To 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.
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.
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 :-/.