In the last days of June Square Enix released Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius worldwide. It’s hard to believe that only six weeks later they are releasing another mobile game for the North American market. While it’s only been six weeks since Brave Exvius’s release Pokemon Go came out between then and now and blew the mobile space wide open. That might have a little to do with why that gap seems longer. Mobius Final Fantasy is different enough from both though that the traditional Final Fantasy player may want to carve out a few free minutes for this newest entry to the Final Fantasy lore.
The first thing that struck me with Mobius is how good it looks. The 3D character models look great on my iPhone and that’s something that is hard to do. The character models are rendered well. Even the textures on the environment took me by surprise. While I knew it was theoretically possible to make a mobile game that looked this good you don’t often see it.
Mobius takes place across three separate phases; exploration, deck building, and combat.
Exploration: While exploring you’ll start following a predetermined route. After you complete the opening chapter you’ll open up the world map and the ability to teleport. Most combat areas will guide you from fight to fight, however, some exploration areas will allow you to move around freely and see the sights. It is in exploration mode you’ll have the story fed to you in small little bit size chunks between combat missions.
Deck Building: Your character is determined by the job and ability cards you have equipped. Each card has specific attributes. You’ll pick one job card and up to four ability cards. Currently you can be either a warrior, onion knight, white mage, ranger, or hunter. Within the next few weeks they will release another wave of job cards, black mage, dark knight, and thief. Your ability cards determine what type of attacks you can do. You can also level up your cards by combining them with other cards. This increases their power and can add new skills.
Combat: Combat is where you’ll spend the bulk of your time. In combat you’ll take on waves of enemies. These are typically between 3 to 5 waves in length each wave having between 5 and 1 monster. You’ll tap the screen to attack. When you attack you’ll build up small elemental globes, known as skillseeds that will stack along the top of your screen. Skillseeds are a resource that you can spend to execute special attacks. These special attacks and their cost are determined by the ability cards you have selected for your deck. Elements play an important part in combat. You can set your character to be resistant to elements that your enemy is strong in. This is called an elemental drive. Stronger enemies will also have two separate bars over their head. The green one is for their health, the reddish bar is their break meter. Once you break their armor they are extremely weak to attacks and even more susceptible to elemental attacks they are naturally weak to. Your character also slowly builds a limit bar under their health meter and when the gauge fills has the ability to perform a limit break.
Your character begins the game as a blank on the world of Palamecia. Palamecia is under attack by Chaos. No word yet if this is the same Chaos from the original Final Fantasy but it would be interesting if it was. Your character shares the same name as the Warrior of Light that has been prophesized about from time untold. You are supposed to save the world. What’s new? It is refreshing to see a game with a large player base recognize that there is more than one person running around with the belief they are the hero. The only difference is they know that you are truly the hero. In another bit of self-referential humor late in the first chapter you’ll meet a scantily clad fairy, known as a spirit, who could end up getting you into trouble. Your character tells her to put some clothes on. She tells you not to worry only you can see her. It’s nice to see localizers have a sense of humor about these things.
Like most mobile games this one has online leader boards as well as weekly and daily quests. Stamina acts as a constricting resource that limits your play. So far it hasn’t become a major road black. The biggest draw back in the game is the voice acting. It’s so bad I just mute my phone.
Mobius was designed to bring a console like experience to our mobile phones. While the developers may not have entirely hit the mark they have come closer than a lot of mobile games lately like Brave Exvius, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legends. If you spend time gaming on your phone this title won’t be a bad addition to your rotation. We currently only have the first two chapters in the west. There are a total of 5 that have been released in the east.