When the term free to play comes up, most people wonder how long you’ll get to play before you hit the paywall that tells you that if you want to have more fun then it’ll cost you. When it comes to free to play games I’ve tried a few, but mostly the Final Fantasy ones because for some reason I always gravitate towards them and they seem to allow hours of play before the paywall gets brought up. I had quite a lot of fun with Final Fantasy Record Keeper, and if you also did then I suggest you also download Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.

Released yesterday for iOS and Android, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius combines gaming elements of both Final Fantasy as well as the Brave Frontier. Personally I’ve never played a Brave Frontier game, so even though I was familiar with how things went there was a new look I had to get used to. The intro movie was brief but good and you get to meet Rain and Lasswell, both you will spend some time with as they are members of your party. While on their ship Rain and Lasswell get visited by an unknown woman in a crystal who asks for their help. Rain is all for it and Lasswell is hesitant, but follows Rain and this is how they start their journey. Each step they get closer to finding out more about this mysterious crystal woman, another obstacle gets thrown in their way in the form of a quest.

The game is linear and you follow a set path that you can’t deviate from, but you can go back and visit places you’ve already been. Much like in Final Fantasy Record Keeper, each area you go to has a few levels and then a boss level. Not all the boss levels are actual bosses, some of them are just more enemies than you have been used to fighting up until then. After a few battles you get to see the crystal lady again and before she is zapped off she bestows the power to summon assistance. You can summon different characters to be part of your group and as you fight they level up and gain abilities. You can also have other players help you and if you like their character you can send a friend request at the end. You’ll also come across Espers who you will have to defeat if you want to gain their power.

In battle, no matter who is on your team, you have full control. This helps when doing combo attacks, because if you press each of your team back to back they all will attack and their combo will do more damage than normal. The limit breaks are back, and with a simple swipe over your character you can choose from any of the attacks they have.

Gil is still the money of choice and now you also have Lapis, which are magic crystals. The Lapis are used to buy more assistance in the form of 3 star characters, or a for a little less you can buy a few characters with 1 or 2 stars. Each characters can be leveled up and your party of 6 can be switched out at any time to make sure everyone gets to level up. You still get to visit towns and buy weapons, armor, potions and even magic. The one thing you can’t do is use the Inn because at the end of each battle your life regenerates, and no matter if you’re dead or alive you get experience points.

I’m enjoying the story and the banter between Rain and Lasswell, it seems like it’s not forced and they aren’t constantly going for jokes. The look of the game is very 16-bit and it reminds me of playing The Secret of Mana, except with Final Fantasy elements. I haven’t met this game’s “Cid”, but since this is a spin off I’m not sure if that character will appear. What you do get as a reward is Terra, Biggs and Wedge in mech suits to join your party and you can level them up. The reward system is pushed out by Square Enix based on how many downloads they get. I know I’m bias against Final Fantasy games because I really enjoy playing them, but I will keep playing this because it’s been almost 2 hours and it has not  yet prompted me to pay one dollar.

By Taylor

Taylor is one half of Media Discord and resides in Orange County, CA. He grew up loving video games, comics and movies. His favorite game is Chrono Trigger and his favorite comic book character is Deadpool.

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