Mobius Final Fantasy Coming West in the "Not-So Distant Future"

Mobius Final Fantasy Coming West in the "Not-So Distant Future"

Square-Enix's mobile RPG wants to give you a console-grade experience, but judging by previews, that might be easier said than done.

The week started with a piece of Final Fantasy news that sent shockwaves ripping across the community like the landing of Meteor: A Final Fantasy XII remaster is coming to the PlayStation 4 in 2017. But that's not the only big Final Fantasy news on the menu.

Actually, this particular bit of Final Fantasy news is big and small because it pertains to handheld devices. Mobius Final Fantasy (originally announced as "Mevius Final Fantasy") is confirmed for a Western release. A specific date will be announced soon.

The news about Mobius Final Fantasy's localization was shared by the game's producer, Yoshinori Kitase, via the Final Fantasy Portal App. Square-Enix news site Nova Crystallis published the confirmation from Kitase, who said localization of Mobius Final Fantasy is proceeding well, and hopes to see the title hit the West in the "not-so distant future."

Nothing like the crystal breeze against your bare chest.

Released one year ago in Japan, Mobius Final Fantasy is an odd duck (or odd Chocobo, if you prefer). You may remember that the game's hero, Wol, gained a bit of notoriety when Square-Enix covered him up after complaints from Japanese Final Fantasy fans.

But Mobius Final Fantasy's confused identity doesn't begin and end with Wol's scandalous wardrobe. When Square-Enix set out to make the game, it specifically wanted to demonstrate that console-grade experiences are possible on mobile platforms. There are certainly big names behind the title: Yoshinori Kitase himself was the producer of Final Fantasy VI and VII. Mobius Final Fantasy also features some very pretty visuals, as well as traditional Final Fantasy mechanics like turn-based combat, and a job system.

At the same time, Square-Enix shackles the ambitious game with trappings that are not in console-class Final Fantasy titles, e.g. stamina bars, premium currencies, and social elements that let your friends' characters join in on battles (think Puzzle & Dragons).

Touch Arcade's Shaun Musgrave previewed Mobius Final Fantasy when it hit Japan's App Store a year ago, and his impressions confirm the game suffers for its mixed-up identity. He points out, for instance, that the game's visuals are indeed very nice, but the interface is complicated, crowded, and utilizes undersized buttons that are an ill fit for phone touchscreens.

Mobius Final Fantasy admittedly felt exciting and ambitious when it was announced at the end of 2014 (production began in 2013). But a year and a half is an astronomical amount of time in the world of mobile gaming, and my excitement for Mobius Final Fantasy gave way to wariness some time ago. I'll still be giving the game a big ol' try, but frankly, Square-Enix has tastier-looking mobile games on the burner right now -- like Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius, for example.

It's not as fancy-looking as Mobius Final Fantasy, but neither does it seem as confused about what kind of experience it wants to deliver.

We're at E3 next week, covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2016 hub!

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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