We recently got our first glimpse of a fight in Square-Enix’s upcoming Mevius Final Fantasy. However, much about the role-playing game, which is due out for Android in spring, is wrapped in mystery.
We don’t know what Square-Enix is giving us. That won’t stop us from talking about what we want.
Controls that work – In the Long Ago and Far Away, Final Fantasy games featured a line of good guys staring down a line of bad guys. Fights were carried out via menu commands, through which players told the little sprite dudes which enemies to swing their sword or staff at.
Gradually, these menu-based fights became more interactive: Players can even enter Street Fighter-style controller motions in Final Fantasy VI to make the monk character, Sabin, hurl aura-based attacks.
Nowadays, Final Fantasy fights lean more towards the “action” side. So it’s more important than ever for Mevius Final Fantasy to have accurate, easy-to-use controls. The game will almost certainly have controller support, but that’s not always an option for someone in transit.
Sure, even modern RPGs aren’t as action-heavy as an average platforming game, but the thought of our thumbs slipping at a crucial time is still worth sweating over. Sloppy controls can translate into an overworld that’s tedious to navigate. And that can translate into unintentional enemy encounters. Boo.
The option to play in landscape mode and portrait mode – We’d like the ability to switch Mevius Final Fantasy between portrait mode and landscape on the fly, please. This may seem like a “Well, duh” request, but all of Square-Enix’s Dragon Quest remakes / ports are playable in portrait-mode only.
The Dragon Quest ports are still playable and still excellent, but having the option taken away from us is kind of crummy. Holding your device in one hand is OK if you’re commuting in a crowded bus. It’s less convenient when you’re lying back in bed and want to chill.
An open-world game that’s off the rails – By “off the rails” we mean two things: “OFF DA RAILZ!”, and a game that lets you slip your bonds and go beyond invisible walls.
According to its website, Mevius Final Fantasy is supposed to be a “full-scale, high-quality RPG world the likes of which has never been seen on smartphones and tablets.” It’s a bold claim, and one that makes us a little skeptical. While the quality of mobile games is rapidly improving and game streaming makes it possible to enjoy console and PC titles on tablets and phones, there’s still a ways to go before non-streamed mobile titles can compare to console and PC games.
From the few screens we’ve seen, Mevius Final Fantasy looks fantastic, but we’re still at the point where a mobile game that looks so good needs to make a trade in order to work on as many devices as possible. The Infinity Blade games look awesome and they play well – but they’re also on-rails, meaning opportunities for exploration are minimal.
If Square-Enix came right out and said Mevius Final Fantasy is an on-rails spin-off Final Fantasy game, we’d be fine with that. But that’s not what Square-Enix is promising. It’s talking up a game that’s supposedly worthy of being called a mainstream Final Fantasy title. We’ll just have to see.
Characters and a story worth sticking with – Finally, even if Square-Enix manages to polish Mevius Final Fantasy until it squeaks, it won’t mean a thing if the game’s characters and story aren’t engaging.
People seem to be warming up to Final Fantasy XV’s road trip-based story scenario and the bro-dudes piloting the car. If Mevius Final Fantasy manages to give us a similarly warm cast gathered around an equally compelling event, that’d be pretty awesome.