Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius is such a delight to play. Although mobile titles fall victim to discrimination for being bite sized experiences, littered with microtransactions, this plays perfectly fine on IOS and Android devices, even with waiting periods and yes, microtransactions. The simple yet intuitive combat system makes your time worth while, and fighting alongside classic, iconic Final Fantasy characters will have you smiling from ear to ear as over 20 years of franchise nostalgia flows through your veins during each play session.

In this day and age, mobile titles that have some form of adventure traversal aspect implemented into the journey usually get a bad rap for terrible controls. Some force the player to constantly drag their finger on the device’s touch screen to simulate walking or running, but somehow, that just messes things up and the on-screen character looks like they’re having a seizure. Instead, Brave Exvius‘ controls feel intuitive and react properly to one’s touch.

Going left means going left, not right or down

final-fanteasy-moveWhether you’re walking in town or exploring a dark, gloomy dungeon, character exploration in Brave Exvius is simple, and unlike previous Final Fantasy mobile games, is actually perfect. There was never an instance when I became frustrated or angry with the way my hero operated during traversal. All of the player’s interactions are done with the touch of a finger, so you could be crafting new items, summoning new characters from previous franchise installments, or battling difficult monsters for impressive loot, you’re going to have an easy time operating the controls with little to no effort at all.

Tap, tap, unleash hell

Final Fantasy is all about amazing turn-based, RPG combat, with equally amazing music to fuel one’s passion while playing. Thankfully, Brave Exvius possesses those hereditary genes and adds something new to the mix which not only separates itself from the pack, it makes this one in particular far more superior than previous titles that bear the Final Fantasy name.

Engaging in combat against goblins, dragons, spiders, and scary monsters might sound frightening, but not when you’re rolling with a party of six, one of which could be a friend. Like everything else in Brave Exvius, combat is also controlled with touch and has the user sliding and tapping their finger to select moves, spells or abilities. Touching the screen to select motives obviously replaces the controller, but for some reason, tapping moves and controlling spells felt faster via touch than it would have been with a traditional controller, which is always helpful when you want to play under a time constraint.

One of the best parts about operating the combat system via touch is that multiple characters can deal damage at once, making the screen light up with explosions, lightning strikes, and powerful attacks that are guaranteed to vanquish enemies. Never have I seen this done before in a Final Fantasy title, and it felt awesome to see it be done. My eyes constantly lit up as I saw my healer give aid to my entire team at once, while everyone else was going to town on a boss’s face. This form of interaction served to be addicting, and the incredible music fueled my passion for Brave Exvius even more, ultimately having me say towards the end of each play session: “OK, just five more minutes”, but five more minutes would eventually turn into 2-3 more hours.

Fighting alongside friends, whom can be obtained by exchanging friend codes and requests, is another delicious treat to add to the bowl of candy that is Brave Exvius. Allies essentially fill the sixth spot on your team, and although bringing them along is completely optional, adding them to your party is not detrimental to your fight, in fact, it’s completely rewarding in multiple ways. Adding friends that you encounter randomly online grants you access to points that can be exchanged for summoning additional heroes; not to mention how cool it is to fight monsters with your personal friends. Playing with pals, although it’s really just you controlling a character from your friend’s party, brings some sense of comradery to the adventure and you can’t help but want to keep your buddies alive, and feel absolutely terrible when they perish.

Insert 0 coins to have fun

Since the dawn of their existence, microtransactions have always been heavily stigmatized. And yes, in most cases found on the mobile platform, they are a joke and part of development strategy to keep one’s project alive for as long as possible. Be that as it may, they can certainly be found in Brave Exvius but they never become a nuisance, nor do they pressure the user into purchasing items towards progression, materials, or summoning crystals. I’ve been playing Brave Exvius for countless hours and I have yet to spend a penny. I don’t expect that I will, but I definitely foresee myself playing this for the rest of the year.

Final Say-so

There’s no doubt in my mind that the mobile spectrum is littered with tons of shovelware, filled with Angry Birds clones or Flappy Bird rip offs, all created by college kids who’d like to make a few quick bucks by stealing the original ideas of brilliant minded pioneers. But Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius shouldn’t be overlooked just because it’s on an Internet shelf next to crappy mobile game X and equally crappy mobile game Y. It’s amazing and intuitive controls blend well throughout the entire adventure, and fighting alongside friends and classic Final Fantasy heroes like Cecil and Kain only adds icing on the cake.

Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius was downloaded as a free to play title and was reviewed on an iPad.

Reviewed On
Release Date
Square Enix
Alim Co., Ltd.
June 29, 2016