PS4, PS Vita
October 27, 2016
World of Final Fantasy was first announced at E3 2015 as a 30 year celebratory title. Even though I only caught wind of it a bit later than that, I have been dying to play this game ever since. Set in the world of Grymoire you play as the twins Lann and Reynn, who each hold the power to capture and train creatures known as mirages in your quest to fulfil a 100 year old prophecy. Guided by a cute fox like mirage by the name of Tama, World of Final Fantasy is an all-star smorgasbord of Square Enix’s rich and vibrant history, one that you will not want to miss out on and that had me hooked from my first playthrough way back in September.
The storyline in World of Final Fantasy is equal shades light and dark. Set against the frequent jovial/ comical moments are episodes of deep reflection on past action, and the Twins’ desire to not repeat their mistakes. The humour is well placed and penetrates much of the dialogue at all the right times, one of my favourite moments remains the fart joke in front of Queen Sera.
World of Final Fantasy is very dialogue heavy, and this can get a little overwhelming at times. Thankfully there is a fast forward option with all cut scenes, or if you want to skip them entirely you can do that as well. This didn’t faze me much as I didn’t want to miss out on any new pieces of information that surfaced, but I did use the fast forward option a few times.
The World of Grymoire and beyond
Lann and Reynn awaken in a separate worldlet hidden within a different pocket of time and space, with no memories of their past. They are forced to relearn everything about themselves as progress through their adventure. The game takes you on a whirlwind trip through towns, dungeons and regions that pay ode to many previous Final Fantasy titles. Part of what made this game so magical for me is how flawlessly they have been integrated into eachother as you move around.
Environmental puzzles form a huge part of Grymoire, and take two major forms:
– Sections that require passive mirage abilities to navigate
– Weight switches that activate only if a particular weight and resistance are achieved by stacking mirages on top of it
The former were far more frustrating to overcome at times as you would have to keep certain mirages with you at all times to ensure you wouldn’t have to backtrack to a save point. The latter were often made a little easier as the mirages you needed often resided in the same area as the switch.
The combat is one of the major draw cards of this game and is surprisingly in depth for such a cute looking title. As mentioned in my hands on experience, Lann and Reynn are required to create prismtunities in order to capture the various Mirages that roam Grymoire. These prismtunities can be made from a variety of actions, ie simply attacking to casting various spell to inflicting certain status ailments. Libra is your best friend in this instance, especially if you are a collector like me, as it allows you to see and exploit these conditions with ease.
Once you have imprismed a few mirages, you can then create stacks based on their sizes. The standard combat sizes are Small (S), Medium (M) and Large (L), and Lann and Reynn are able to freely change between M and L sizes by transforming into their Lilikin and Jiant forms respectively.
Here is where things get interesting. Stats like health, as well as elemental weaknesses and resistances, combine when you create stacks. Additional commands are also unlocked based upon who or what are involved in the stack. Each stack has a stability rating that you need to manage effectively in order to prevent yourself from being toppled (literally) by your enemies. You suffer a period of confusion/ stun every time this happens. Your enemies also have the ability to stack which spices things up in a number of ways:
· They are also able to stack elemental resistances and weaknesses
· Often in order to capture specific mirages, you can do so by breaking a stack it is in and then wiping out their friends in order to make it easier on yourself
You are also able to summon various Mega Mirages in the game, which are XL in size and add even more variety to the game. Some mirages can be transfigured into XL varieties which give them a huge stat advantage and pack one hell of a punch.
The other thing you get a hold of as you progress throughout the game are Champion medals, which are generated by Mediums throughout the game. Chanelling the abilities of several well know characters, you are able to unleash a variety of game changing abilities with their help.
The active time battle system is back in World of Final Fantasy, and in relation to the stacking mechanism, you can either choose to have a greater number of actions in battle per round, or deal more damage/ take less when stacked.
Mirage Boards and Mirajewels
Your mirages are powered up by unlocking nodes (syncing) on their respective Mirage Boards. This is how they learn new individual skills, gain stat boosts and even unlock new forms that are accessible through a process called transfiguration (or transfig). Mirages that you train and transfig are more powerful than those that you imprism, and when you unlock all the nodes for all forms, you’re Mirage gets the Master Mirage seal of approval from Tama and access to one of five extra skills. They also get a stat boost at various sync rates so keep that in mind at all time.
Lann and Reynn do not have Mirage Boards, but are instead able to equip Mirajewels, which also confer skills, stat boosts and other useful effects such as determining Mirage encounter rates. This allows you to unlock more powerful abilities with greater ease when you switch your stacks around. They are able to equip more as they increase in level and find some very nostalgic items.
- Intriguing storyline
- Amalgamation of all things FF while maintaining individuality
- Great new combat mechanisms
- Can be very dialogue heavy at times
- Often has a lot to take in with little time before even more needs to be taken in
World of Final Fantasy is my new 1st place for game of the year, and is a pleasure to play even after reaching the endgame content (The inclusion of which is a huge green tick for me as far as games go). What this game has managed to do in spectacular fashion is to provide an insight into the multiverse that is Final Fantasy with enough elements to attract curious new minds to the franchise. When the only thing I can fault is the sometimes overextended dialogue, even as something of a Final Fantasy veteran, it is clear to me that a winning formula has been achieved and I highly recommend this game.