Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
|Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius|
|Producer(s)||Kei Hirono, Hiroki Fujimoto|
|Writer(s)||Yukinori Kitajima, Nanako Saito|
|Platform(s)||iOS, Android, Amazon Fire|
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is a free-to-play role-playing game developed by Alim and published by Square Enix for iOS, Android and Amazon Fire devices. A spin-off of the Final Fantasy series, the game marks as the first collaborative effort between Square-Enix and Alim. As of October 2018, the app had been downloaded over 35 million times worldwide. On December 2, 2018, a tactical RPG spin-off titled War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius was announced, to be released in 2019.
Brave Exvius is designed as a turn-based role-playing game, combining elements from the Final Fantasy series with those of previous Alim game, Brave Frontier. Similar to Brave Frontier, the battle system consists of a simplified interface where players can command their characters to attack by touching the character's corresponding attack button, and special attacks or items can be used by swiping the button and choosing the desired command.
The game also uses elements from the Final Fantasy series such as magic spells, character-specific limit breaks, and the summoning of creatures (known as 'Espers').
Characters are presented in a pixel art style. As part of the game's gacha system, players can summon characters from past Final Fantasy and Brave Frontier titles, the rarity of which ranges from 1 to 7 stars. Players can then use those characters to build custom parties of five units. They can also recruit an additional sixth unit from other players.
Players advance through a series of stages until they encounter and defeat the end boss, during which time they gain experience points, crafting materials and money.
The game also features 'exploration' stages (a new addition compared to Brave Frontier), during which players are able to freely explore towns and other areas in a classic RPG style via touch control, interacting with characters, visiting shops, obtaining quests, looking for resources and fighting enemies in random encounters (during which, the interface is the same as regular battle stages). Hidden within the some exploration areas is the character known as the 'Fat Chocobo', who sells rare, exclusive items in exchange for a specific resource, known as 'star quartz'.
An arena mode is also available, allowing players to compete against the teams of other players.
The game also features various limited time events, whereby new stages and exploration areas are available for a limited duration.
Energy is a resource which players require in order to begin most stages. It re-charges in real-time, even when the game is closed. New players begin the game with a maximum energy level of 10, but gain more capacity as they complete stages and increase their 'player rank'.
The main way to access the story and lore of Brave Exvius is via the world map. In the world map, there are multiple continents, which correspond with the game's story arcs. To play, or continue with the story, the player must complete each continent to unlock a new continent. New continents are added to the game with periodic releases, as the story is expanded.
Within each continent, there is a path of towns and landmarks, and within the landmarks there are multiple levels, each with their own objectives.
In the game there are 8 elements: fire, ice, water, lightning, earth, wind, light, and dark. Each element counters another; for example, ice is weak against fire, but effective against wind.
Elements are important because most in-game enemies have specific elemental weaknesses (e.g. most monsters in the colder region of the world are weak to fire, mechanical enemies are often weak to lightning).
A key gameplay mechanic carried over from other Final Fantasy titles is that of 'Espers' (also known by other names, such as 'Summons' in other Final Fantasy games). Espers are powerful creatures that can be found in the game's world and, once defeated in battle, equipped to the player's units. Equipping an Esper will grant units new statistics and abilities to use in battle, and also allows that Esper to be evoked directly during combat.
As with other units, Espers can be increased in level to gain improved attributes and new abilities.
Chaining the timing of attacks between characters in a party to do multiple hits in succession is a method for increasing damage dealt during battle. There are three types of chaining in the game:
- A normal chain is made only by simple attacks. Chains of up to roughly 30 can be achieved in a combo.
- An elemental chain happens when attacks of a single element are used in succession. There can be up to 10 chains in a combo. When an element is chained, it can add extra damage in the form of element used.
- A spark chain is the most powerful chain, and has a max combo limit of 6. Spark chaining will happen during hits that are entirely in sync with each other.
The story takes place in Lapis, a world where Magic Crystals exist alongside visions, which are physical manifestations of people's thoughts and feelings.
The story focuses on Rain, a young knight from the Kingdom of Grandshelt who, though a stalwart knight in his own right, feels overshadowed by his father, Sir Raegan. Rain and his childhood friend Lasswell are traveling on their airship when they encounter, Fina, a young woman trapped in a crystal who begs assistance from them. Fina leads them to the Earth Shrine, where the Earth Crystal is under attack by the Veritas of the Dark, who claims to be one of the Sworn Six of Paladia. While the Dark Lord's real motive remains unknown, it seems that he wants to end the world by destroying all crystals. Though Rain and Lasswell have never heard of either Veritas or his organization, he proves to be a formidable foe, destroying the Earth Crystal despite their opposition.
With the help of Fina, a healer and archer who has lost her memory, the two set out to track down Veritas and stop his rampage.
Brave Exvius was first revealed in November 2014 at the Final Fantasy Live Event in Tokyo, alongside Final Fantasy Legends: Toki no Suishō and the Final Fantasy Portal App. It was first released in Japan in October 2015.
Eiji Takahashi and Hisatoshi Hayakashi of Brave Frontier both direct and produce the game while Noriyasu Agematsu composed the game's musical score. Illustrations of the characters are handled by Yoshitaka Amano, who illustrated art on early Final Fantasy works.
On August 26, 2015 a beta test began for the Android version of the game for a limited number of players who had registered accounts on the Square Enix Japanese website. An English global release was announced in May 2016, with the beta version being released in Sweden, alongside the pre-registration campaign.
The game was officially released worldwide outside of Japan on June 29, 2016.
In December 2018 a mobile companion app, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: Digital Ultimania, was announced in Japan.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius received "mixed or average" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic. TouchArcade awarded it a score of 3.5 out of five, saying " It's worth a shot if you're a fan of Square's classic RPG series, but in trying to stretch out to two different camps, I fear it may not entirely please either." As of January 2016, the game has been downloaded 5 million times. Mobile titles like Exvius helped Square Enix achieve profitability in 2015, in conjunction with other mobile titles it created.
According to revenue estimates from analyst firm Sensor Tower,Final Fantasy Brave Exvius had a monthly revenue of $13 million in April 2018, with the Japanese version grossing $3 million on the App Store and $4 million on Google Play, and the English version grossing $2 million on the App Store and $4 million on Google Play.
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