FFBE: War of the Visions – Balancing the Grind

War of the Visions
War of the Visions combines a number of Final Fantasy titles into one. Here, we see Ayaka, from Brave Exvius mid-Limit Burst

After much anticipation since its unveiling at the E3 convention in June 2019, War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius finally saw its Global release March 25th. The game takes the already established hit mobile, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, and puts a new spin on it. Rather than the old-school sprite battles, this is a tactical style RPG, complete with the elements of a classic Gacha. Players can use resources to try to pull for characters, and go through the grind of stages to level them up.

As a huge fan of Final Fantasy Tactics, and hardcore player of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius since its launch almost four years ago now, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. The game comes fully loaded, so much so that even after three days of playing, I feel like I’m just getting my feet wet.

*Warning* Minor spoilers to follow*

FFBE: War of the Visions –A Lot to Grind Through, but Fun and Engaging Nonetheless

Back to the Medieval Days

The story follows Mont, crown prince of the Kingdom of Leonis. He is out with his father, when he has a chance encounter with a carriage under attack by bandits. The victim turns out to be Macherie, princess of Hourne. She later reveals that she was on her way to wed the King of Muraga, who are enemies with Leonis. This creates a sense of mistrust between the two parties, but they remain cordial. Overall, the game has a sort of Game of Thrones feel to its story – and there is sure to be plenty of double-crossing as the kingdoms vie for ultimate power and control.

I’ve gotten through Scene 1, and so far the story is engaging enough for me to want to keep going. The characters all have personality, especially Lady Macherie. The one oddball is the protagonist Mont, who so far is a bit flat, but we’ll see how the game develops his character. I’m also eager to see what role Gilgamesh plays, as he is the character featured on the logo. (Pro-tip – use the Japanese audio. It is so much better.)

An Engaging Grindfest

This is really what is going to make or break the game in the long run. One of the biggest warnings players who were playing the Japanese version before Global was launched was that this game was a grind hell. And after a few days of playing, I can see why. There is just so much to enhance –leveling your characters, their jobs, their sub-job, enhancing and awakening them is enough on its own. Add in the fact that each character needs different materials depending on their element or job, it means players really have to zone in on one character at a time.

War of the Visions
The battles look exactly like Final Fantasy Tactics as characters move around the mp in 3-D

But it doesn’t end there. Literally everything in this game needs to be enhanced. From espers, to vision cards, to equipment, and even a characters abilities, just thinking about it can be overwhelming. Completionists might have to temper expectations about getting everything maxed out, because at least at this point it is not happening. It took me two days of auto-battling while I was working just to get two character’s sub-jobs unlocked!

But once in combat, things feel right. Players move around the map to attack their enemies. Characters have both a Technique Point (TP) bar and an Ability Point (AP) bar. TP bars are full at the onset of battle, and give players access to mostly status-enhancing abilities. TP is gained throughout the battle, by attacking or being attacked. And it wouldn’t be a Final Fantasy title without Limit Bursts, which are shown in beautiful cinematics.

A Full Cast of Characters

This is where the game shines right now. What drew me into FFBE was the nostalgia factor. The ability to use characters from throughout the entire library of Final Fantasy games, in a sprite based-setting was too much to resist. But what keeps me playing is the great original content and characters. War of the Visions now has a dual advantage – incorporating character from all the Final Fantasy games, as well as the Brave Exvius universe.

War of the Visions
Pre-registration rewards give all players who download now Y’Shtola, the famous mage from Final Fantasy XIV

And they wanted to make that clear at launch. Ayaka, the fabled white mage of the Brave Exvius world is immediately one of the best units in the game. We also start right out with a Final Fantasy XIV event, giving us our first taste of series units. And there’s no doubt there will collaborations from other games and anime.

But beyond just the skins of the characters is a return to the fabled job system that is a trademark of the Final Fantasy universe. I was lucky enough to pull King Robbe Hourne himself, who is a Samurai, my personal favorite class. There are also Lancers, Archers, and all of the other great classes that give this game a real Final Fantasy Tactics feel to it. Oh yeah, and Mont gives homage to Ramza, with his “Throw Stone” move.

Final Word

The Good: There’s a nice balance of original, FFBE, and Final Fantasy series characters to begin. Battles are fun and engaging, and there is tons of content to blow throw

The Bad: The game is still relatively glitchy. I never have issues with crashes from other mobile games, yet this one crashes a lot.

Points to Keep and Eye On: It is a Gacha. And there are already pay-to-win aspects built-in, like pulls that can only be conducted with paid currency, and the potential to just buy a lot of the materials that would take a f2p player days to accumulate.

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