World of Final Fantasy is a love letter to the series for fans. It is the funniest and cutest entry in the franchise where players will collect, raise and take into battle the monsters of Final Fantasy lore.
World of Final Fantasy
Series: Final Fantasy
Publisher: Square Enix Holdings
Genre: Role-playing video game
Platforms: PlayStation 4 (tested), PlayStation Vita
Developers: Square Enix Holdings, Tose
World of Final Fantasy narrates the story of amnesiac siblings Lann and Reynn as they wake up in an apparently empty world. They meet a mysterious woman named Enna Kros, who will quickly reveal herself as God and the creator of this artificially created world outside time. Enna will give us some clues to remember who we once were: heroes who could command a legion of Mirages -the creatures in World of Final Fantasy-. The purpose is also revealed very quickly, unlike many entries in the franchise: We must return to Grymoire, an interesting world that combines every entry in the franchise so far, and where we will meet the reincarnation of our favorite characters. In this world, we will need to remember who we are, recover our lost powers, awaken the legendary heroes, collect all the mirages and stop the Bahamutian Empire from conquering reality.
The story seems serious business, and the title is deeply rooted in series tradition, but it never takes itself too seriously. It emanates a chubby and charm feeling right from the start, and after more than 30 hours I must admit it grows on you whether you like it or not. You will meet old time heroes once again, and revisit many places that longtime fans will appreciate. So much so that the very first city you visit is Cornelia, the very first city from the original Final Fantasy. From there you will meet characters like Yuna from Final Fantasy X and Refia, from Final Fantasy III. You will meet pretty much everyone while revisiting very well-known locations, all recreated in exquisite and caring detail. Even the music consists of remixes of Final Fantasy classics.
The combat system is quite modern and complex, and the feeling you are supposed to catch every single Pokemon Mirage is quite good too. In the very first battle you will be capturing your very own Chocobo Chick, one of the cutest Mirages. From that point, the game does a fantastic job at convincing you that in each new area you visit, you need to capture every new Mirage you encounter. The capturing process will evolve over time, making it more and more interesting. At the beginning, most of them will need to be weakened before they enter in a status where they can be “collected”. Over time new mechanics will be mixed in, like healing or blinding them. The Libra skill is back for us to analyze our enemy and determine the best way to either defeat or capture them.
All Mirages have 3 different sizes: Small, Medium and Large, while our protagonists can switch between Large and Medium forms. Why is it useful to know? Well, you are expected to make stacks. A small Mirage sitting on top of a Medium, which in turn sits on a Large. Having a Chocobo sitting in your head is adorable and amusing at the same time, but it is an important and very deep mechanic. The stacks share health, abilities and attack as one. If you have two characters in the stack with the ability to cast fire, the overall stack has access to an enhanced ability: “fira”. And there is something else: powerful enemy attacks will weaken your stack, and if it gets toppled, you will end up with very weak individual characters. At the same time, you are able to topple enemy stacks in return, picking them off more easily. Other than that, the combat system in World of Final Fantasy is a pretty much all you can expect from the typical turn-based system of the Final Fantasy series.
Difficulty wise, I didn’t have much trouble although I can admit a few bosses can put up a stiff challenge. You will be expected to correctly manage your party, giving protection and weakening enemies while smartly healing yourself and dealing damage. You won’t face roll bosses, but then again, you shouldn’t expect to be able to.
Should you play it? Yes. World of Final Fantasy is full of adorable creatures to collect and interesting bosses to fight. The clean and simple designs of the world in general are a welcome change from the overly detailed and complex art design we tend to see in the main Final Fantasy games these days, but it never goes back to be called a hall simulator. World of Final Fantasy is funny, interesting and creative while delivering a meaningful impact on longtime fans of the franchise.