First things first: You can stop gnawing on your nails. Final Fantasy Record Keeper is nothing like the miserable piece of shame that is Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.
Your nervousness is certainly forgivable, as both games are free-to-play nostalgia engines that utilize sprite-based revisions of classic Square-Enix heroes. But while Record Keeper has some of the same trappings you might expect from free mobile games, it doesn’t dole out characters via a costly Gashapon game.
In fact, one of your very first recruits is Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud. That’s a nice change from throwing nickels at All the Bravest in hopes of scoring the spiky-haired protagonist (and getting Shantotto instead).
Square-Enix’s legendary cast is your key to victory in this role-playing game, which has you re-visiting famous locations and re-enacting famous battles from across Final Fantasy’s lengthy timeline. Some kind of malevolent force is attempting to erase the series’ history, and apparently the only way to restore it is to shed some blood. A few of the fights you can expect to engage in include the Mist Dragon from Final Fantasy IV, the Sinscales from Final Fantasy X, and the Mako reactor’s guardians from Final Fantasy VII.
Each fighter in Record Keeper can be armed with weapons, armor, and spells / skills. While you can find and forge materials into useable equipment and magic, you can’t expect to slap anything on anyone. Final Fantasy IV’s Dragoon, Kain, can’t use magic in his home game, and he can’t use it in Record Keeper either. However, you can equip him with skills that take advantage of his physical strength.
Details like these make it easy to appreciate Final Fantasy Record Keeper, even if you’re prepared to hate it on the basis of it being a free-to-play game starring childhood heroes. But when I started playing, I found it pretty hard to put down.
And it’s nice to be able to say I didn’t have to put it down for quite a while. Record Keeper utilizes a stamina system akin to what you’ll find in Puzzle & Dragons, but levels are relatively lengthy and stamina refills aren’t rare.
There’s no word on when we’ll see Final Fantasy Record Keeper’s final build, but even in this larval stage it’s seemingly put together well, full of cool stuff to tinker with, and prepared to assault your nostalgia zone (it’s right beside your spleen).
The English version of Final Fantasy Record Keeper has soft launched on Google Play Canada. Our experiences with the game are based on this release.