REVIEW: ‘War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius’ Has A Lot To Offer (iOS)

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War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is a free to play mobile turn based tactics RPG developed by Gumi and Square Enix, and published by Square Enix. Taking place in the same fantasy world as Square’s previous mobile game Brave Exvius, this game follows crown prince Mont Leonis as he faces the challenges of courtly intrigue and war.

Two things I’ve always loved are Final Fantasy games, and tactical RPGs. As such, I’ve always been a huge fan of the classic Final Fantasy Tactics, and have eagerly awaited a return by Square Enix into the tactical RPG genre. While this isn’t quite what I would’ve chosen, it certainly scratches some of the itches well.

War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius throws a lot at the player. With a bevy of modes and options for gathering a plethora of resources it can quickly become quite muddled. Luckily, a lot of the game’s systems can basically be ignored while you get your feet under you. It also sports a hearty tutorial in the form of it’s Beginners Hall. Fourteen missions designed to completely walk new players through every step of combat. I highly recommend jumping in there first. While much will be familiar territory for veterans there are a few curve balls that are good to know.

For a quick gameplay overview: each level in the game consists of a battle. Fought between up to five of your characters, with a possible sixth if the player wishes to summon another player’s character to help, and some number of enemies. The left side of the screen is dominated by a turn bar showing the order actions will occur. Some actions, like casting spells take time. Once the character begins casting other characters might get to act before the spell is complete. This adds strategic depth to actions.

During a turn each character can move, and take an action. Actions can take a multitude of forms. From casting spells, supporting allies, or even summoning the icon espers of the series, there are plenty of options for players to choose on the battlefield.

The biggest wrinkle in the classic tactics formula offered here is the approach to how one gains access to their abilities during a battle.

All abilities are broken into two different types. They are either support, or combat abilities. Support abilities are powered by the player’s TP gauge. Combat abilities run on the AP gauge. At the beginning of each battle most characters have a full TP Gauge, but their AP gauge is close to empty. By doing basic attacks, and utilizing their support abilities, characters gain AP. There is no readily available way to gain TP however during a battle. So players need to balance the two. I liked this system as it made me think about how to approach and pace my abilities.

Once the training wheels are kicked off War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius presents two different play experiences. Multiplayer, and a robust single player campaign. First, let’s dive into single player.

This game really impresses me with the depth and detail it puts into its single-player campaign. From an intriguing tale of courtly power plays, to its varied battlefield designs, I throughly enjoy everything the campaign has to offer.  The very  fact that every main cut scene features full voice work is a step above the presentation of most mobile offerings.

While the single player offering does its best to go above and beyond, the PvP aspects of the game are exactly what I expect. The few matches I went into here were classic free to play multiplayer. I was thrown in against teams of characters who more than doubled my party’s level. Showing that if I wanted to engage with this aspect of the game I’d need to power level my best characters. If this isn’t a problem for the player, and they certainly throw plenty of experience cubes at you to facilitate it, than you can probably enjoy this without too much difficulty. I’ve always preferred leveling characters the old fashioned way. Just dropping orbs on them ruins the experience for me. So some day, I might check the multiplayer out more fully. For now though, I’ll keep my characters powering through the campaign.

War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Speaking of the characters some of the best news here is that you will have more than enough characters at your disposal to fight your battles with. War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius throws characters at you. I haven’t spent a dime on the loot box style gotcha system and I have over 15 characters to use, with at  five in the highest Ultra Rare category. These characters also sport a bevy of classes to them. Pretty much every class that crops up in the Final Fantasy series is here. From the basics like thief, to some of the less known classes like Red Mage, it feels like it’s all here.  And every one of these characters are highly customizable. While nothing is better than customizing RPG characters, the manner that this game does it is the worst.

As with many mobile offerings there are a bevy of currencies at work here. Ones for increasing job level, ones for awakening a character’s potential, or improving equipment. I will never be able to keep them all straight. Luckily, if you aren’t shooting to have the absolutely most boss character you can have, it isn’t a problem. I’m several hours into the campaign and it hasn’t hindered me in the least. I’ve even gotten comfortable enough to start searching out some of these materials to improve my characters. Which leads to another stumbling point. The horrible mission structure for acquiring materials.

War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius has special missions you go on to obtain the various materials needed for augmenting your characters. There are multiple versions of these missions, each with an increased difficulty to it. The problem with these missions is that each single mission doesn’t change.

For example: I need materials to increase the job level of my favorite sorcerer. My party’s level is too low to challenge any of the missions you play to acquire the material but the easiest one. Every time I play that mission it is exactly the same. The enemies, the map, where they spawn. It’s… all… the same. And you will need to play these missions multiple times in order to get the necessary materials. I cannot fathom why Square didn’t set these missions up to randomize the experience. But it is a huge hurdle to interacting with that aspect of the game.

While War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius has some of the classic free to play mobile pitfalls, it has a lot of fun to offer as well. A hefty campaign, and multiplayer mode give plenty of reason to come back to the game. Even if some of its systems are overly confusing, and resource grinding can be a bit obnoxious.

War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is available now on iOS and Android mobile platforms.

War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

While it has some of the classic free to play mobile pitfalls, it has a lot of fun to offer as well. A hefty campaign, and multiplayer mode give plenty of reason to come back to the game. Even if some of its systems are overly confusing, and resource grinding can be a bit obnoxious.