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The increasingly misnamed Final Fantasy series of role-playing games has been around for just shy of 26 years. In that time it's spanned the gaming spectrum from undeniable classic (FFIII and FFVII) to forgettable mess (pretty much everything since X-2), but it remains the unstoppable juggernaut of the Japanese RPG scene. Now Square Enix (that's Squaresoft for those of you who remember the days before the Xbox 360) is hoping to cash in on your nostalgia with Final Fantasy All The Bravest, a simplified RPG that combines the "endless" style of play with the company's rich intellectual property.

You start out with a few basic characters and some easy bosses. The story is simple, or perhaps more precisely, nonexistent: use the characters to kill the bosses. That's it. There's no real exposition or plot, no overworld, no goal - fight increasingly difficult bosses with a modified turn-based battle system. The controls have been streamlined (read: dumbed-down) into a set of simple swipe-based commands that allow you to roll with the punches once your party members are ready to attack. Once every three hours a frenzy mode will be unlocked and you'll be able to attack as quickly as your fingers can fly. Kill the bosses and unlock more basic characters from Final Fantasy's backlog of basic jobs (classes), which can be swapped in and out as you unlock more party member slots. At higher levels your party will include more than a dozen characters.

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Final Fantasy All The Bravest is a free download, so you're probably wondering, "where's the catch?" In-app payments can unlock 35 "premium" hero characters from the Final Fantasy games, each with a unique look, equipment, and attack. All the big names are included, which I'd list off here if I actually knew what they were (I can recognize effeminate poster boy Cloud from FFVII, and that's about where my knowledge of the series runs dry). But here's the gotcha moment: the purchases are randomized, kind of like the individually-wrapped toy collectibles that seem so popular in Japan. The only way to ensure that you'll get the ones you want is to keep buying them, possibly until you've got all 35. Ka-ching. You can also buy extra battle stages from Final Fantasies VII, X, and XIII.

The art style is ripped right out of the SNES-era games, which might be interesting if you really want to see characters from the latter games translated into pixels. Unfortunately the initial release of the game seems to be broken on a wide variety of devices, including the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and my daily driver DROID RAZR M. This isn't really a surprise - Square's Android games are usually pretty rocky for several weeks after being posted to the Play Store. Square's company policy: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it is broke, repackage it with a new subtitle and sell it again. At least this one is a free download.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Taedirk

    Damn. I thought they killed this on account of the massive levels of suck. I remember seeing the video when it came out on iOS where you could just keep swiping over the characters for the mobile equivalent of facerolling to victory.

  • catiremedina

    Do not download this, do not give any reason to square or any company any incentive to keep making these games, please.

  • ortega

    rather than hero characters collection,
    I prefer a collection of Summons from all Final Fantasy series in one game. including Espers, Guardian Forces, Aeons, Eidolons, complete with all their cinematic, battling each other.

    if that kind of games exist, definitely instant buy.

  • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

    Spoiler alert: everyone and their mothers have said that this is one of the worst games ever on a mobile device, due to unimaginable IAP issues (no exaggeration here)

    • Krzysztof Jozwik

      I beat it this afternoon without spending a cent.

      • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

        Yeah, I'm sure of that

        • Krzysztof Jozwik

          It's quite easy, swipe a bunch, occasionally put the game down to recharge your army / get the limit to win.

          • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

            I meant the "without spending a cent" part

          • Krzysztof Jozwik

            The only hourglass I used was the one they made me use during the tutorial, didn't bother buying any of the premium characters since they're not needed.

  • Syje

    The video looks like a parody. Why are there 40 characters on the screen all constantly moving and blowing things up? Why would I ever want to buy what looks like the equivalent of a fan made Mario Brothers gimmick course?

  • The man

    im still waiting for final fantasy tactics ._.

  • Averix

    Holy crap, that is bad. I'm a big FF fan, but this is just plain stupid.

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    This is not the next great Squaresoft RPG. This is not a rebirth of Final Fantasy Tactics. What this is, in fact, is a little twitch-based time waster based on existing Final Fantasy elements. Based off of that, it's an enjoyable little diversion for what it is. I'll play it for a couple of minutes at a time I guess, when I can't sit down and grind out FF Dimensions or FF4 (or Rain Slick 3 or Doom & Destiny for that matter). Still waiting for FF5 and FF7 though.

    • Krzysztof Jozwik

      Emulators will bring you what you seek.

      • Bryan Pizzuti

        Not when I seek a quick 2-minute time-waster. :)

        • Krzysztof Jozwik

          Save states are nice, no need to wait hours between save points.

      • Jon Wareham

        Can you get "FF: All the bravest" on an emulator? I would be interested if so because it won't play on my new Galaxy Note 3.

        • Krzysztof Jozwik

          I don't think so since it's an Android app, I don't think they make emulators for Android that run Android apps.

  • Hank

    There's no real exposition or plot, no over world, no goal so there won't be any download.. :-p

  • KiTA

    Doesn't load on my Nexus 7 running the latest Android.

    Been looking forward to this, it's like Plan 9 from Outer Space, a disaster this bad has to be seen at least once. Plus, for mindless tapping on the bus to/from work, it might not be so bad.

    • Jon Wareham

      I'm having the same problem on my Note 3... Pretty surprising that Squenix still hasn't fixed that problem.....

  • Primalxconvoy

    Wasn't this out for android a while back? I remember reading negative reviews some time ago but perhaps they were ios reviews?

    Still, this is yet another Squaresoft game I'll be avoiding, just like all of their other mobile offerings.

    I wonder how long it will take for them to finally go down for good?

  • Razo_E

    Doesn't even load on my Galaxy S4:(

    • Jon Wareham

      Same problem here on my Galaxy Note 3 :( Even if it sucks like people say I would at least expect Squenix to make it work so they can take my money :P