It has been a few weeks now since the much maligned Final Fantasy: All the Bravest released on the Apple App Store. The trailer launched a few days ahead of the game and it is safe to say that no one expected it to be the herald of the end of the Final Fantasy franchise. Personally, I think that might be a bit of melodrama, but the fact is the “game” is more of a time and money sink than anything else.
The following is an open letter to Square Enix in an attempt to help them see past the mistakes of the initial release. Final Fantasy: All The Bravest has clear potential as a nostalgic romp through Final Fantasy history and with a few game play tweaks this potential could be realized.
The following is a list of five game design suggestions that would the fanfare back!
1. Sid Meier told us that games are just “a series of meaningful choices.” The only meaningful choice presented to customers in this game is whether or not to spend money. This can be alleviated by creating one additional screen where players can choose from the unlocked classes and legendary characters to fill up their character slots.
2. Tapping characters to make them fight is a neat idea, but when you get 30+ characters it turns from tapping your phone into rubbing your phone. This is a problem because it isn’t a very “fun” thing to do, but it also gets in the way of watching and enjoying the 16 bit mayhem. It took intentionally losing several battles to see all the different animations clearly. You could even slow down some of the animations in an attempt to help enhance the chaos.
3. Eliminate the need to tap on characters and let them attack as soon as their ATB gauge is empty. If you want to force some sort of touch interaction, then let the player tap on the screen to lay down a shield to protect certain characters from the instant death attacks.
4. Add a line to the tutorial that specifically tells players that they can hit the Map button and back out of a fight and start over. This would be even more awesome if player were able to try different group compositions.
5. Players earn gil in every fight, but it accumulated forever with nothing to do with it. Let players by things like hourglasses, characters, etc with the gil they earn. Yes, this would take away from the micro-transaction earnings, but I would think the positive reviews and the good will from fans over positive improvements to the game experience would be well worth it financially.
None of my suggestions have anything to do with the pricing model. I recognize that Square Enix is a business and that they invest money in games in order to raise money. The game has sold so well because people were excited about the idea of the game and were willing to pay the $3.99. Game play improvements could only help things.
So… Square Enix… I know you probably won’t read this. But, feel free to implement these changes. No charge. But, maybe put my name in the credits? (Can’t hurt to ask right?)
What do you think? Anyone else have suggestions on how to improve the game?