Right off the bat, Final Fantasy Explorers is highly comparable when going toe-to-toe with Capcom’s latest Monster Hunter title, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. While both titles possess similar visuals, item grinding mechanics, and large boss encounters, Final Fantasy Explorers manages to possess one key benefit which the competition does not: A setting which takes place within the beloved Final Fantasy Universe.

Final Fantasy Explorers takes place in a world where crystals are the planet’s main source of energy. Unfortunately, nostalgic monsters from within the Final Fantasy universe are trying to steal these crystals for themselves, and it’s your job as the player to make sure that evil does not proveil.

Like most RPG’s, Final Fantasy Explorers begins with a boring, yet essential, tutorial which helps the individual become familiar with the game’s controls and surroundings. This is somewhat-of-a-breeze and roughly takes 20 minutes to blow through, but even completing this portion of the video game can be a bit-of-a-drag. Basically the individual must kill 10 monsters here, learn how to use your special ability by pressing these two buttons, and off you go. It’s very necessary; albeit mundane.

Final Fantasy Explorers provides an open world environment to the individual engaged in the experience. You’re allowed to roam freely and explore multiple areas, and you’re even granted access to an aircraft which helps you fast travel to locations of choice. Although Final Fantasy Explorers does allow the user to run at an almost unlimited rate, fast traveling to desired locations is ideal and more simplistic. There’s much to see and do, but it’s mostly revolved around item grinding.

This Square Enix title possesses a grinding element which does nothing but further immerse the individual within gameplay. Grinding for specific items to further progress your weapons, armor and apparel, happens to be an important thing in this video game, but in order to grab these items, the player must hunt them down by killing small and large monsters. This objective will take time out of your day, but it’s also necessary, and fun if you’re an item farmer like me.

Should you grow tired of item grinding and roaming the plain, Final Fantasy Explorers boasts a hefty amount of quests and subquests in which the individual may partake in. Although most of the subquests are primarily fetch-quests and deliveries, Final Fantasy Explorers allows the user to fight against nostalgic bosses called Eidolons. While destroying these bosses will grant you better loot for weapons and armor, these fights will become mundane after the first few encounters. They’re a struggle at first, but once you’ve enlisted the help of friends via online connectivity, or enlisted the help of friendly defeated monsters, boss encounters eventually become easy-peasy. The only reward at the end of these fights are the drops which can be used for special gear and apparel.

Final Fantasy Explorers does a great job at keeping the player engaged in the experience by allowing the user to switch character classes. Unlike traditional RPG’s which usually have the player locked to one specific job or class, Final Fantasy Explorers grants users access to over 20 different job types, each with their own unique abilities. You can be a Black Mage and use spells to defeat enemies, or you can become a Knight and chop down foes like carrots. Although switching job types in Final Fantasy Explorers isn’t as convenient when compared to it’s MMO counterpart, Final Fantasy XIV, adventurers in this experience must return to home base prior to manually switching job-types. This was never detrimental to the experience, but it would have been more convenient to switch job classes on the fly.

Final Fantasy Explorers is a video game that gets a lot right, but it also felt sterile at times. It was a bit disappointing to battle against epic bosses from within the Final Fantasy universe, only to take them out as if they were cute, adorable kittens. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the video game is when the title is played with friends, but even then the adventure becomes even more simplistic. I spent most of my time exploring the land and farming for items in order to gain better weapons and armor, which for what it’s worth, happens to be the true essence of the video game.