Mobile gaming is not everyone’s’ cup of tea but Apple’s service has certainly grasped the nettle with some great games over the past year. Exit the Gungeon is a great Indie title and now the creator of Final Fantasy no less brings us Apple Arcade’s Fantasian.
Apple Arcade’s Fantasian Review
Final Fantasy Creator Directs
Anyone familiar with the classic Final Fantasy series will know the name Hironobu Sakaguchi very well indeed. With Fantasian he is directing proceedings and his past glories are reimagined with Fantasian.
Take Your Turn
Turn based combat is at the heart of this game and even the hero looks familiar with his spiky hair. Leo has lost his memory and you must battle monsters and huge bosses as you search and explore the fantastical realms ahead of you.
Crafting doesn’t ofter anything new to this type of game and monsters are positioned at varying angles across each area you encounter. You will have the option to use basic melee attacks that will deal minimal damage but if you pick up a special skill or type of magic you can inflict multiple damage as well as hit more than one enemy at a time. I particularly enjoyed the magic attacks where you can fire your attack like a boomerang to hit monsters that might look out of your field of attack on first look. Even better, if you time your attacks right you can even get around protective shields!
Another plus for Fantasian is that not all fights feel pre meditated and often appear out of the blue. There is a genuine sense of thinking, ‘oh shit’ when a battle starts that you were not ready for. It makes you think about your next actions and it is an aspect of the game that works really well.
Collecting monsters you meet on your travels is an interesting concept and one that again is very welcome and beautifully executed. Rather than constantly stopping to fight you can collect them instead and then when you get to 30 that is when you will have to go into battle against them. These battles are called ‘Dimengeon’ battles but you will need to collect this ability before being able to use it. This game does like to point you in the right direction but by no means does it hold your hand. There is much that you just have to find for yourself and doing so is both rewarding and satisfying.
Power ups are a staple of Final Fantasy games and this is no different as you collect additional strength for your attacks, increase magic or choose to steal strength from an enemy to use against them.
Dialogue is a sore point in Fantasian. It is that very hackneyed style of dialogue that neither tells you much about the story or actually achieves anything and ends up only serving the purpose of you scrolling past it at pace. Leo looks okay but he doesn’t really feel like a hero you can truly connect with and is a bit of a wet lettuce if truth be told. Everyone ends up sounding the same and it’s a shame in what is an otherwise flawless game.
It’s All Under Control
Mobile touch screen controls have always irked me in general but they have come a long way and in Fantasian the touch screen controls are superb. Responsive and intuitive they feel just right. You can play with a controller but I actually found that touch screen was the best way to experience the game.
This Is Just the Start
Around 20 hours should see you through this first part of Fantasian and part two is due later this year. The combat systems work well, the art style is delicious and part two cannot come soon enough.
Apple Arcade’s Fantasian – The Verdict
Take away the dull storyline and less than interesting characters and what you have left is an absolutely outstanding piece of RPG gaming. It would be easy for me to say that this is an example of how mobile gaming should be done but the fact is that Fantasian is quite simply how gaming should be done. Great to look at and brilliant to play. That is and what gaming has always and will always be at its core.