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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!