(Disclaimer: this is my first time doing anything like this, bear with me if I'm not a professional reviewer lol)
Yep. I spent some money on it so I figured I should at least share my experience and potentially save others from the same fate.
If you aren't familiar with this game yet, I would describe it as a tech demo for the extreme end of Final Fantasy's Active Time Battle system. The game boasts of parties up to 40 characters. Though after completing the first world my party is only 32 strong. I suppose it is possible I missed something, I don't see how though, it's not like there is any exploration.
EDIT: Turns out you get the last 8 from using the in-app links for facebook and twitter. But as of this writing I keep getting an error. What a joke.
And before we get started I'll even lay out how much I spent on it: I paid the initial $3.99 for the game and I purchased 3 premium characters. The ones I got were Squall(FF8), Auron(FF10) and Terra(FF6) and then, for posterity (and SCIENCE!), to explore the "endgame" I purchased the Midgar(FF7) world for the last $3.99.
The game starts and it runs you through a "tutorial" world where it gives you the basic lowdown on how the game is played, which is absurdly low-intensity. In old school Final Fantasy fashion your party is on one side of the screen while the enemies are on the other, only you choose no tactics, use no items, make no commands. All you are required to do is run your finger across the sprites to make them attack. The reward being watching a ton of numbers and 16-bit attacks flash across your screen. However, I found I didn't get to watch much of the action as my eyes were concentrated on not missing a rub on any of my characters. I should mention that every three (3) hours you get access to a command called "Fever Mode" where none of your characters have to wait for their ATB gauges to fill to attack so you can just unload.
Each "world" is made up of different screens, each screen is a part of a familiar looking FF world but you are not free to roam around. You move your character from node to node, some are field battle nodes which put your team through a set of battles that you complete one after the other against monsters that would be in random battles in any other Final Fantasy. All with sprites re-used from older and remade FF games. Once you complete a node a path opens up to the next node which can either be a "mid-boss" node or a "Boss" node. Once you down a Boss you are free to move on to the next section (or back to previous locations as you please.)
The non-premium (the one that comes with the game) world runs you through bosses from FFs 1-5, which means you will be fighting Cloud of Darkness, Zeromus, Ex-Death and more. Each boss re-hashes lines from their respective games before combat commences.
Now I want to go a little bit more in-depth into the combat, how it handles absolute failure, how it scales "difficulty" and what the "endgame" looks like.
As you can tell from above, the combat is ridiculously simple and easy. The way the game ramps up the difficulty is underhanded and a little bit insulting. There is no way to heal your party. There is absolutely no action you can take other than attack and wait. One hit will eliminate one party member, however some monsters can take out entire swaths of your team at once. In the situation where you wipe (and you will) you do not "lose" you do not get a "game over" there is no going back and grinding to get stronger (more on THAT in a sec!) what happens is the game pauses and you get presented with is a tutorial page that informs you there is none of that, what it tells you instead is that every THREE MINUTES one (JUST ONE!!!) of your party members will come back. Even if you close the game and go play/do something else.
However, it absolutely encourages you to spend real money on items called Golden Hourglasses which will instantly heal your whole entourage. But they're 99 cents for three. Naturally Square is gracious enough to LET you purchase them in greater numbers. I didn't because hell no and also:
The way the game scales difficulty is absurd. All it does is boost the monsters health to the point where even at level 99 your party is completely incapable of downing even regular monsters without having to either use a golden hourglass or close the game down for an hour or so. (30mins=10 characters, 60mins=20.)
And that is pretty much all ATB has to offer at the "end of the game". I reached level 99 before fighting the final boss in the non-premium world, I did NOT have a full party of 40 AND it took me 4 hours to finish the fight. Yes that means I even used the Fever Mode mechanic. With a full party. At level 99. Didn't even bring him down to half way.
Once I completed the game I moved on to the FF7 world, and here the difficulty scaling was revealed to be even worse. Regular monster encounter nodes would take me 2 or sometimes 3 complete waves of my entire party to down them. This indicates to me that the game's idea of an epic battle is impossible to win unless you use your whole party down to the ground, wait, let them fill up, fight them down again, wait, burn a fever mode fight again, wait, rinse and repeat until the end of time.
One last thing I want to mention before I wrap this up. It's about money, or gil. I have near 5 million of it and there is not a shop to be seen throughout the game. There is literally nothing to spend your money on. It seems only used as a "score" but for what purpose I have no idea. The only things you can purchase in the entire game require real money. If they were going to give us a score count they should have called it "Score" or something.
All in all, this game is a pointless disaster and the only way I can not hate myself for the money I've spent on it is by writing this up and discouraging ANYONE ELSE FROM EVER PLAYING THIS GAME EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER.
Needless to say the best score I can give it is a:
1.5 Complete Failure (1s are the lowest of the low. There is no potential, no skill, no depth and no talent. These games have nothing to offer the world, and will die lonely and forgotten.)
I say 1.5 because if someone that gave a shit about this game could actually make it fun. Add some story, some party customization, nix all the pay-to-play bullshit, fabricate something that resembles pacing or flow, and lastly slap/fire the fuck that built this thing. Then it will be like a 4 or something maybe.
Instead, have this #CutforBieber pic because it is far more entertaining.