WORLD OF FINAL FANTASY
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on October 26, 2016
Funny, that with the release of Final Fantasy XV on our doorstep, director Hiroki Chiba wanted to launch a Final Fantasy title to bring children into the Final Fantasy franchise. And taadaa!! The World of Final Fantasy was born!
The Final Fantasy series has quite the fan base already, but I guess it doesn’t exactly hurt to attract more players. Speaking for myself, I played Final Fantasy IX and loved every minute of it. After many years, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers entered my home and again I loved every minute of it. And the Final Fantasy meets Disney games, Kingdom Hearts series, are just so awesome as well, in my humble opinion. And although I spent many happy hour in the Final Fantasy universe with these games, the other installments in the series didn’t seem able to capture my imagination. I can’t quite explain why not, but they just didn’t.
Perhaps a big part of my issue with these games lies with the turn-based combat system. When playing Final Fantasy IX back in the day, it didn’t seem like that big of a problem. Yes, it was slow, but it worked okay. Yet, after playing a lot of other games who didn’t choose for this type of combat, I was convinced that turn-based just isn’t for me. So you can imagine I was not very excited when I find out World of Final Fantasy made use of the turn based combat principle. So the surprise was even bigger, when I discovered while playing the game, it didn’t bother me at all! (Damn, now I have a lot of catching up to do…)
World of Final Fantasy tells the tale of a boy called Lann and his sister Reynn. Lann doesn’t take things all too seriously and I often laughed my ass off because of his cheesy one-liners or his lack of manners. Reynn, on the other hand, is well-mannered and she really is the smart one. One day, they find out that they once were very powerful and that they controlled a lot of so-called Mirages. Somehow, they forgot all about their past, but now the world Grymore they once lived in, really needs them to remember this forgotten past. A strange evil seems to be trying to take over the world and Lann and Reynn need to collect en rebuild their army of powerful Mirages to restore order and peace.
So, first order of business: collect all of these Mirages. When you manage to catch an enemy during a battle, he will be yours and fight alongside you. Not every enemy will be easy to catch, so you’ll have to be creative and try a different approach from time to time. With all the Mirages you collect, you can build stacks. This stacking is simply putting two creatures and Lann or Reynn on top of each other. And, as always, size does matter; each stack can contain a small (S), medium (M) and large (L) creature/character. You’ll share Health Points, Action Points and powers, but also the damage an enemy inflicts.
You can control both Lann and Reynn during the game. There are two appearances that this brother and sister duo can choose from at any given time (except when in battle). The first one is the “Jiant” look, which basically means they look like human beings. Secondly, there’s the “Lillikin” variant, which gives them a bobblehead-like look. These two options also give you two stacks per person to build. As a Lillikin you’re an “M”, but as a Jiant you counts as an “L”. So you can build four stacks in total.
Final Fantasy games usually offer many ways to attack, to heal and to upgrade, and World of Final Fantasy is no exception. I like the fact that they build in the classic layout for the menu where you choose your attacks, items, etc. All the special abilities for each Mirage can be found and learned through the Mirage board. In the menu, you’ll will also find a Tip Jar (nice wordplay) where you can read back all the tips which were given to you during the game. And I like the Adventure Log where you can read about you adventure up till the point where you left off at that moment. This could come in handy, should you forget what you were supposed to do because you haven’t played the game for a while. But why would you do that?
World of Final Fantasy is meant to attract new players to the franchise and with the Pokémon-like collecting system, bobblehead characters and a beautiful and colorful look, I think the developers have succeeded at that. At the same time, it’s also a candy-covered stroll down memory lane. If you’re familiar with the Final Fantasy games, you will definitely recognize a lot of the creatures and other stuff from previous Final Fantasy games. (I think I saw Fifi and Garnet walking around)
I had a blast playing World of Final Fantasy. It looks and feels familiar; even for me, who didn’t even play all the previous games in the series. But I think that’s the good thing about Final Fantasy; it has something interesting for almost everyone to enjoy!