The newest content update to Mobius Final Fantasy, the mobile free-to-play game, is a collaboration with the franchise’s most popular entry: Final Fantasy VII. It’s part marketing tool to continue building hype for the upcoming FFVII: Remake and part wallet-emptying gacha event for regular players because so many new, useful abilities are being released that players should be pulling for.
An Appeal to Nostalgia
There’s an original story accompanying the event—it’s not the most compelling narrative since it’s shoehorned into the framework of the existing, unrelated storyline. Visitors from other Final Fantasy entries are frequent and make little sense. It’s more about getting to experience a nostalgic pang and quenching it with new abilities, animations, and short cutscenes—AKA fan service. Exposition-wise, it is a cut above FFVII: Advent Children and the Kingdom Hearts cameo, but the bar was pretty low from the jump.
Sights and Sounds
The best part of this content update is that players get a glimpse at actual FFVII Remake assets. This information was revealed at the 30th Anniversary Exhibition, where the development lead details how the models for Cloud have changed since the initial trailer reveal at E3 2015.
According to some of the fans in attendance, there’s been a change in Cloud’s design. According to development leader Naoki Hamaguchi, this new design was said to have finally got the go-ahead from director Tetsuya Nomura. While it’s been a struggle for the team, the hard work appears to have paid off as Tetsuya Nomura went as far as acknowledging it as “the closest one to the original [Cloud design] up until now.]
A fan attendance described Cloud’s new design as a more natural look. Nomura and Hamaguchi mentioned that “while Cloud may look this way, he was a dork. I believe those of you who played the the original would understand what I mean by saying he’s a dorky character.” That said, we’ll see more of the youthful side of Cloud rather than the always-serious one we’ve seen more outside of the original game. [Source: Siliconera]
Cloud and Sephiroth look better than ever, although Sephiroth’s eyes look extremely cat-like, which I can’t remember being anywhere else.
The music will make you feel nostalgic as well, remixing recognizable themes into orchestral arrangements, or in certain cases, porting them straight up from the PS1 era.
The combat revolves around a new mechanic that utilizes “Materia,” which players can acquire via drops in battle in the new maps. Once set in the Materia Plate, they essentially act as new ability cards with a specified number of uses, agnostic from the orb system. Which adds an interesting twist to battle since it removes the RNG system that the core combat revolves around; however, somewhat limiting due to the cap on how many times it can be used. The most notable part of the Materia system is that once the player advances far enough, they can mix and match various materia for added effects. Mix “Storm” with “Area” and “Stun” and you get an area of effect wind element attack with an added stun effect. This allows for a near infinite amount of playstyles, though there are a few optimal setups that the player must use to beat some of the more difficult nodes.
Even for non-nostalgic folks, the main reason to play during this collaboration is that the new gear is fantastic. If you’ve been banking your orbs, this is absolutely the time to burn them on pulls. There are six limited-time abilities that players should absolutely pull for. Even in the Japanese version that’s many months ahead in the content schedule, these cards are still relevant in end-game content and will last a long time:
- Ultima Weapon
- Ruby Weapon
- Sapphire Weapon
- Omega Weapon
- Diamond Weapon
- Emerald Weapon
These combine a bunch of great abilities under a single umbrella, but exemplify the power creep that the game is guilty of. The question is not whether a card will become obsolete in the future, but how much mileage you can get out of it before it does. A player without these abilities are immediately hampered in terms of leaderboards and rewards based on stack-rankings.
Whether you’re a lapsed player or completely new, or just FF-curious, now is the ideal time to hop on Mobius Final Fantasy. There are plenty of catch-up tutorials and gifts that will catch a player up to clear most of the content, regardless of how absent you’ve been. Whether you’re looking for something to quench that PS1-era nostalgia pang, or just want a satisfying puzzle-based RPG on the move, Mobius FF shines as one of the more compelling freemium titles on the market. At no upfront cost, it’s absolutely worth a go.
Mobius Final Fantasy is available on iOS, Android, and Steam devices.