Dr. Mog better crack the whip on this kid!
I used to be able to proudly say I’ve never been caught in the throes of a mobile free to play game. The only ones I had on my phone were mainly for my son that he plays solo or we play together.
Until Final Fantasy Record Keeper became a thing.
Now I can’t stop playing. It’s like Square-Enix wrote us longtime Final Fantasy fans an apology letter that says, “We realize every Final Fantasy game that we’ve put out in the last 10 years has sucked balls. Here, have a kick in the ass with this nostalgia boot.”
Here’s the concept: An annoying new child character who you will remove from the party at the earliest opportunity works in the Royal Archives as a keeper of the paintings that preserve the stories of what we know as Final Fantasies I-XIII. Then bad things happen for reasons unknown, and you get to delve into the paintings to restore the stories and recruit the characters to help you in your quest!
As of writing this blog post, we are now able to relive parts of Final Fantasy I, II, IV, V, VI, VII, and X in North America, with many more to follow. Diving into these paintings to do the missions as they unlock are basically the main story quests. These are great trips down memory lane, as we get to fight enemies from their corresponding games in 8-bit, with the music we all remember and the characters we know and love. After clearing a dungeon you get a ranking (Mastery awards you with extra loot) and a screenshot accentuating a recap of what is going on in that realm. On top of earning more loot to go towards upgrading your gear and creating/honing abilities, mastering a stage unlocks its elite counterpart. As of right now I don’t think I’ve even cleared half of them yet. Yes, they’re that hard and require that much grinding.
And that’s not all! Record Keeper also incorporates daily dungeons where you can earn extra EXP, Gil, or materials depending on the day of the week. Daily dungeons are offered in easy, normal, or hard difficulties so anyone can partake in them.
But the most exciting features of all are the events. Periodically, events are released that typically allow players to recruit new characters and get useful items. There are two events active as of this writing: Countdown to Sector 7, where you recruit Aerith and grind for magicite shards to turn into Dr. Mog for goodies, and Monster in the Lethe, a trip down FFVI memory lane where we get to recruit Terra! These are timed events, usually around for 1-2 weeks, so you gotta get them while the gettin’s good. If not, you will most likely lose out on your chance to recruit these characters for quite a while.
All F2P games have a gimmick that encourages the player to spend real currency to get ahead in the game. FFRK is no exception, I’ll admit, but at least it doesn’t feel as problematic as, say, Panda Pop. Nor do you have to pay money to get rid of frustrating ads that spam your screen in other F2P games. One highly-sought after item in FFRK is Mythril, It has multiple purposes, but the main thing I use it for is to do rare relic pulls. If you acquire 5 Mythril, you can use them for a shot at acquiring super rare character specific weapons. So far I only have Wakka’s 5-star weapon, but it immediately transformed him from a punk to a pro. And I haven’t even leveled it up yet! Needless to say, if you’re impatient to get more Mythril (or, like me, frustrated with all the crap you’ve been getting) you can spend real money to gamble some more. I spent $9.99 to get 3 relic pulls, and it got me Wakka’s weapon and a Genji Shield. Totally enough to satiate me… for now.
So, not only is Record Keeper the first F2P game I’ve become addicted to, it’s also the first I’ve spent real money on.
I honestly don’t know how anyone growing up playing these games could NOT like it. Record Keeper is definitely the most addicting FF game I’ve played in years. It has the endearing 8-bit music and sprites, the turn-based system that I miss, and a steady stream of content and grinding that keeps me coming back for more. I can guarantee that as long as DeNa and SquareEnix keep supporting this game, I’ll keep playing it.