The Final Fantasy series is held to very high standards, being known for producing some of the most popular RPG titles that have ever existed. To many, these games stand at the pinnacle of role playing games, but what happens once Square Enix partners with someone else to create a new game?
Late last year we told you Square Enix and Machine Zone were teaming up to release a mobile Final Fantasy MMORPG that “combines the characters, storyline and soundtrack” from Final Fantasy XV with gameplay that will allow millions of people to play online at once. This was getting fans worried, as they thought this game could sway too much from the Square Enix style and become “just another cookie-cutter mobile app”.
After months of radio silence, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire has finally been released through the Google Play Store. It is a strategy game set in the Machine Zone universe, but using elements, characters and music from Final Fantasy XV. Just as suspected (and sadly, for most), it is very similar to other Machine Zone games like Mobile Strike and Game of War: Fire Age.
These are very popular games within the mobile market, but they are not exactly what fans expect from the Final Fantasy franchise. This is causing an onslaught of bad reviews and negative comments on the Google Play Store. It already has a 3.3-star rating and over 1,000 1-star reviews. The comments are also flooded with people unhappy about it being devoid of the usual Final Fantasy touch and being a blatant clone of the other Machine Zone games.
As a Final Fantasy fan, I can’t say I am happy with what I see here, but we must take into consideration that this was probably an attempt to expand from the usual. It’s meant to bring a touch of Final Fantasy to casual mobile gamers. This won’t keep purists happy, but some of you may enjoy something a bit different from what we are used to seeing from Final Fantasy.
What do you think? Was partnering with Machine Zone the right move for Square Enix? Do you believe it is better to keep the pure essence of Final Fantasy games? The game is free-to-play, so give it a go and then hit the comments to share your 2 cents.