While all eyes have been on Final Fantasy XV, a lesser known Final Fantasy game was sneaked in a few weeks earlier, called World Of Final Fantasy. Developed by Tose and Square Enix, World Of Final Fantasy hearkens back to the traditional style of gameplay from the Final Fantasy series. Fans of the franchise will instantly fall in love with the turn based battle system revolving around the series staple Active Time Battle system, and find new challenges in the added stacking mechanism.
But before getting into that, let’s talk about the story. You play as the adorable twins Lann and Reynn, as they set out into the land of Grymoire, which is under the threat of the Bahamut Army casting darkness across the world. While the game is not part of the main series, their journey takes them across various Final Fantasy locations like Cornelia and Saronia. You also meet many of the character from the main games including Cloud, Squall and Lightning. The story is not the best, and does drag for quite a while at the start, but it’s still a great addition to the series. The twins themselves are endearing, and so are the characters that come along with them.
Gameplay is pretty standard for a Final Fantasy game. It’s a mix of turn based combat, along with a new addition called Stacking. The creatures in the world of Grymoire can be fought and captured. They can then be stacked upon your character (literally) to grant bonuses. All of these creatures are in their chibi-form. Your protagonists themselves have the ability to switch between their chibi and true forms, and all of these transformations come into play while assessing every battle encounter. The creatures and monsters, also called Mirages, can sometimes be used as mounts. This is in part very similar to how Pokemon plays, and is a fun and welcome addition to the overall game.
The game has a very cute and cuddly look to it, which is mostly due to the creature and character design, and the visual style. The game looks great, and the overall aesthetic sets it apart from the previous entries in the series. And like most JRPGs there a lot of stuff to do here, and even more to explore. Grinding is present, but it never gets egregious. Then again, in a world this pretty can anything get egregious.
The creatures you capture can be leveled-up and even given a name of your choice. All of this adds to the depth of gameplay. Apart from the regular (well, as regular as it gets here) set of Mirages, some special Mirages let you call in mini versions of select Final Fantasy heroes. It’s just fantastic to see your beloved Final Fantasy characters coming in to help you in battle. Some of these characters even have their own dedicated side quests you can pursue.
World Of Final Fantasy is a truly worthy addition to the series, and definitely has a place of it’s own. It’s not without it’s faults, and is not for someone new to the series, but is easily recommendable to any fan of the series looking to sink in countless hours exploring the world of Final Fantasy.
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