Dungeon crawling with more than a few familiar faces.
Where to start and where to begin? This looks like an interesting new direction for the Final Fantasy franchise but takes cues from so many other familiar games.
The game sounds pretty simple; your character adventures out into countless dungeons looking for resources to further their progress in the game. Whether you’re looking for new summons or a new set of armor, all resources can be found in the dungeons. But, as I’m sure you can guess, these dungeons are filled to the brim with classic Final Fantasy baddies just waiting to take a bite out of you. At the end of every dungeon lies a boss in waiting as well. These bosses have also been ripped out of Final Fantasy lore, like Ifrit.
While combating the hordes before you there are several actions that you can take, depending on your class. White mages can heal, Monks can deal out some massive damage and Dragoons can do their trademark jump. You can explore on your own or with a party of four in both local and online play. Depending on your style of play, you may need to think carefully about your class. But fear not, even when you play alone you can summon monsters to heal and fight with you. If you ever feel like crawling through an old dungeon, have no fear. The layouts will change each time you enter, although the baddies will usually stay the same.
There are definitely some parts of this game that feel to familiar to me, though. Collecting fragments of defeated monsters feels a lot like, well, Monster Hunter. But it looks different enough that this shouldn’t bog anyone down. The style and combat of the game feel reminiscent of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, which is welcome to fans of the series, like myself. Whether or not you’ve played either of the previously mentioned games you should still have fun with the Final Fantasy Explorers.
There is a new mechanic introduced that allows you to take the form of protagonist of yore. After battling your way through a horde or two you can hit a button that will allow you to transform into the likes of Squall from Final Fantasy 8 or Cloud of the infamous Final Fantasy 7. While transformed you can wail on enemies with some seriously boosted stats and attire to match.
The game was a lot of fun for me, as a fan of dungeon crawlers. There was enough of a mix up in areas and enemies that I was engaged. The combat style and collection aspects were engaging as well. Transforming into old heroes was just the icing on the cake. Look out for Final Fantasy Explorers on the 3DS in a few months!