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‘Explorers’ is more Monster Hunter than Final Fantasy

Feb 4, 2016

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Final Fantasy ExplorersA fact of life for all RPG aficionados is grinding. You want power? You want strength? You want better weapons, armour? You had better be prepared to grind it out. 

But, there is grinding and then there is…GRINDING.

To achieve some measure of success in Final Fantasy Explorers, you will have to return to the same areas, fight the same enemies and bosses and collect the same crafting elements over and over again. 

At times, the experience becomes one big blur of relentless plodding repetition that will challenge the patience of even the most seasoned RPG fan.

Final Fantasy ExplorersAlthough a lot of choice is offered, you can switch between an astonishing 24 classes; you cannot buy or scavenge better weapons or armour. Everything, even a basic sword and armor set, has to be crafted from materials you find on quests and by defeating bosses. This peculiar twist on the RPG format will either be responsible for transforming you into a frantic mad hoarder or cause you to snap your 3DS shut.

The Explorers skill system requires you to kinda craft those as well. As you use skills in battle, you build up your resonance which is then used to purchase more skills and customize them. The skill tree does grow like the Venus flytrap in Little Shop of Horrors affording more and more options but it doesn’t moderate the game’s repetitious nature in any way.

Final Fantasy ExplorersThe multiplayer aspect works well. Bringing in multiplayer friends to share the pain is great because everyone shares the loot so nobody gets stiffed for their efforts. The lack of any compelling narrative though just amplifies all of Explorers’ tedious questing. You are a traveler wandering into a strange, new land which must be cleared of monsters. There are Mario adventures that have more plot and because of that nothing you do or achieve really matters or builds to anything rewarding.

Even though here are numerous nods to other installments and familiar faces in the series, Explorers doesn’t play or feel like a true Final Fantasy game. Crafting essential items, playing Pokemon and capturing monsters to fight alongside you, the emphasis on multiplayer has taken the series in an odd direction that is just too familiar to any RPG veteran. That is not a good thing for those who want to experience all that Final Fantasy has to offer not a transparent Monster Hunter clone.

Final Fantasy ExplorersFinal Fantasy Explorers
Format: Nintendo 3DS
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix, Racjin
ESRB Rating: E 10+

Official Site: http://na.square-enix.com/us/games/final-fantasy-explorers

Rating: 4 / 10

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.