The obligatory bashing
Let me get this out of the way: Final Fantasy: All the Bravest is a cheap cash-in that tarnishes its franchise name, developer/publisher Square-Enix (SE), and the economy of mobile titles.
If you’re looking for an article that harps on the negatives of the title, there are plenty of others out there. This is not that article.
The Actual Article: In Defence of Final Fantasy: All the Bravest
A few evenings ago, I was looking for something to play on my phone while I drifted off to sleep. I remembered seeing a video about how bad Final Fantasy: All The Bravest was and decided to give it a go. After all, it’s a free-to-play game (released on Android and iOS) and is relatively small in size. Expecting to hate every single bit of All the Bravest, I was pleasantly surprised when I kept playing it. Hell, I had a quick session just before writing this piece.
Under the monotony and micro-transactions, there’s a solid idea for a game; a title that I hope one day comes to fruition. All the Bravest is a video game that takes a range of classes from the franchise’s long history, has the player manage (I use that term very loosely) an army of grunts, and fight enemies and bosses from over three decades of gaming history. And as your force gains levels from battles, more classes and weapons are unlocked. It’s such a fun concept that I’m surprised it hasn’t been done before – at least for Final Fantasy.
This isn’t the first time that Square-Enix released an FF title that has players controlling an army of grunts. After all, we can’t forget about the strategy RPG Final Fantasy Tactics and its sequels (even if the SE has), along with Crystal Defenders, though the latter was a tower-defence game.
I adore the flashy battles that take place in All the Bravest, as warriors rush at the enemy, mages cast spells, and summoners bring in Bahamut – along with all of the other classes. The 16-bit renditions of characters and classic monsters are adorable.
The gameplay that could be better
After one of your units has attacked the enemy, it has a cool-down period before you can tell it to attack again. While the game says you need to tap on each unit to issue its attack command, you will end up furiously swiping at your screen to issue commands as fast as possible and rub the skin off your index finger in the process.
Unfortunately, characters are knocked out of battle after a single hit and each has a three-minute wait period before they will respawn, or be replaced by a different class. It’s a concept that was designed to make the player spend money, but I like the idea of perma-death in a fully-fledged title.
For now, I’ll probably keep replaying All the Bravest; critics be damned. The game has some fine ideas but I wish that SE would take it seriously, and not just as an app designed to destroy wallets.