Brave New Worlds
I caved. I bought Final Fantasy Explorers. Actually I bought it the day it came out (I think). That being said, I haven’t put as much time into it as I would like, but since this is my opinion anyway, fuck it.
There is a lot of comparison between FFEX and Monster Hunter, and it is easy to see why. You start off in a “hub” town where you accept quests from a counter, shop at the random stalls and a gateway where you head out into your adventure. Not a bad setup, as it has worked for MH for years. However, what FFEX seems to be attempting is to bridge the gap of casual Monster Hunter-esq players and Final Fantasy enthusiasts, and to be honest I am glad they have.
Now, my last Monster Hunter game was Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (great game). New classes along with the old favorites and a much better (for me) multiplayer system. Thanks to having that relatively still fresh in my mind I dove into FFEX to see what was what.
Straight away I could feel myself sliding into my Monster Hunter mentality. I knew the basics. I knew the “press and retreat” strategy for engagements…or did I? The initial combat with standard mobs is fairly simple from the get-go. You can easily destroy them with a few hits or one well placed skill and there are plenty to choose from. As you level monsters will get tougher and you can even add on options to give you more of a challenge. Granted this is all dependent on your class.
What’s that? I didn’t mention classes? Oh, well, here.
There are 20 classes that you can choose from, from the starter (Freelancer) all the way up to Blue Mage. Hell even Time Mage is here and the last time I saw them was in Final Fantasy Tactics.
Each class comes with its own* skill set. Noticed the asterisk? That is because it seems skills are more tied to weapons than classes. I base this on running a Black Mage with Cure (for those who don’t know, Cure is a White Magic spell). However, using this to full advantage means that any player can run with a heal spell in their repertoire. That isn’t to say that the classes don’t have a few unique skills. What I mean is, certain classes can only use certain weapons (except Freelancer who can use them all). So I can’t run a Thief with a Harp, even if I wanted to be called Twinkle Toes.
On top of all of that, you also have the ability to summon Eidolons (classics like Bahamut and Shiva), but taking it one step further and you can enter a Trance Mode, which allows you to become some of your favorite Final Fantasy characters.
“Summoning” for a lack of a better word, these characters, gives you access to special abilities that are straight from your fandom. Cloud (FFVII) gets his Omnislash and Tidus (FFX)gets Blitz Ace.
Sadly I haven’t made it far enough to try everything, but I am definitely working at it. (I do know you can randomly craft Sephiroth’s duds)
All in all I am having an amazing time wandering around and crafting ALL OF THE THINGS. I would love to have more players to run with, so if you own it and need people, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter Medic Magic and we will swap Friend Codes.
All in all Final Fantasy Explorers to me, is an easy way for new players to the classic Monster Hunter style to get their feet wet. Moving from FFEX to a MH game will provide a challenge and hopefully new fans to the series.
I’ll leave you with something extra. Square Enix has created another wonderful soundtrack for FFEX which you can feel all of the classics, but with some new things added in. (think Phantasy Star Episode I & II). Worth the listen.