Today. I got to play the Tokyo Game Show demo for Final Fantasy Explorers, which starts with Cid welcoming players to the Explorers Union. From there, you can run around a hub town, but the only thing you could do in the demo was talk to the guild where you get the TGS quest to defeat Ifrit.
Players can choose a job and the ones available in the demo were: Knight, Archer, Monk, Dragoon, White Mage, Black Mage, Time Mage and Ninja. I went with Dragoon and headed into a volcano area. The demo gave me a Chocobo and a Goblin as allies, as there was no multiplayer enabled for TGS.
The Chocobo and Goblin automatically ran up to nearby bombs and enemy Chocobos. It seemed like the Chocobo helper was more useful since it could also cast a healing spell that recovered HP and buffed my character.
Pressing Y makes the Dragoon use his basic attack which is a spear slash. Final Fantasy Explorers doesn’t have a magic meter per se, but something called a Trance Gauge. When you dash by holding the B button, your Trance Gauge depletes. The Dragoon also has eight other attacks you can use when you hold L or R.
For example; holding L + Y makes the Dragoon jump, which is actually a short-range jump. L+X is an upwards slash, L+A is a running thrust, and L+B is a spear throw. R+Y does a Lightning Leg-style rapid-thrust attack, R+A is a slow starting powerful thrust forward, and R+B is a three hit combo called Trinity. All of these attacks drained a little of the Trance Gauge. The Dragoon was essentially a close range fighter.
Chaining attacks together was easy. I opened with a basic combo and then followed up with one of the special attacks. Basic enemies posed no real threat, they were basically there so players can farm items or on the case of the demo practice creating combos. Final Fantasy Explorers also has crystal points where you can mine items, too.
I rushed past the second zone, avoiding enemies to save my party’s strength for Ifrit. Similar to other hunting-action games, Ifrit posed quite the challenge. The summoned monster could roll into a ball to crash into players, which would force you to dash left or right to dodge. He also could create a circle of fire around him and throw meteor-like fireballs. Also reminiscent of the hunting-action genre, I had to slowly chip away at Ifrit’s life.
The two partners were useless here, since they didn’t bother dodging Ifrit’s attacks, the goblin ran right in to punch when Ifrit created a wall of fire.
I was often fighting solo, so I took a hit and run approach to take Ifrit down by using the spear throw skill and running away. I also used a crystal here to transform into Squall from Final Fantasy VIII. When I did so, I found I still had all of the Dragoon’s moves. When transformed, I held L+R to use Combo and my spear slashes and special attacks connected more fluidly while Combo was active.
After a couple of minutes of battling him, I took Ifrit down and the demo ended.
Final Fantasy Explorers will be released for Nintendo 3DS in Japan this December. The full game will have both local and online multiplayer. A Western release has not been announced yet.