The goddess of harmony, Cosmos, and the god of discord, Chaos, intertwine in an eternal conflict. Chaos now has the upper hand, and it’s up to you to save the world, or land the final blow.
This is easily classified as a fighting game, and there’s a lot more to it than what you see at the first glance. At first, you can only play as the main heroes of the first ten Final Fantasy games, and each has their own combat styles. There’s Terra, whose magical prowess makes her one of the most formidable combatants siding with Cosmos, and the Warrior of Light, who’s a great all-around character. Simply by playing the game, you earn PP, which is used to unlock the characters sided with Chaos as playable characters, new looks for the characters, and more.
There are several different modes for playing the game, the most noteworthy being the story mode. Here, you can experience the trials and tribulations of Cosmos’ heroes as they search for the only way to save the world. I think there’s also a story mode for the villains, but you’d have to first unlock all the villains from the PP menu.
In story mode, you use Destiny Points to move your character to whatever other icon you want to interact with. If you still have DP remaining when you clear the stage, you get bonuses. Gil can be earned to purchase things from the shop, such as equipment or even a (almost) free level up. Summonstones add a good degree of strategy to the game, especially the ones you manually activate (some are summoned automatically, pending certain conditions). Some equipment comes in sets, so that if you have three pieces equipped from the same set, it unlocks a huge boost of some sort. There are also accessories in the game, and different types of them. With all of the possible equipment, there’s a huge amount of strategy to this game that you may miss at first glance.
By leveling up, characters learn new abilities. Most of these are attacks, though some are simply movement or indicators. However, these add yet more strategy to the game. You have to know how to control range, how to use your abilities to do that, and how to control the balance of power between yourself and your opponent.
Battles are truly a work of art in this game, with being able to crash your opponent into a wall, dramatic chase sequences, and even a new form of limit break known as the EX Burst. By gathering enough EX Force, small points of light that fly from your attacks clashing, and also collecting EX Cores, you can charge up your EX Gauge. Once full, you can activate EX Mode, where your character powers up, and is able to unleash an EX Burst once successfully inflicting HP damage. Every character has a different EX Burst, and they all require some form of interaction. A perfectly-executed EX Burst often means The Final Blow has been dealt.
There are two types of attacks in this game: Bravery and HP attacks. Bravery measures your attack power, and HP attacks deal damage equal to your Bravery. By using Bravery attacks, you can drain Bravery from your opponent. Be careful, though, as unleashing an HP attack will bring you down to 0 Bravery temporarily. There’s plenty of ways to evade or block incoming attacks, too.
There’s even an option to save a replay of your battle for viewing in the Museum mode. In addition, there are several Accomplishments, which act sort of like the PS3’s trophies, but you actually get rewards in-game for them, like new accessories.
The Final Word
All in all, this is a very deep game, with huge amounts of strategy for its simplicity. It’s like Final Fantasy chess, but with a lot more awesomeness to it.
– Final rating: Excellent