Final Fantasy: All The Bravest Review
Final Fantasy: All The Bravest is a game that asks you two questions. Do you have a finger? Do you have a credit card?
If the answer to both of those questions is yes, you’re the ideal player, someone who can play All The Bravest at the highest level (rubrubrubrub!) while indulging its cynical, excessive DLC (spendspendspendspend!).
If you know how to move your finger back and forth across a touchscreen, you can play All The Bravest.
Swiping a character makes it attack, the only move available. A recharge bar then fills up before the character can attack again. That’s it.
Just like the only thing you can do is attack, the only thing enemies can do is attack, with the only difference being how many of your party is taken out with a single explosion of colour.
This isn’t a game of status effects or tactics. It’s a game about endlessly attacking.
So the best (or more accurately, the only) way to progress is to swipe your characters faster than the enemies can kill them, making All The Bravest a clumsy and tiresome war of attrition as you attempt to outpace enemy attacks with fast swiping.
That alone makes for a mind-numbingly tedious game but it’s not the most offensive thing here. Not even close.
When the gameplay in All The Bravest fails to captivate, it quickly becomes clear the only appeal comes from the sprites and 8-bit RPG treatment of modern Final Fantasy characters.
Here’s the catch. If you want to see pixelated versions of Cloud, Yuna, Auron, Sazh and so on, you have to pay for them and you end up paying a lot. 69p grants you one shot to ‘summon a legendary character from the Final Fantasy series’ and whoever shows up is down to chance. We paid 69p hoping for Auron. We ended up with Imp.
So you can keep pouring in money or you can stick with the characters you unlock, which are representations of the different classes throughout the series (Warrior, Thief, Red Mage, Beastmaster, etc).
The legendary characters can’t be unlocked. You have to buy them. Oh, how we yearn for the innocent days of Horse Armor.
It gets worse. If you lose all your characters during a battle, you have to wait three minutes for each character to come back to life. If you have a party of 30 characters, that means a 90-minute wait. The exception here is if you use an Hourglass, an item that resurrects the entire party immediately, but Square-Enix charges for those too.
Three Hourglasses cost 69p. That doesn’t seem too bad but the difficulty ramps up so fast, you’re almost forced into a choice between paying or waiting. You can spend ages indulging in ye olde JRPG tradition of grinding, yet the brain-dead gameplay makes grinding an even more tedious chore than it normally is.
And it gets worse. There are three further areas to play in with their own monsters but they set you back £2.49 each.
So then. All The Bravest costs £2.49. All 35 legendary characters cost £24.15. The three extra areas cost £7.47. That means a total cost of £34.11 for a game where all you have to do is swipe as quickly as you can, and this is before the cost of hourglasses to revive characters is added in.
What makes all of this worse is you actually earn Gil as you play yet it appears to serve no purpose beyond a leaderboard marker. It can’t be spent on legendary characters, new areas or hourglasses. It can’t be spent on anything. What’s the point?
There is simply no defence for Final Fantasy: All The Bravest. As a videogame, it’s awful. As an idea, it’s cynical. As a Final Fantasy game, it’s offensive.
The gentle breeze of nostalgia is suffocated by the overwhelming stench of cynicism. Having an 8-bit exhibition of Final Fantasy memories is a good idea. Having painfully bland gameplay married to awful DLC practice is not.