Fantasian Looks Fantastic

A Final Fantasy type game is coming to Apple Arcade! Both the renown director and the legendary composer for the Final Fantasy series of JRPG games have teamed up to develop a new title, Fantasian. It looks and sounds fantastic! I have two questions. One, will it eventually come to Nintendo Switch? And two, how am I going to keep up with a frontlog and a backlog of games!?

The Game

Before I address the above questions, let’s talk about the game itself. It’s from Mistwalker, the company formed by legendary Final Fantasy creator and JRPG veteran, Hironobu Sakaguchi. Composer Nobuo Uematsu is scoring the soundtrack for the game too!

To see some preliminary design behind-the-scenes, watch this video starting at 1:15.

The game features dioramas (real-life hand-made 3D mini-models) that were used to create scenes and environments, which give the game a remarkable aesthetic! Computers were then used to add lighting and special effects. Images and a video show it off; my eyes like what they see.

Two other note-worthy points are about the gameplay.

First, in the overworld areas, instead of fighting monsters on the spot, you can send them to a weird battle dimension to fight at a later time. This allows you to explore a level with fewer interruptions. I like that benefit; exploration is one of the funnest things in gaming. But it does seem weird to me that you must fight battles removed from both space and time. It’s less realistic (albeit fantastic). You’d expect to fight in the moment you meet an enemy. Maybe the story provides an explanation to this game mechanic.

Second, in battle-mode, there appears to be a focus on aiming or controlling your attacks along a chosen trajectory to strategically take out multiple targets. This looks and sounds very interesting. I think it will be fun to play and will add a breath of fresh air to time-based JRPG battles.

Overall, the game excites me because it’s a traditional turn-based JRPG. I don’t mind grinding it out. While I do enjoy action-RPGs, I still prefer strictly turn-based ones that allow time to think about my game plan and also sit back and enjoy the graphic visuals of the magic spells and physical attacks. (Just don’t do overly long summons like Final Fantasy VIII did please.)

The Switch

The game is referred to as a console JRPG playable on mobile; it’s coming to iOS as an Apple Arcade exclusive. And yes, you can use a controller to play the game on Apple TV. But the problem to me is that most gamers play console games on…you know it’s coming…consoles.

I have a Nintendo Switch and controllers for it. That’s all. I don’t own 3rd party controllers to play on Apple TV. Also, I don’t own an Apple TV. Or an iPad (yet). The good news is that Fantasian, while it is starting as an Apple Arcade exclusive, could arrive on the Switch. Another game, Oceanhorn 2, was once found only on Apple’s Arcade service. But now it’s on the Switch. Maybe by the time I complete other games on my backlog, Fantasian will be available on the Switch.

The Log

Speaking of the backlog (and the frontlog) the number of great games to play keeps growing nearly by the day! I suppose this is a perpetual “problem” I must embrace. I mean, it’s a good problem to have. So one must rely on quality game review sites to help weed out lesser titles, saving time to play only the best of the best games. That said, I like to discover hidden gems and try indie games sometimes because you never know how one will connect with you.

Apple has a good strategy in play. Get awesome games exclusive to Apple Arcade, making it irresistible. And maybe it’s working. It would only cost me $1 extra per month to subscribe to Apple Arcade! Seriously! But then, I’ll be more tempted to buy an Apple TV and a PlayStation controller.

Like I said, these are good problems. And I’m glad traditional JRPGs are enjoying a resurgence!

Is Fantasian on your wishlist? It’s already on mine. How do you cope with your game backlog?

(Thanks to 9to5mac for their write-up of Fantasian!)