to Final Fantasy, an RPG, or even a game. It is the only strategy available, and if you fail and die there are no consequences. Just wait three hours and your team will be revived, and there will probably be a 30 second “fever” mode all charged up, waiting for you should you ever choose to return.
Playing All The Bravest is not completely unenjoyable. There is a small sense of achievement with each level up, added character, or dropped weapon. You feel like you are completing a small FF museum of monsters and items, and there’s a cute blurb about everything you encounter. There is also something to be said about unleashing 32 simultaneously animated attacks at once. Ka-boom, slash, ka-boom; it’s all very exciting.
Now I’m going to answer “no” to a whole bunch of questions that nobody asked.
No, you do not choose your characters’ attacks. No, they don’t get names. No, you can’t choose your party members. No, you can’t USE THE FUCKING GIL THAT YOU COLLECT TO PURCHASE ANYTHING IN THE GAME. This is the worst part about this, this APP, because in FF:ATB, there are recovery items and unlockables, but they can only be accessed with real money. I guess we all forgot that Square-Enix was so on the verge of bankruptcy and irrelevance that they needed to drum up cash for their floundering enterprise in the lamest way imaginable: stealing fans’ wallets whilst fondling their nuts. I would sooner take money from an earthquake relief fund than spend money on add-ons that I think are just too crass for words.
Hello? If you get money in a game, it’s supposed to be spendable – and it should be spendable precisely on all of the bonus characters and stages. Did you hear me? In the next update, make gil collected from enemies the unlocking agent for all of the extra content, or suffer my petulant middle finger pointing for the next couple of months. If you must, make actual money (something which I need for things like toothpaste, soup, and gloves) a fast-track option for the kind of person who isn’t as offended at the idea of throwing it into a furnace. Keep charging ¥350 for the goddamn app itself (hell, why not make it ¥550?) and let boys be brave.
PS: Let me use the gil I’ve collected to unlock the bonus content.
PPS: You’ll get plenty of real money when I buy Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD next month.