Review – World of Final Fantasy

17 hours into the game and I feel I can give this a solid review. If I had to sum it up in a sentance then let this be it. World of Final Fantasy is the customisable, creature catching RPG that’s been missing from the series.

Story

The story starts off by introducing you to the twin siblings Lann and Reynn who happens to suffer from amnesia. Upon realising that their home town is empty, they soon run into a mysterious lady named Enna Kros who gives them some information about their lives and how they can get their memories back before running off and leaving them to it.  This isnt before she introduces them to Tama, a REALLY annoying flying ferret of sorts who acts as a guide throughout the entire game. I say annoying only because the mere fact that when speaking, Tama inserts the word “the” in some very random places! You get used to it after a while but it’s almost as if they are trying to start another Kupo trend but I doubt this one will stick. I digress… You soon find yourself in the world of Grimoire where you start off your adventure to get back your memories. You’re told that to get them back, you need to start collecting these creatures called Mirages.  You’re shown tutorials on everything you need so you needn’t worry about thinking you’re gonna end up confused. This is the base of the story and as you progress, it will become apparent that there is more to you losing your memories than meets the eye.

Mirages

I suppose the best way of describing Mirages are that they are very similar to Pokémon. The Mirages are the enemies (Pokémon) that you fight in battle. Once you fulfill a specific requirement, you can then use your prismariums (pokeball) to imprism (catch) said mirage. Each condition differs between each mirage such as lowering their HP, causing blindness or using ice spells but you won’t be able to imprism these creatures until the conditions are met. Once you have the creature in your arsenal, you can then fight alongside them in battle. Each creature has a size being either small, medium or large. You can only use one of each of the sizes in battle but the sucker punch is that you count as one of them. Anytime that you’re in control of your characters, you can change their form with the press of a button. The 2 forms you have the choice of are Lilikin (medium and cute) or Jiant (large and human looking). So in simple terms, if you’re in Lilikin form, you can only fight with 1 small mirage and 1 large mirage. Jiant form grants you 1 medium and 1 small but you do get to customise these for both Lann and Reynn so you get an overall quantity of 6 players on the battle field. In true Pokémon form, most of these mirages can also be transfigured (evolved) to form new mirages with new and more powerful abilities. This can sometimes however change the size of the mirage meaning you’ll have to configure and change your battle team to continue using the mirage that you want. You’ll always have the option to keep the standard form of the mirage so you don’t have to transfigure them if you don’t want to. Mirages are pretty much the games way of you leveling up and equipping new spells seen as there aren’t any new weapons, armour, jobs or classes to buy or earn. This is where you’ll find the bulk of the games customisable features and the aspect that will keep the replay value to a maximum.

Each mirage you have in your party will gain some EXP after a successful battle (picture above) thus leveling up and gaining AP points that can be used to gain more abilities and spells. The downside is you can’t carry all your mirages with you wherever you go. You can only carry a total of 10, the 4 in battle with you and 6 extra to swap out where applicable. The rest are stored for you at your bank equivalent at your home town of nine hills. The “bank” can be accessed at home or through any save point and teleportation gate. The good thing is these gates are plentiful so you can travel home quite often between towns and dungeons.

Each mirage also has its own skill tree so you can pick which skills to assign to each mirage and level them up how you want to making each players experience a little different.

Battle

Once you’ve decided on your mirages, you’re good to go into battle and kick some ass! From near the start of the story, you get to fight one of the 3 main summons in the FF series. Of the 3, I chose Ifrit but you could also choose Shiva or Ramuh. Whichever you choose, you get to keep a mirage of said enemy once defeated. In battle itself, the mirages you chose start of in a stack. Large on the bottom, medium sits on top of the large and small at the top of the pyramid. When stacked, the 3 members gets all the benefits of each other but only get to assign one move to their turn. This proves really useful as everything from the HP (life) to the spells get put into 1 menu thus giving you 2 turns over 1 round assuming you have 2 stacks. So if a mirage has a HP of 100 but your character has a HP of 2000, it’s probably best to stack them so your mirage doesn’t die with one hit. Of course if you unstack your team, you get 3 turns instead of 1 but those moves will be less powerful when fighting alone. If each of your team of 3 have a Strength +1 assigned to them, this becomes +3 if stacked so physical attacks would be a lot more powerful.

Along your story, you’ll also come across characters called Champions. these champions are your summons in the game, I came across quite a few so far including Tifa, Squall and Sephiroth who I got with the day one edition of the game. They work like you would expect with any other summon in the FF series but if you’ve never played before, these are explained clearly in the tutorials. For every move you make in battle, you need to spend AP which you gain at the start of each turn or by using spells a standard attack takes no AP but things like fire and ice will take a little.

Along with the standard sized mirages, I recently managed to catch a mirage with the size of XL. At first I thought I could then stack 4 and got really excited! Turns out an XL mirage is somewhat of another summon. If you have enough AP in battle, you can summon the XL mirage which does major damage to the enemy. There is a catch though 😦 Once summoned, your other ‘in battle’ mirages will disappear and Lann and Reynn with jump on top of the XL creature. Once the XL creature is defeated or the battle is won, your mirage stack will return back to normal.

You can also take other standard actions such as escape, items and defend. There is a lot more to the battle that meets the eye, it’s not often I look forward to a random battles to try and catch more mirages or level them up to achieve better abilities.

Graphics

You can tell from the get go that this game is aimed at pulling in a newer younger audience with the cutesy style graphics. That’s not to say that the overall game itself isn’t pleasing to the dedicated fan of the series, it has all the nostalgic value that you’d expect from a game with a title starting “World of”. It did surprise me that a few cutscenes in, the animation went from cutesy to a manga anime style. These anime cutscenes come in handfuls and is just enough to mix it up a little thus keeping the gamer interested. It also adds an element of realism to the world  showing you what the mirages look like in a manga world. The summons and champions are absolutely beautiful to watch and each animation keeps me gripped to the tele. I often take the time to use moves that I know are going to be terrible and hinder me in battle just to see what it looks like on screen.

1 downside to the visuals of the game is that you can’t rotate the camera when wondering the game world. In most recent RPGs, this is a given and I’m sure there was a reason to not include this but it’s highly frustrating when roaming and trying to look around corners for those generous treasure chests. It’s an easy flaw to ignore but it’s a flaw that follows you and crops up throughout the whole game. Sometimes in games, I personally like to stop and take in the world that they’ve created just for me but I can’t do this here and I can’t help but wonder why not! 

Gameplay

The gameplay in my opinion is what makes of breaks a games potential and with World of FF, you can’t say a bad thing about it. There is SO much to do in the vast world that you’ll often find yourself breaking away from the main story to try catch some more mirages or just to go back and fight a hard monster who bested you at a lower level. The game is also packed with Final Fantasy lure that will keep you satisfied in each dungeon, town and region. Take the picture above for example, I had just met Tifa after she saved me from an unbeatable fight when she asked me to come visit her at her home town. Around the corner I saw Midgar in the distance and my body turned cold with a slight shock as I ran into town to see how it was depicted. Sure enough it looked great! there wasn’t a lot to do in town but having had a conversation with a shop keeper, I was told that they have many dresses for sale but they are out of the silk one. FF7 fans will know what that means but silly little things like that make me smile inside 🙂

Ive seen everything from pirate moogles to a train conductor Cactuar, this game helps me relive the classic moments from all of the previous FF games and then some! There was even a moment in the game where I had to destroy a mako reactor. Once inside, I triggered an alarm which gave me 15 minutes to escape. I didn’t wait to find out what happened after the 15 minutes but it was a nice homage to the previous game. I’ve yet to run into Cloud yet so it will be interesting to see where he fits in. I have ran into other legends such as Rikki, Vivi, Quistis, Lighting and Yuna.

In certain moments, you can also hold down the R1 button which speeds up time allowing you to speed through cutscenes if you read faster than they talk or to speed up battles. This will come in handy if you’re replaying and just want to get through it faster.

Verdict

I can’t wait to dig my claws into the many hours this game has left to offer. I am definetely going to try to platinum this one as I want to visit each dungeon, meet every character and the mirages, well I wanna catch em all! I only have less than a month until FFXV is releases though so I best get a move on!

I give this game a solid 2 thumbs up so please do go out there and get your copy if you’ve not done so already!

Ciao for now!

Halloween Go! A Pokémon adventure…

So if you haven’t heard, Pokémon Go are running a special Halloween giveaway so to speak. During this scare fest season, the lovely people at Niantic have decided to double the amount of candies you receive from all means. This means 6 candies instead of 3 when catching Pokémon, 2 instead of 1 when transferring and fewer steps to make with your buddy Pokémon before he or she finds a candy. You also get LOADS more candies when hatching eggs in your incubators so this is the perfect opportunity to evolve those pesky creatures that you’ve been waiting for.

Alongside the double treats, it also seems that you have more of a chance to catch certain Pokémon. I’m not sure if this differs between players but I’ve personally noticed that since waking up today, I’ve spotted a lot more Haunters, Ghastlys, Cubones, Marowaks and Meowths. This does however prove to be a little annoying seen as I’ve caught and evolved quite a lot of the afformentioned critters but I kind of wanna catch others to get the extra candies for them too. Throughout my 2 hours of playing today, I didn’t see any other Pokémon other than the 5 above which tells me that there is no point in me playing for a week if I hope to catch anything else. Whilst this event is a ploy to try and claw back it’s lost players, it kind of feels like it’s slightly alienating it’s loyal fans. I’m hoping things change tomorrow else I may not bother on day 3 until after Halloween is over.

I guess there’s always the fewer steps I have to travel that may keep me entertained as I’ve already evolved 3 of my friends via this method and currently on track to evolve my Gloom by tomorrow. This event lasts 7 days which means it should end on November 1st, I hope to see you all out there on your mobile devices but as always, try to remember to be alert at all times; stay aware of your surroundings!

Ciao for now!

Demo – World of Final Fantasy

For those of you who know me, you’d probably agree that I’m the straightest gay guy you know. You’ll understand then how good this game is shaping up to be as it makes me squee like a stereotypical Japanese school girl! Cute is an understatement however this is only one of the many reasons that makes the WOFF demo so great!

Straight from the get go you can see how lush the child-like graphics really are. This is an instant turn on as fans of the FF series are normally used to a heavy realistic graphic style from FFX onwards. I can only assume the choice of art is to draw in a new younger audience but it works for me any how.  The controls are easy to get the hang of with a brief 3 page tutorial and I was wondering around within 30 seconds. Soon after I set off and after a really brief conversation with an ally, I jumped into a random battle where the fun and customisation really stood out.

In typical FF style, the battle is a turn based (I hit you then you hit me) system with loads of added elements. Different moves become available depending on if you’re in giant or miniature form which can be changed outside of battle with the touch of 2 buttons. To add to this, there seems to be a new stacking system which allows you to catch certain monsters you fight and have then fight alongside you. In miniature form, you can sit on the larger monsters as if it were a mount. You can then have the smaller monsters sit on you as if you were it’s mount thus stacking 3 in total.

In giant form, you become the bottom of the stack having 2 monsters sitting on you. Either way, depending on what you stack, you can changed the abilities you have in battle thus making you stronger against certain enemies. It doesn’t look like you can swap the monsters or your own form in battle so you’d have to choose wisely before entering any battle. You can however unstack in battle thus giving each of your monsters a separate albeit weaker attack than if you were all together as one. Sounds complicated but you’ll soon see it isn’t if you give it a go. I’m sure other abilities become available as each of your monsters level up at its own pace and separate from yourself.

Along the short half hour demo, I came across many characters from the past games such as Squall, Lightning and many familiar enemies too. I can’t wait to delve into this nostalgic heaven with its plethora of lure from its past successes. If like me you’ve not played all the FF games, there are bound to be some new faces but they shouldn’t hinder the gameplay. Various summons will also exist in the game as you progress. The demo itself allowed me so call upon Tidus with his Blitzball from FFX who appears from the water to critically hit the enemy for huge damage. I’m hoping my favs are in the game which includes Odin and Ifrit; let’s not forget the infamous Bahumut!

The in game is pretty explanatory just like the other games so you can feel a sense of familiarity which will help you on your adventure. All in all, if the demo is anything to go by, I’m looking forward to Friday 28th when the game it set to hit the post room of my office. I’ve also got a 3 day weekend to get my grubby paws into the main story of the game. Anyone else planning on giving it a go? Let me know what you think!

Ciao for now!

Switch It!

Are you going to Switch?

So the news was released today at 15:00 about the upcoming Nintendo Switch! Suffice to say I’m excited! I’ve only watched the 3 and a half minute trailer so I don’t know much yet but from what I’ve seen, it’s pretty much all I’ve ever wanted since I purchased the Wii U way back when! I’ve always been annoyed that even though I can play the Wii U through the Wii U Gamepad, I can’t take it too far from the actual console to play the games on the move. It looks as if the Nintendo Switch remedies this and allows you to take your console with you on your travels without much hassle at all.

switch-console

There is a downside however. Maybe I’m wrong but I’ve always found that portable machines hold less power and thus can the Switch handle any hardcore games or will it just be a glorified Nintendo DS?

Let me know what you guys think! I’ll have a proper read and get back with another post soon!

Ciao for now!

Fifa Fo Fum!

I smell the blood of a Englishman! Several Englishmen actually, bleeding and sweating for their club and country!

The devil makes work of idle hands and my hands are very idle indeed! They shouldn’t be though as I’ve got many a game I still need to complete! I still find myself missing a certain piece to my Gaymer life puzzle and that piece is Fifa 17. Released yesterday, Fifa 17 is the game on everyone’s lips! I’ve not played any of the last 2 installments so I’ve been out of the game for a while but whilst I’m making new friends on a regular basis, this may be the glue that’s needed to bond the friendships. Not to mention the competitive nature between me and my brother. It’s pretty much a similar nature as Arsenal vs Spurs (the teams we happen to support), David vs Goliath, Xbox vs Playstation, Edward vs Jacob, Friday vs Saturday and so forth. Considering Fifa is one of the only games that makes me physically sweat under the pressure, I think it’s probably worth the £40 price tag. Saying that, I’d also get my regular JS discount which will take it down to £36. 

So that being said, I probably will buy it in the coming days but the question still remains, do I buy it for the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4? I’ve been asking around the usual suspects and it’s currently 3 v 4 in Microsoft’s favour so it looks like I’ll be handling the Xbox’s pad when taking to the field. Should you wish to have a game online, drop me a note and we’ll arrange some time but until then, keep an eye out for an initial review in the coming weeks.

Ciao for now!

Winter Warmers

7am, heading to work and I now just realised how dark it is; summer is definetely a distant memory! It’s started to make me think about the games I used to play on a winters night snuggled up with my blanket and sitting on the floor in front of the tele. I talk of such games as Final Fantasy 7, Skies of Arcadia, Goldeneye and so on. Games you could just really sink your teeth into,  spend hours playing to try and forget how much the weather sucks balls! Here are a few games I’m looking forward to reacquainting with over the harsh cold nights!
Rocket League

Can’t beat a bit of football using cars instead of your feet… So carball I guess? Either way, the games are short and sweet which allows you to pick up and play for a few minutes or hours. I’ve yet to try the new features so this should spice things up a bit and keep the game fresh. Fancy a game online? Let me know your gamertag 🙂

Final Fantasy XV

Released just in time for those December blues (I hope), Final Fantasy is sure to be one of my many excuses for not going out in the blistering cold this winter. If the demo is anything to go by, this is set to be Game of the Year by a long shot! Anyone else taking a few days off work to get a headstart on the rest?

The Bioshock Collection

Recently reviewed, TBC is set to take me a while to complete. As I’ve played each game individually before, I don’t feel the need to dedicate a set time for Rapture and Columbia but this will certainly be a game I dip in and out of during my break from other titles. The revamp of graphics definetely helps the game feel new and improved.

Beyond Good & Evil

Another remaster recently free on Xbox Games with Gold, BG&E is a classic adventure game which I’ll need to replay and refresh my memory given the recent news of a revival of the sequel. Jade has never looked so pretty when fighting monsters and taking pictures like the little pervert that she is. The controls and camera could have done with a little more work but I’ll still give it the time it deserves, it’s been well over 10 years since my previous journey.

What games are you planning on playing this winter? Let me know in the comments. Agree or disagree with my list, it’s the only thing keeping me from from ripping my drippy nose off my ever so pretty face! 

Ciao for now!

Review – Settlers of Catan (app)

For the many fans out there of the board game Settlers of Catan, the app that’s available on the Google Play and IOS store is a welcoming mobile version of the brilliant strategy game. Granted you have to pay a small figure but you get what you pay for and what you pay for is hours of challenging fun.  For the standard version you pay for, you’re able to go online and play the game with your friends or just with strangers to compete for the win. There is also an option to add various levels of AI characters just in case you can’t find enough people to play with. This is pretty much all I was expecting as I wanted to play with my friends when it wasn’t possible to visit each other. The feature itself worked very well with all aspects of the board game without the time consuming mess of having to setup or cleanup the pieces.

Once inside the game, you’ll soon find out that there are optional extra payments for the Catan expansions Seafarers and Cities & Knights. I haven’t yet played the Cities & Knights expansion as the former has proven to be so much fun that I didn’t feel the need to shake things up. Once these have been purchased, it also unlocks a very unique campaign mode which creates scenarios and different board setups for you to compete against the AI.

You can then use these different setups to play online or in single player for practice. There are a total of 25 maps to choose from which is more than enough to keep you busy for a fair few hours; I’ve been playing now for a total of around 250 hours without the C&K expansion. With each map, you further more have the ability to customise the game rules to switch things up even more.

Map – You can have the tiles placed in their standard fixed locations or variable which randomly places them in any given hex.

Robber – You can choose standard rules or friendly which means you can only place the robber on a tile not yet occupied by another player.

Dice – Standard dice or stack which means each number gets a fair share of the roll as each combination is rolled at least once at random.

Start Mode – Let’s you start with a settlement as usual or with a city.

Resource Bonus – Let’s a player pick a resource of their choice if they don’t receive one from a dice roll within 5 turns.

You can surely agree with me that this is more than enough to keep the replay value going for a hell of a long time!

The user interface of the game works really well and only took me around an hour to figure out how to work with it given there isn’t really any tutorial; this is definitely and app for those of you who knows how to play the board game. Despite the lack of guidance, I still managed to get online and play my brother for the first time with ease after a simple signup process. I’m pretty sure I beat him too….

If you can look past the various negative reviews of crashing and lag, you’ll have a great time with this app especially as it never gets boring. The game itself is always different which makes me wonder how many years it’s going to be keeping me occupied. I’ve never once experience any glitches so it must be a limited number of users. 

In my not so expert opinion, I give this game app a respectable 7 out of 8 eggs.

Ciao for now!