Final Fantasy has certainly been the golden boy of RPG’s for quite some time. While it may not be on top of the charts as it was in the past, the series has certainly done enough in recent years to merit sticking around. Despite its success, whenSquare Enix made the decision to step into the mobile market, many (myself included) were a bit apprehensive about what would come from the series next. The mobile market often brings out the worst in developers. With the constant temptation of micro transactions and ad revenue, many games on the mobile market often generate easy money from a community who as a whole are more naïve than their console and PC counterparts (no offense mobile gamers). With the PC port of the title hitting Steam for free on February 5th of 2017, it was time to see if the title still held up enough to stand out amongst the crowd. Fortunately, Mobius Final Fantasy seems to have beaten -most of- the odds and delivers an entertaining RPG diversion, if only for about 30 mins at a time.
Thrown into the world of Palamecia and proclaimed a potential hero, or “Warrior of Light” as the game puts it, players must travel the world in search of a way to fulfill this supposed prophecy and battle the wild creatures that inhabit it. After a somewhat lengthy tutorial explaining all the ins and outs of the game, players are free to set out and journey from location to location, with story pieces and cutscenes sprinkled along the way. It’s much more enjoyable than the typical text box narrative that most mobile games throw at players, and does a good job of engrossing one into the world of Palamecia.
One will immediately notice upon first playing that Mobius Final Fantasy looks very good for a mobile game. The graphics were excellent on the mobile version of the game, and still hold up nicely enough on the PC port. There are a few graphical hiccups with background textures being of low quality or not being fully rendered, but these are fairly minor. Character,s on the other hand, are very pleasing to look at and all main characters are fully voice acted, adding a nice touch to things.
Music in Mobius consists of your typical light-hearted Final Fantasy themes that you’ll hear whilst traversing the plains to booming orchestras for the more intense boss battles. While this isn’t very surprising, given the music the Final Fantasyseries is typically known for, there are plenty of catchy tunes to listen to whilst playing. The game will even play classic themes from other games in the series, if you happen to be in certain locations of Palamecia.
A gripe that many may notice within the very first few minutes of playing is that Mobius Final Fantasy throws a fairly hefty tutorial at you right out the gate. Upon first starting Mobius and getting through the initial cutscene, players will find themselves immediately thrust into a tutorial battle. Certainly nothing new, especially to anyone who has ever played an RPG before, many would expect to learn the basic attacks and skills needed to survive and go on about their journey – you would be wrong. The tutorial players are given is a lengthy one that drags on for quite some time as you must go through several battles and then must be taught the ins and outs of the various menus you must navigate and what you are able to do within them. In fairness to the developers, the somewhat exhausting tutorial is a bit justified in that there is indeed quite a bit to learn (which I will get to in a moment). Despite this, had the tutorials been spread out a bit more, things may have been easier to swallow, as some players may find themselves a bit overwhelmed when they first begin their journey.
Now you may be asking; how does combat play out in Mobius Final Fantasy? Well, Mobius is a turn based RPG wherein your hero must take on waves of enemies in order to clear out a stage and move onto the next area on the world map. Players are able to act a set number of times during their turn, and are put into a defensive stance and must withstand enemy attacks. Once all enemies that can act do so, the player’s number of actions refreshes and they begin again. Where Mobius mixes things up is that the player has a “deck”, which contains specials skills the player can perform. However, these skills may only be used when the player has absorbed enough energy (called skill seeds). This energy drops from enemies that the player basic attacks, and enemies drop different colors based on the cards in the player’s deck. Players can also absorb energy in order to better defend against attacks and to give themselves a better chance of absorbing a more preferred element. Elements allow one to exploit enemy weaknesses to deal more damage, but some enemies have defenses that must be weakened first. Getting an enemy’s defense gauge fully down causes a break, where they are extremely vulnerable to all forms of attacks, even more so to elements they were weak to. Was that a bit too much for some of you? Don’t worry if anyone reading feels a bit overwhelmed, as the feeling is natural. While the battle system is a bit of a doozy to get around at first, you’ll soon find that you understand all that is going on after your first few battles.
Mobius Final Fantasy also brings back a feature that should be familiar to those who have played Final Fantasy games in the past; the Job System. For those unfamiliar, the Job System in Final Fantasy allows players to change the class that characters use in order to tailor them to their style of play. Do you want to be a deadly mage, a nimble thief, maybe you prefer a jack of all trades fighter? You can turn your character into the warrior you want them to be. Not only does this change your appearance to fit your new role, but your stats will adjust and grow accordingly. Players can switch classes at any time, so there is no need to fear being locked into one path. I did enjoy this freedom, and feel it adds to the game’s enjoyment, but I will say that I did find myself sticking to a single class as time went on due to my other classes being much too low to be viable anymore.
Touching on the deck building aspect a bit more, players can customize a deck that they bring with them during each battle. Most cards are universal, meaning they can be used in any deck, however, some can only be used when a player is using a certain class. This encourages players to switch things up from time to time in order to truly get the most out of the cards they acquire.
Once you have the swing of things and are in the heat of the game, Mobius really begins to shine. You’ll steadily improve your character taking on side quests and even timed events that let players go through other worlds in the Final Fantasyseries, encountering the main characters from those titles. If any are like myself, they will do as many quests as they can to get stronger, and two problems arise due to this; boredom and repetition. It’s very easy to become over-leveled early on inMobius, to the point that normal enemies don’t even phase you anymore. I found myself slaying waves of enemies on my first turn, using little to no strategy unless a particularly challenging enemy came along, which was rare. I did find however, that when I stopped playing in such large portions and took the game in bursts, that I enjoyed playing considerably more. When playing in spurts of 20-30 mins at a time, my boredom did not have a chance to set in, and despite being over leveled I was able to grind my way through enemies until the difficulty curve picked back up again. It would seem that playing Mobiusas if it were still on a mobile device is the best way to go about those things, then being to enjoy it in small pieces. While I was able to find a way through this, it may not be the same for all, so players should be aware of these issues.
Being a ported mobile game, Mobius does unfortunately have micro transactions. While not thrown in your face, the game does subtly try to get players to pay for a better experience as the game drip feeds players currency for summoning, which is vital to obtain more powerful cards to add to your deck as well as obtain new classes. It’s very possible to get by without this, but unfortunately my time with the game was not long enough to know if this will begin to affect players in the late game.
Mobius is certainly an interesting game, both to play and review. The title is certainly enjoyable, but does have hiccups throughout it. The PC port looks nice and runs smoothly, and the gameplay is nice enough to hold your attention for a while. The repetitive nature of a mobile title such as this will undoubtedly be a turnoff for some and will cause it to lose players once the mid game and beyond hits. For those that stay, though, there is a decent game here, and one can enjoy some nice relaxed fun (again, in bursts). Certainly a title that is better than most mobile games, combined with a free price point,Mobius Final Fantasy deserves at least a few minutes of your time.