Final Fantasy Record Keeper Review

Platform: iOS, Android
Developer: Square Enix
Genre: Role-Playing Game
Release: 2014 (Japan), 2015 (World Wide)

Awesome news for mobile users and gamers out there: Final Fantasy Record Keeper by Square Enix has just been released for both the Android and iOS! For those who haven’t heard yet, FFRK is a classic dungeon-based RPG that lets you relive the memorable moments of ALL the main Final Fantasy titles from I-XIII via old school 8-bit graphics (albeit with 3D effects) and the verily missed ATB battle system!

Here’s the announcement trailer revealed months ago:

How to Get the Game?

Download it for FREE at Google Play (Android) or the App Store (iPhone, iPad.)

The Story

In a glorious kingdom that thrives on the harmony between magic and art, epic tales of valor and hope have been passed from one generation to the next. The records of these great chronicles uphold the peace and prosperity of all civilization. The kingdom sealed these records inside paintings, to safeguard the balance of the world. That is until, without warning, the records within the paintings began to fade away… Darkness fell upon the world, bringing catastrophe and ruin. The time has come for you to save the kingdom’s future.

A young apprentice of Keeper Head Dr. Mog, our protagonist Tyro finds himself chosen to travel into these paintings and eliminate the darkness to restore balance to the world. These paintings actually represent the various Final Fantasy realms you need to go to. And the first one is VII- Cloud Strife’s world.

There’s plenty of conversations pertaining to the progression of the story so there’s no need to worry about playing a grindful yet plotless game. Dr. Mog, Tyro and the rest will keep you in the loop!

They overdid it with the UI details IMO, but you’ll get used to it.

How It Plays

You choose a realm (in this case FFVII) and there will be various dungeons to finish inside, each representing a key element in the franchise’s story. Dungeons consist of battling through a number of enemies utilizing the ATB system just like old times. And there’s usually a super-powered boss at the end of the encounter.

Your party consists of five members, each having their own customizable gear and abilities depending on the class they are assigned with. Warriors have sword skills, black mages have dark magic, white mages have curing spells, the works. You just have to push which ability you want to use when a character is up, then you wait for the ATB gauge to fill before they attack. It’s challenging, too, because you have to act fast. If you don’t, the enemies will keep on attacking until you die and it’s game over.

There’s a limit too on how much content you can do at a time so you also have to watch out for that. It’s called Stamina- something each dungeon battle consumes. Right now, I have a max of 31 stamina, each dungeon battle consumes 3, and 1 point is replenished every after couple of minutes.

I have to say the battle experience is really amazing, especially the nostalgia-inducing part. They left no details changed per franchise: the story, characters, limit breaks, music, locations, enemies, even the enemies’ attacks! That means if you go to the realm of FFVIII and FFX, you’ll get content corresponding to that realm!

I guess one downside for me is that each time you go into a new realm, the app downloads new content for that realm. So yeah, you have to wait a bit before you can continue playing.

Remember what happens when you attack while the Scorpion’s tail is up?

Rewards are given after battles: EXP to level up your character, various items to upgrade your gear and abilities, as well as unlock new ones. Heroes from the various FF franchises are unlocked as you complete their dungeons. I only have Cloud and Tidus at the moment besides Tyro and the generic class characters.

I can tell just by playing this game in an hour that it can and WILL BE time consuming if you want to progress. But yeah, that’s pretty much the whole point of playing right? Besides the tons of characters from all the FFs you have to unlock and max level, there’s also a grindfest on gear, relics, magic, even summons! And besides the vast amount of dungeons you need to go through, there’s also a quest system consisting about 130 quests.

Equipment Management? Cid’s right here to help ya!

Gear and ability management may be a bit too complicated to those new to the RPG or MMO scene, though. To unlock the better skills and spells, you have to craft them from certain items that randomly drop at dungeons. Alas, to increase the number of times you can use them in a single battle is a whole different grind.

There’s a neat menu called the Character Profile where you get to access the characters you unlocked and view them in all their glory- profile description, 2D art, and their 8-bit battle pose you can only find here.

RATING: 7.3/10

Story
Gameplay
Visuals
Audio

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