If you have not heard, Final Fantasy Awakening is now available for your mobile device and it might look good on the outside, but the reality is rather the opposite. But before we delve into why we deem the game so, let's take a look at the history of Final Fantasy Awakening and its journey to become an ARPG mobile cash grab.
Final Fantasy Awakening is the "reborn" successor of Final Fantasy Type-0 which saw its previous successor, Agito being canceled after a short stint on the mobile platforms back in 2014. Like Agito that came before this, Awakening will also be part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy series which is part of the same crystal mythos shared by previous Final Fantasy titles such as IV, III, V and I. While Agito had ended its service in 2015, however, Square Enix had announced their rebirth projects during Tokyo Game Show 2015, which resulted in Final Fantasy Awakening, partnering up with well-known cash grab kings Perfect World Entertainment.
Coming back to Final Fantasy Awakening, at first glance, it looks good, polished even, with enough Japanese audio to satisfy your inner otaku, and with mind-numbing action which focuses on pummeling the longest digits possible on any single target. Micro-transactions are evident and made expressively so, from the tempting offers for you to buy gems to the good old VIP system we have seen that pulls in wallet-friendly players to buy more gems just to get that elusive benefits at VIP 10, which mostly means you earn a small rebate for your large investment.
As with most mobile games nowadays, Final Fantasy Awakening is an auto grinding game, which means you leave your device on, while the characters pummel monsters for you. most of your time will most likely be spent on crafting, upgrading certain equipment, merging thrash characters you earn just to get cooler thrash, and of course a slot system, which lets you bet gems for a chance at getting more gems.
Looking closer at the combat system, we really don't consider the engine to be bad, just lacking a certain sense of creativity. The AI in auto mode does a good job of being efficient with your skills and such but there are times whereby the AI messes up with missions such as protect the crystal or defend waves. Like most games of this genre, getting the legendary characters nets you with greater combat potential, but Awakening gives you some leeway as their basic characters are rather sturdy, however, their usefulness become less effective later through the game.
So if you are into Final Fantasy, and Chinese MMO's in general, then Final Fantasy Awakening should be one of many games you could be getting for your mobile. for those just curious, we say, why not, as free players in this game can get quite far without spending gems in the early game. As for us, we will wait and see.