My Thoughts on 3DS Final Fantasy Explorers

IMG_6871.JPGTo be honest, I’m pretty let down by this game. It’s hard to describe exactly why I’m feeling this way, because there are so many elements I love to it. I purchased Final Fantasy Explorers for the 3DS a day after it released (January 27), and I beat the main story line on March 9th, logging a total of 45 hours and 25 minutes. I think… it might just be easier for me to list out what I liked and what I didn’t.

Things I loved

  • All of those nostalgic elements! In the game, your “limit break” allows you to “summon” (transform) into a character from older Final Fantasy games and use their signature move. The game has the more traditional summon, called Eidolons (includes Shiva and Ifrit), and nontraditional ones like Squall from FFVIII and Tifa from FFVII.
  • Your character is super customizable – this is a huge selling point for me. The look and options given remind me of character creation for Ragnarok Online. You can even dress your character in special set outfits from older Final Fantasy characters. My character was dressed like Rikku for most of the game.

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Things I liked

  • Collecting an be a focus of the game. Like a lot of other Final Fantasy games, you have a completion percentage of how many of the monsters, items, or equipment you’ve faced or gathered. I’m not particularly huge on this, but if I wanted to continue playing the game I could focus on getting 100% of all the items and monsters.
  • You can change the difficulty of your mission by giving yourself handicaps, which will make the payout of completing the mission bigger.
  • I didn’t have to focus too much on leveling or job advancement. There’s no penalty for switching jobs, so I was able to switch between jobs whenever I felt like it without worrying that it would make me weaker for upcoming boss battles. The leveling kind of happened accordingly while I was exploring the map to collect monsters or earn money.

Things I didn’t like (oh boy, here we go)

  • The plot is weak. I’m not even sure if there was a real plot.
  • The NPCs are kind of unlovable.
  • There’s only one town area in which all of the unlovable NPCs reside.
  • The only character I could directly affect in any substantial way was my own character. There was no team of characters, no team building or balancing really, and no real interactions or character development.

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To be fair, it’s probably my fault for buying this game. There is a multiplayer function I didn’t use at all, where you can team up with other players via wifi in order to complete quests. I’m sure that doing this would have made my gameplay more dynamic (or annoying… I’ve never known MMORPG players to be that friendly). But the thing is, this game is supposed to be a 3DS game with a multiplayer option! The quality of the game shouldn’t hinge on whether I decide to turn that function on. Also, I’m giving the game the benefit of the doubt that it would definitely be better if I played with other 3ds owners.

I’ll be reselling this to gamestop tomorrow :-/.

Current Obsession: Nintendo 3DS Story of Seasons

I recently purchased the Nintendo 3DS game Story of Seasons. It’s made by the same company that makes the Harvest Moon games (repping Harvest Moon since SNES yo), and I would even put this game in the same universe as the Harvest Moon series. So far, I’ve logged about 40 hours into the game, and I’m at the tail end of the Fall season of the First year. I know… it’s exactly how it sounds… I spent 40 real life hours playing a game where I’m a farmer on a farm in a quiet little town. I actually named my character after my cat, and my character’s hairy brown cat after me. 😀 So technically, my cat is living the farm life, and I’m living the life of the cat.

Harvest Competition - Serious business

Harvest Competition – Serious business

The objective of the game is to run a successful and competitive farm, boost the town’s economy by opening trade with other countries and increasing tourism. As a new member of the town, you’ll also want to make friends with the townspeople and even marry one of the eligible bachelors or bachelorettes of the town.

My character's waifu.

My character’s waifu. Check out those pink flowers. 

It’s insanely addicting.

There are a few subtle differences between Story of Seasons and the typical harvest moon games, some I like and some I don’t.

Things I like:

  • You can choose from two difficulty levels (easy and normal). I’m playing on easy mode, because apparently I like to farm to relax.
  • There is so much character customization! This aspect is a bit lacking in the Harvest Moon series. In Story of Seasons, you can change your clothes and your physical attributes (hair color and style, face type, skin tone).
  • There’s also a world building aspect. You can change the appearance of your farm, your home, and the town.
  • I’m not sure if this is entirely a new function (>_< I actually haven’t played the last one or two releases. I think the last HM game I played was The Tale of Two Towns.), but I like that you can see your friendship levels with the townspeople by pressing the upper left button when near the npc. Very handy.
  • Similar to the HM games, there’s a lot to do. Farm life is not idle life.
  • There are reverse confessions! And reverse marriage proposals. That’s got to be a first.

Things I’m not too keen on:

  • There aren’t any love rivals. In some of the other HMs, you can trigger cutscenes between one of the potential marriage candidates and your respective rival in love. These cute romantic cutscenes enrich the game, and I like to see that the NPC’s  lives don’t revolve around my character. Without this aspect, I feel like the lives of half of the characters remain stagnant after my own character chooses her path.  I guess it’s just as well. I always found it both hilarious and sad that there was always one female NPC without someone to marry, all because my character decided to uproot her life and come waltzing into town, making the total number of young people uneven. LOL.
  • There’s no mining cave… just a single sad little vein to “mine” from that’s like a cornucopia of gems and stones.
  • There may even be too much going on – I’ve noticed an influx of new animals you can own, you can rent crop fields, there’s a safari (kind of like the safari in pokemon, except way smaller, and mostly used for scavenging), you can own your own trading stall, you can edit the appearance of your home, your farm, and the town, and that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. I mean, I’m not even through year one and I’ve already logged a ton of hours.

Here are the games I’ve played in the series: /humblebrag

  • SNES Harvest Moon
  • GB Harvest Moon GB
  • GBC Harvest Moon 2 GBC
  • Play Station Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
  • GBC Harvest Moon 3 GBC
  • GBA Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
  • GBA Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town
  • NDS Harvest Moon DS
  • NDS Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness
  • NDS Harvest Moon DS: Grand Bazaar
  • NDS Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns

/end humblebrag

My next 3DS game purchase will most likely be the new Animal Crossing game, which if it’s anything like it’s predecessors, is a game about paying off the mortgage to your house :D.