The Final Fantasy franchise is one of the IPs that has shown a solid record for producing top rate spin-off titles. The rise of mobile gaming has been the perfect platform for these spin-offs to shine in recent years. Considering their unstoppable success, Square finally decided to pull the trigger and go all-in for a true Final Fantasy game on mobile. This is Mobius Final Fantasy.
Mobius Final Fantasy is a free-to-play, episodic mobile title for the Android and iOS. The game has you adventuring through the world of Palamecia as one of the “blanks,” people who were transported to Palamecia to become the Warrior of Light – the prophesied hero that will save Palamecia from the destruction it’s experiencing.
Let’s move on to gameplay. Mobius Final Fantasy uses the turn-based system Final Fantasy has perfected over the decades as its core mechanic. Square has this down to a science, with plenty of flashy attacks and dynamic camera angles to make the turn-based combat feel intense and action-packed. The game also utilizes a “deck” build up system where you can equip card “abilities” to the job your main character is assigned to.
One of the more interesting game features Mobius Final Fantasy has is a variation of the job system used in previous FF titles. As you unlock jobs in game, you can build the aforementioned “decks” to customize the attack and element options your job can use in battle.
Another interesting gameplay feature is the acquisition of elements that you can use against monsters. It’s like a modified magic acquisition system in Final Fantasy 8. But instead of actually spending actions to gather elements that you can use later on, you can acquire the elements you need for your activatable abilities by attacking monsters that have your required element. The elements you acquire in battles can then be used as payment cost for the abilities you have assigned to your hero’s job.
On the other hand, story-wise, Mobius Final Fantasy is pretty linear. Typical to most mobile titles, you are only following one storyline with free-roam zones being few and far between. Going in, it was clear some elements would have to be sacrificed to make a Final Fantasy work on mobile. It’s understandable this would be the first element to be targeted to slim gameplay down.
I personally like how battles happen in the game. It reminds me of the battles in Final Fantasy XIV and it has this placebo effect of making you feel like you’re in an action game instead of a turn based title.
Battles are in fact surprisingly complex for a mobile title. While you can haphazardly mish-mash cards together for your job decks, you will soon hit a brick wall in difficulty. To progress at a steady pace, you need a well thought out strategy to build your deck in a way that maximizes your job’s abilities, and constantly reconsider it as new options become available to you.
I also like the feeling that Mobius Final Fantasy adopts a lot of the battle elements from various Final Fantasy titles, meshing them into a semi-new feeling style. This gives the game’s battles, the element that takes up most of your gameplay time, a kind of fresh feel even for those who are Final Fantasy veterans.
So moving along to how the game’s battle system looks, we quickly see that this is where Mobius exceeds its spin-off brethren in a huge way. Not only are the battles a delight to see play out, but fully voiced cutscenes add to the experience, exceeding any expectations I had going in. Everything feels so complete and well thought out that its shocking Square dropped this game on the market for free.
The game’s look and feel is reminiscent of Final Fantasy culture. The characters and the visuals on both the cutscenes and those lull moments in the main interface are top notch for a mobile game. No corners were cut. Square Enix clearly intends to make this a new mobile dynasty by getting off on a good foot with their fans.
Of course on mobile, all good things come at a price. With such high quality voice acting and cutting edge visuals, you can bet your battery will be crying acidic tears keeping up with your coming gaming binge. Sure you COULD lower the graphics settings to compensate, but then you are ruining the experience for yourself.
My experience with Mobius Final Fantasy is enjoyable and pretty awesome. The mix of visually stunning graphics coupled with an easy to understand, but surprisingly complex battle system is the perfect synergy for the mobile title.
What I liked about Final Fantasy is the way that the game eases you into grinding. You wouldn’t notice it at first, but eventually you’ll find yourself grinding certain maps because you can’t move forward with the almost unbeatable (at your current state) mobs.
Another thing about the grind is that there will be areas in the game that you can’t progress past no matter how much you grind. These are the paywall zones, though they come far later into the game then I ever expected. Once they’ve hooked their claws into you, they expect you to pay up to see more of this amazing experience. Just beware that the free to play price tag is mostly just a free trial on the full game.
And speaking of the full game, it’s still a work in progress. Mobius Final Fantasy continues to release episodic content in regular updates. This allows you to enjoy the game at a certain pace that you won’t feel like you’re hurrying to catch up to those who have been playing earlier and longer. This also means that you can expect more changes to the game as it grows older. Tying gameplay updates with extended story does wonders for keeping you checking regularly for new updates. It also helps that the game gets tons of events that don’t look like they were thought up on the fly with a Magic 8 Ball. You can in fact see these events, no matter how ludicrous the idea is, weave well with the game’s interface. And I like that the game was really setup to tie-in a lot of aspects from the various Final Fantasy titles into one game. Longtime fans of the series with get all nostalgic as characters like Yuna are connected to promo ability cards, as well as Tidus’ weapon making in appearance as the Onion Knight job class’ main weapon.
Overall, Mobius Final Fantasy is a good title to get for the mobile if you’re itching to get into a Final Fantasy game that feels like a Final Fantasy game. If you have no problem spending time on a game that will eventually have a high enough paywall that will force you to actually spend, then this game is a must have for you. It has enough content, and is updated regularly enough to think that you won’t be throwing money down the drain by spending on this game.