It’s been a whole week since our Gaming in Isolation article, how have you been? Oh me, yeah I’m pretty good! It’s all doom and gloom out there, and that’s okay – We’ve got video games to play and get absorbed into. If this is the first time you happened across this article, definitely go and check out the last episode here.

These entries serve as review in progresses, where I discuss games that I’m currently playing through but also cover games that wouldn’t warrant a full review – like mobile games.

Let’s roll the intro:

We’ve been training for this our entire lives right? We’ve all got that game world we visit to help us just escape everything that’s happening in the real world – This is our time brothers and sisters, while the WHO has added ‘gaming disorder’ to it’s list of addictive behaviors, it’s also encouraging us to play more games to help stop the spread of COVID-19 across the world.

In the UK, we’ve been in lockdown now for three weeks with another three confirmed. The struggle is starting to slowly creep up. I’m currently working from home, I’m grateful that I’ve got the facility to work from home when so many of my colleagues are unable to – It’s not as amazing as you’d think, working, gaming and living in the same space. There’s this overwhelming encumbrance across everything you do, during your working hours all you want to do is game (but don’t) and when you finish you end up thinking about the working day and what tomorrow will bring..!

Now the realisation has set in, and we’re all in this together. Let’s talk about some of the games that I’ve been using as an escape.

WAR OF THE VISIONS: FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS

I’ve been waiting for a very long time for Square Enix to develop a spiritual successor to the Final Fantasy Tactics series which was originally released in 1997. What set this game apart from the main series is that it’s a Strategy  Role Playing game – The goal is to move your units across the field and defeat your enemy. If you’ve played the Fire Emblem series, you’ll instantly recognise the gameplay.

The story has you following Mont Leonis in a time of war, as the continent of Ardora is strife with War between multiple nations.While I’m not a connoisseur with mobile gaming, the story available has me hooked and includes some high quality English voice overs; something I haven’t seen on this platform yet 

War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is a divisive Final Fantasy spin-off game, just like the original Brave Exvius game that was released on smart devices near the end of 2015. 

The major issue with the game, from a player perspective, is that this is a gacha game. If you’re unsure what I’m referring to here, let me clear it up for you – Gacha is a vending machine which dispenses toy capsules, while you know what’s available in the machine there’s no certainty with what you’re actually going to get!

This is a problem when the developer regularly introduces characters for you to unlock, sometimes these are characters which are from other mainline Final Fantasy games and sometimes are original characters which inhabit the Brave Exvius universe. 

Levelling your characters is a joy due to the mechanics found within the genre are genuinely fun here, although sometimes can be frustrating due to the use of touchscreens – The gorgeous visuals do make up for the minor frustrations however and the original games style is emulated incredibly well here.

You will however find yourself stumbling into a deadend, as characters are required to be Awakened and have their Limit Broken. Awaking a character is relatively simple, you just require materials which you’re able to gather by completing quests. Limit Breaking is where my main issue with the game is – Highly sought after characters require their shards to be acquired by utilising the gacha system and there are accounts of people paying an excess of $400 to acquire and fully train a character. It’s madness, but is common within Role Playing Games found on the App Store.

The most recent update to the game includes a collaboration with the original Final Fantasy Tactics and introduces Gaffgarion (a unit given to you for free), Orlandeau and Ramza. I’m lucky that I got Orlandeau using one of my free summons and while he is a fantastic character to have in your party – I’m not prepared to pay an excess to level him up. All of my effort is currently going into Gaffgarion who is nearly maxed out now.

Considering the time and effort it takes to level some of these characters up, and despite the overall quality of the ever expanding main campaign – these side characters don’t get any story., nothing that introduces them to the world. Yes, there are quests available which reward you with shards, materials or equipment; It’s just a massive disappointment that they’re not getting any screen time. I just want an actual reason to invest into these characters…

The game is free to download and play, if you’re a fan of Final Fantasy Tactics you should definitely go and try it out or, why not check out our first 30 minutes play through over on our YouTube channel:

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