Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis is the most mobile game ever

HAVING a portable version of the Final Fantasy VII (FF7) franchise in the form of a mobile game sounds great for hardcore fans, but Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis might be the worst way to do it, and it does not even appeal to the fanbase.

Released in most countries in September last year, Ever Crisis – like many mobile games – was region-locked and unavailable in Southeast Asian and East Asian countries until March 14.

Having spent roughly a month with the game, the flaws are painful to endure and booting up the game each time seriously lessened any interest in playing or investing further time into it.

$!The cutscenes are dull and without voice acting.

Everything rehashed

An attempt to summarise the original FF7 and the prequel Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Ever Crisis is the product of chopping up those games into tiny, digestible pieces. It is unclear who Square Enix expects to attract with this model of storytelling, as it is unlikely the fanbase wants a rehashed story of FF7 with 60% missing.

At the same time, the game introduces a new prequel to Crisis Core called The First Soldier, featuring a young Sephiroth and three new characters. Due to being a live-service game, content will be drip-fed over a long time.

A generic fantasy on autopilot, Ever Crisis follows a straightforward gameplay loop. Pick a mission that contains a watered down main story template, watch the one to two minute scene without voice acting, fight in a three-round battle. Rinse and repeat.

There is no exploration unlike the original games. Every once in a while, a mission will require players to tap their way through a faux map. As most of Ever Crisis is just shifting back and forth between menus regardless of which story players are in, these rare moments of fake exploration feels truly plastic and hollow.

Just as bad as that, is the gameplay during battles. In manual mode, players control the actions of the characters in their party, and in auto, the game’s artificial intelligence (AI) controls everything.

The problem is these battles are how they are extremely unexciting. Manual is a chore because actions in battle are limited, so auto is the best option because why bother playing the game when the AI can just play it for us.

$!The developers expect players to pay real money for smoother progress.

Degrees of disappointment

Story progression is locked to something called “Power Level”, which is an accumulation of several different elements in the game, such as character levels and growth, weapon rank and level, magic rank and level.

If a player’s power level is too low, they will find it difficult to progress in the next mission, which in turn would lead them to waste time getting the power level up through the side content like optional dungeons.

During later stages of Ever Crisis, basic activities like levelling will require players to spend real money on in-game microtransactions to speed up the process, because if they do not, something that can take a few minutes to complete by paying money, will instead take several days.

If Ever Crisis only suffered from its reliance on monetisation and its gacha gambling mechanics, it would still be something worth recommending, especially to newcomers. But its crippling gameplay and structural issues truly puts its into a terrible class of its own.