Top Critic Average
I had a really rough time with Final Fantasy Explorers. Comparing it to Capcom's already established series was always on my mind, and honestly, it's unavoidable when you're familiar with it and a big fan of the franchise.
Had Square not played it so safe, Explorers would be a much better game than it is; as it stands, I'd definitely recommend this one for those who feel the Monster Hunter series is a bit too inaccessible and/or those who love Final Fantasy, but for everyone else, they might be safe to pass on this one in favor of greener pastures elsewhere.
Final Fantasy Explorers is a great entry point for those interested in the co-op monster-hunting genre. The combat is its strongest asset, but expect to have to do some grinding along the way.
Would a deeper story and some interesting characters put Final Fantasy Explorers over the top? Sure it would have. But considering how well it does just about everything else and just how much there is to do, those omissions are more than forgivable. Final Fantasy Explorers is a game that both newcomers and veterans to the online Action RPG genre should enjoy greatly.
From gear to popular monsters, fans will enjoy the fun upgrade system combined with all the content emblematic to the series, but the overall journey isn't exciting
I like what Square Enix has done with Final Fantasy Explorers. It has some real potential to be great, but as it stands, it might fall short slightly with a more seasoned Final Fantasy adventurer.
Final Fantasy Explorers schafft es zwar nicht an die Komplexität und Vielfalt eines Monster Hunter heranzukommen, bietet aber doch einiges an Inhalt und jede Menge Goodies für Final Fantasy Fans. Mit etwas mehr Liebe zum Detail hätte Explorers es schaffen können sich von Monster Hunter abzuheben, aber in der aktuellen Form bleibt der Titel eher eine simple und Einsteiger-freundliche Kopie inklusive Fanservice.
Review in German | Read full review
Thankfully, one hallmark of Square Enix games remains praiseworthy here, and that is the music. Apart from the battle victory fanfare, the score is completely original, though everything immediately fits into the Final Fantasy musical compendium. Heavy on synthesized strings and woodwind instruments, it mixes beautifully with the environments and distress of each situation. Voices are limited to grunts and sighs, but at least the sound effects are as varied as the abilities and weapon strikes they are paired with. Monster Hunter is a unique action-RPG series that has benefited by not having many comparable games encroach on its turf. Final Fantasy Explorers is a blatant attempt to seize some of that territory by tapping into the extensive lore of its franchise. It certainly succeeds in providing a forum for building personalized heroes to show off in cooperative missions, and has enough content to supply hundreds of hours to those interested. It doesn't, however, have the strategic girth, the environmental depth and detail, nor the quirky and engaging story and characters that Capcom has perfected with its series.
It's easy to dismiss Final Fantasy Explorers as little more than a shameless copy of Monster Hunter, and while it's true that the game is short on original ideas and lacks the devilish complexity of Capcom's million-selling series, it would be grossly unfair to ignore the game entirely. While the Job system isn't as deep and involving as Monster Hunter's weapon-based classes and the short quests quickly descend into repetition, the online side of the game is solid and the allure of forging new items ensures that the desire to find the best loot is always at the front of your mind.Then there's the setting and the generous helpings of fan-service; while the Final Fantasy brand has arguably been abused by its owner with some distinctly lackluster outings in recent years, it still offers an incredibly appealing universe to inhabit, and hardcore fans left cold by Monster Hunter's locales might find this familiar fantasy realm a little more appealing - especially when it's possible to invoke the spirits of Cloud, Tidus, Yuna and Tifa, as well as many other famous Final Fantasy characters. Ultimately though, Final Fantasy Explorers feels like an entry point for the genre rather than a true rival to Capcom's crown - it's accessible and enjoyable, but the shallow nature of the gameplay might leave seasoned players feeling a little cold after extended play.
Final Fantasy Explorers adds a touch of that old Square magic to the monster hunting genre, complete with familiar job classes and abilities for Final Fantasy fans. It's not as technical as Monster Hunter so it'll feel shallow for veterans of that game. It's easier mechanics and faster pace make it more beginner-friendly, however, though everyone regardless of skill should be prepared for a serious grind.
While Final Fantasy Explorers isn't exactly a first, either for the series or RPGs, it's still an enjoyable game that can be experienced either alone or with friends. Some of the controls do hold it back, and there definitely could have been a bit more effort put into the storyline, but there are some very interesting and deep mechanics to experience here. Despite being a bit of a grind later on, it's definitely worthwhile when that perfect skill combination is found, or a flawless set of gear is crafted. Whether alone or with friends, Explorers is a worthy investment for those looking to scratch that RPG itch.
Final Fantasy Explorers was a smooth and accessible introduction to this game type, and has customization options galore, but if it intends to be a long-term dungeon crawling adventure, it needed more to explore.
Final Fantasy Explorers has a litany of pacing issues, particularly when it comes to its quests and, visually, it feels like a DS-era game at times. But players who are willing to jump in with both feet will find a lot to love, and that goes double if you're planning to play through the adventure with a friend.
Final Fantasy Explorers is layered with systems and mechanics, some of which are great and others that aren't. It all works best when it's dripping with nostalgia, which might not make for an amazing game, but it makes for a good time if you're a fan of Final Fantasy. It doesn't have the nuance or depth of a Monster Hunter game, but it's a decent, enjoyable experience that is well worth checking out, especially if you can play locally or online.
Final Fantasy Explorers is a poor Monster Hunter clone but still a reasonably fun game. It's a lot of fun to team up with three friends and beat your way through Bombs, Chocobos and Tonberries, even if it ends up feeling repetitive after a while. Those who've cut their teeth on Capcom's beasts will probably find the gameplay too basic, but newcomers to the genre, especially Final Fantasy fans, should find it to be a good introduction to the basics. It's not the best hunting game on the market, but it's one of the most accessible, especially to those used to the slower pace of RPGs.
The wide variety of jobs coupled with ability mutations leaves room for a lot of experimenting but the lack of quest variety and the amount of grinding required to obtain rare items means that you may not have much enjoyment in doing so.
For a few hours at least, Final Fantasy Explorers is a charming little adventure that's fun to play alone with your monster buddies or with real-life friends. But repetitive quests, the lack of a serious challenge until late in the story and a poor travel system eventually broke the charm spell that Explorers had cast upon me.
Final Fantasy Explorers is a kinder, gentler take on Monster Hunter, and it's going to appeal to those who want to like that series — but don't care for its opaqueness or its hardcore gamer leanings. Final Fantasy fans are going to love the fan service, too.
At the end of the day though, Final Fantasy Explorers just feels shallow. It's not that it is a bad game, it's just painfully average in almost every respect. With some more graphical polish and more unique things to keep it in-line with the Final Fantasy universe, I think this game could have been a huge success. If you are a Monster Hunter or Final Fantasy diehard and want something new to play, this might fill the void for a little while, but at the end of the day, it just feels like a poor-man's attempt at Monster Hunter.
Final Fantasy Explorers certainly has the potential to grow into worthy Monster Hunter alternative, but its first attempt is a little way off. Despite being nothing more than satisfactory in some key areas, there are some neat ideas at work that, if combined with a revised approach to gameplay, could make this the strongest Final Fantasy spin-off series to date. It's way too early to start dreaming about sequels or what could have been, however. What we have here is imperfect though some will undoubtedly find themselves exploring Amostra for many hours to come.
However, if you still blubber like a baby every time someone mentions the name Aeris, then Final Fantasy Explorer's exceptional level of fan service will warm you up like a Chocobo onesie.
Final Fantasy Explorers isn't short on hooks or good ideas, but it's too repetitive and grindy an experience while lacking Monster Hunter's character and depth. Fans of the saga will love the chance to tackle favourite summons or dress their Avatar like the series' best-loved heroes, but for most players the allure will wear off all too soon.
When playing with others the visual prompts used to co-ordinate skill use and crystal surges are masterful, and should be taken note of by any developer looking to create a modern multiplayer game without voice chat
Final Fantasy Explorers may not be the best spin-off that the series has received, but with the level of fan service and solid gameplay, it still might be worth a look for those who are fans of both Monster Hunter and Final Fantasy.
Presenting itself as a large dose of fan service, with fun combat sequences and a very good cooperative component, it fails when it starts to get too repetitive and simplistic and its level of challenge comes off as not balanced enough. This intersection between Final Fantasy and Monster Hunter will mostly satisfy the fans of the former but disappoint those of the latter.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Even though all of its individual pieces did their job, there wasn't much that made me want to keep playing Final Fantasy Explorers. Even scenic landscapes and potent sentimentality can't save the game from bland combat and repetitive missions.
Final Fantasy Explorers can be an engaging experience, but with a slow start, a lack of communication options for multiplayer, and a lack of polish, it's hard to recommend.
Although initially quite enjoyable and filled with aspects that fans of the series will enjoy, the repetitive nature of the game is an absolute killer. The fan service is enough to get players interested, but not enough to keep them satisfied. For those in the audience that just happen to be fans of both Final Fantasy and Monster Hunter, this may be enjoyable in the short term, but, ultimately, Final Fantasy Explorers feels like somewhat of a failed experiment.