"With a substantial single-player story and impressive production values, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius defies my expectations of a free-to-play mobile game."
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is a huge success for mobile devices in Japan, with over 6 million current active players, and Square Enix intends to increase that number to over 10 million by year's end with the game's worldwide launch. Square Enix ran video of Brave Exvius at a few kiosks in their E3 booth, and producer Hiroki Fujimoto held question-and-answer sessions by appointment.
Brave Exvius is being translated into six languages over multiple territories: English, French, Spanish, German, Korean, and traditional Chinese. Multiple branches of Square Enix's localization groups are overseeing translation to make sure Brave Exvius is consistent with Final Fantasy lore and nomenclature for that country. The game is free-to-play, but there is a "stamina" bar that prevents players from playing for sustained periods at once. Players can use real money transactions to buy more stamina, guest characters, experience point boosters, and in-game currency.
Most of Brave Exvius takes place on a 2D plane, navigating maps and holding turn-based battles that should feel familiar to fans of Final Fantasy's 2D titles. The game jumps to 3D animation for summons and some spells, and the effects look downright incredible for a mobile game. Combat uses up to six characters, and parties are typically composed of at least one of Brave Exvius' story characters (Rain, Lasswell, and Fina) plus guest characters the player has recruited. These guests are comprised of heroes and villains from the entire Final Fantasy series. Unlike its mobile predecessors Brave Frontier, Record Keeper, and All the Bravest, Brave Exvius has a character-driven story that adds new chapters every few months. Fujimoto indicated that making Brave Exvius feel like a full-fledged Final Fantasy story was extremely important to the developers.
The sprites are detailed and expressive, and attacks are beautifully animated in the E3 videos. Final Fantasy heroes like Terra, Celes, and Vivi, villains like Kefka and Exdeath, and even minor characters like Luca and Giott were shown in different videos. Brave Exvius will feature a huge roster of guest characters that will only grow as time passes. Brave Exvius's soundtrack is composed by 15-year veteran game composer Noriyasu Agematsu, who also created music for the entire Chaos Rings series. Agematsu's Brave Exvius soundtrack boasts over 40 songs, with a few remixes of Final Fantasy mainstays (the prelude, victory theme, and a few others) but featuring mostly original music.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius plans to release later this summer in multiple territories for a price of zero (free-to-play, remember?), but players who pre-register get a bonus 30 lapis crystals to start. With a substantial single-player story and impressive production values, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius defies my expectations of a free-to-play mobile game. Square Enix has great hopes for their new Final Fantasy mobile game, and their worldwide effort to get it in more folks' phones shows it.