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Final Fantasy Explorers Hands-On – Attack, Attack, Attack, Repeat

We’ll get this out there right away: Square Enix’s Nintendo 3DS based Final Fantasy Explorers is obviously not meant to be played as a single player affair. I went hands on with the recently announced game at Tokyo Game Show 2014, and honestly did not have that great of a time.

Like I said, I’m sure that the game will be able to appeal to those looking to play in a group, as I could see in the round table of players in the middle of its display section having a good time, but this game was about as tedious as they come playing alone.

Starting off on your demo, Final Fantasy Explorers grants the option to tackle several job classes, and knowing I was going out alone, I chose a Knight since they always have the best chance of survival. Charging into battle, there is a lock on system, my knight only had one triple strike combo in his arsenal, and that was it.

Attack, Attack, Attack, Repeat, Attack, Attack, Attack, Repeat, Attack, Attack, Attack, Repeat.

I chipped away very slowly and very repetitively at my enemy Ifrit’s life bar as it slowly slid across the screen to zero. That was about the extent of my demo beyond a short dungeon with a few scattered random enemies. The only method of changing up this formula was trying to play along with my two bots, a Chocobo with a very useful AoE healing spell and a Goblin I captured who did minimal damage and attacked mostly as a damage sponge.

Attack, Attack, Attack, Repeat, Attack, Attack, Attack, Repeat, Attack, Attack, Attack, Repeat.

I also turned into Final Fantasy VII‘s Cloud Strife. This game features a limit break system which allows you to transform into the series’ most memorable faces, and Cloud was my guy. Can you guess what his special attack was?

Attack, Attack, Attack, Repeat, Attack, Attack, Attack, Repeat, Attack, Attack, Attack, Repeat.

Yes, he did the exact same thing with a very small increase in damage. Not much else came with the demo other than a look at the hub town and mineral gathering spread throughout the dungeon floor.

I don’t think I was in the right mindset to play Final Fantasy Explorers. I picked a tedious job class designed for heavy defense and limited offense, and all I could do was charge into a battle that took way longer than it should have. With level ups, a variety of different job classes, more nostalgia Final Fantasy with familiar faces, and friends to play with, it could be a decent game. I’m just not big on these simplistic mutliplayer action RPGs, and I would rather get a fix from something single player and deeper.

No doubt because of the Final Fantasy brand, Square Enix will localize this before it ever localizes Dragon Quest VII, and that’s a shame. Final Fantasy Explorers requires other people to be fun, and when no others are about, as is often the case on the America Nintendo 3DS scene at least, you’ll be stuck with a half-hearted, repetitive game designed to capitalize on the success of Monster Hunter and other smartphone RPGs.


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Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...


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