Talented creators are treading familiar ground. Should you care?

by Jason Venter

Now that Mobius Final Fantasy (known in some regions as Mevius Final Fantasy) has made its way to the Japanese App Store, Touch Arcade’s Shaun Musgrave was able to play it for a bit and share some quick impressions of an intriguing game that we’re still not sure will ever head west.

As you might recall, Mobius Final Fantasy features substantial contributions from Yoshinori Kitase (Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger) and Kazushige Nojima (Final Fantasy 7 and Kingdom Hearts), shining stars within the industry, so it seems likely that Square Enix hopes for big things from the title around the world.

“When you start the game,” Musgrave notes, “you can see the immediate influence of both of the big names. Kitase has a certain flair for setting up scenes, and although he’s not the director on this game, his fingerprints are all over it. Nojima is well-known for his world-building and somewhat convoluted stories, and you’ll see plenty of that early on in Mobius as well.”

According to Musgrave, the game lets you keep an eye on your character’s activities even when you’re menu diving, which sounds like a nice touch that should allow you to maintain a connection with the protagonist. Little stuff like that tends to be overlooked elsewhere, but it can make a big difference when you’re spending countless hours with a game.

Perhaps predictably, Mobius Final Fantasy has some features in common with Puzzle & Dragons. One obvious example is the ability to fuse spells to gain more powerful ones to use in battle, a mechanic that seems to be finding its way into all sorts of mobile titles from Japan after GungHo capably proved that we gamers are suckers for that sort of thing. Missions also consist of a few rounds, wherein you must defeat a set number of enemies before you can proceed and hopefully reap a reward at the end. Elemental weaknesses and such will also play a role, though that has been true of Final Fantasy games since the very first title in the series.

“One new twist here is the ability to choose your job class,” says Musgrave. “As you play through, you’ll unlock new jobs that you can switch to between missions. The job you choose will affect your stats and a few other parameters, as well as making an obvious change in your appearance.”

A surprising number of old school gamers still count Final Fantasy V among their favorite titles in the mainline series, primarily on the strength of the job system, so it makes sense that Square Enix would implement a similar system in newer titles.

“Of course,” writes Musgrave, “this being a social RPG means all the usual rules apply. You have to connect to the internet to check in fairly often, there is a stamina meter which depletes whenever you take on a mission, and premium currency is the grease that keeps everything moving smoothly.”

Square Enix doesn’t seem to be as anxious to localize its recent Final Fantasy projects as fans might like, but Mobius Final Fantasy sounds like a better candidate than most, even if its numbers wind up doing numbers more like Monster-Strike than Puzzle & Dragons range. Would you be interested in playing the game if it heads stateside?

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