That Warm Fuzzy Feeling
When Final Fantasy Tactics released on Playstation 1 in 1997, it became my introduction to the franchise. The tactical, grid-based combat diverged greatly from the active time battle (ATB) system of its predecessors, but that is what drew me to it. When I found the story, music, characters, and world of Ivalice to be so captivating, I fell in love. In fact, I’ve bought every iteration of the game since that day when the nine-year-old me sat in front of the old tube-style CRT television wiggling the VGA cable on the back of the console to get the image on the screen to come back up.
Then, I saw the game drop on Google Play. You get three guesses as to what I did next, and the first two don’t count. After digitally swiping my card, I loaded it up, heard the familiar Zodiac Brave theme song, and smiled. I played for a bit before I decided that I needed to take a break to put my son to bed for the night. Navigating through the menu as I did with my corded PS1 controller so many years ago, I found the save option. Something felt good about having to go through a traditional save menu on a device that had clearly surpassed the need for such a thing. That being said, I returned to the start screen and looked for the cloud save button…only to find out that there wasn’t one!
Weighing the Cost
You’ve got to be kidding me. The “Saved Games” feature came to Google Play Services years ago, so why has a big company like Square Enix not implemented it in such a popular game yet? Believe it or not, the feature is extremely easy to add in and costs nothing but Google Drive storage according to this Play Games Services Article. Now, I would like to introduce you to a snippet of the monthly complaints that Square receives about a lack of cloud save on the Google Play reviews for the game.
Please keep in mind that the one-star reviews which cry out for their precious cloud save go on and on for pages. I, myself, have also attempted to make my voice heard here, but to no avail. The odd thing is that Square updated the game on February 21 of last year.
I just want to point out that it’s currently 2020, the year where the cloud runs everything from your smartphone to your Chromebook and even your fridge. I’m pretty sure that takes a few more lines of code than this. Currently, the only way to save your game across devices is by using some unofficial methods like Helium Premium, none of which are guaranteed last I checked.
The Extra Mile is Only a Mile…
Quicksave functionality was added to the game in 2017, allowing you to quit or recover from a crash to continue a battle where you left off without having to start from the beginning. While this is a nice feature to have as tactical games are time-consuming and can be slow, it’s no stand-in for a true cloud save feature.
For someone like me who tends to tinker with my phone or swap devices often, this is a nonstarter. Final Fantasy VII for Android received it in 2018, so the company is clearly aware of its existence and benefits, but perhaps they simply thought it nonimportant… you know, after reading all of the reviews.
In Exchange For Your Loyalty
Whatever the case, it’s abundantly clear that fans continue to beg for it this for many years after the game’s release. Would it really be such a bad idea to use a bit of the payroll to have someone magic it in? While we continue to buy Square Enix games hand over fist, it truly is the little things that make a difference in how developers treat their customers in return for their brand loyalty. In fact, the whole reason I’m putting this game on the chopping block is to make a strong point that more developers need to consider integrating cloud save from the get-go in games where it makes sense. It has become a staple in what is expected of mobile games and the sooner this is placed on a checklist somewhere, the happier we’ll all be.
Until we hear more, you can get your Tactics fix with War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. They recently featured a crossover event with Final Fantasy Tactics, so it was nice to see my favorite characters again, but in 3D.