One of the first things I noticed about World of Final Fantasy is it exudes copious amounts of cuteness. From the adorable chibi versions of monsters which have been staples of Final Fantasy games for decades to the main two characters in the story everything is just adorable and sweet. Of course, since it’s also a Final Fantasy game it’s also filled with danger and a bad guy trying to do bad things, but also being adorable while doing it. This is our World of Final Fantasy Review.
The game starts off with Lann and Reynn who are the heroes of this adventure and happen to have no memory about who they are or what they are doing (despite the fact all of this has apparently happened before). They both sort of embody stereotypical roles where Lann is brash and headstrong while Reynn tends to analyze things and is a bit more careful. Despite this both are endearing and it’s hard not to like them, especially when they get carried away with the puns.
In some ways WoFF seems like Pokemon done in a Final Fantasy setting. To fight you must capture mirages (which are smaller versions of Final Fantasy monsters) by capturing them in a prismatarium. There is a limit to how many prismatariums can be carried around at one time and any extra must be placed in the Prism Case. Only Mirages which are with you gain experience, with the ones who participated in the fights gaining the most experience. This becomes important because each mirage has their own sphere grid with different abilities available and some of these abilities are needed to progress through the game.
Mirages which have been captured can be used to build stacks with Lann and Reynn to combine their powers and be much stronger. A stack is a set of two mirages and either Lann or Reynn. In fullsize mode Lann and Reynn count as large in their stack and their chibi versions are considered medium. A stack starts with large on bottom, medium in the middle, and small on top. Different configurations will offer different strengths and weaknesses with some stack being prone to toppling over. It was interesting to see which mirages worked well together because the result wasn’t always what I expected. Also unstacking during a battle can be a strategic choice.
Combat used the familiar Active Time Battle system which will be familiar to anyone who has played any of the original games. This system has two modes: Active (time keeps going even if you don’t do anything) and Wait (time pauses until you decide what to do). One interesting aspect to combat was the need to create prismatunities so I could capture new mirages. Different mirages have different requirements which have to be met before the option to capture them is available and working to meet these conditions provided and interesting mini game during combat. Unfortunately, just because a prismatunity was activated there wasn’t any guarantee of capturing the mirage, but the reason why it sometimes didn’t work seemed random and without any rhyme or reason to it.
One aspect which let me down a bit was the fact there isn’t much real exploration to be done. Every area had a small area to be explored but it was generally linear with the occasional turn off here and there. Even dungeons were mostly linear. As someone who enjoys exploring I would have liked more open areas to wander in.
Where World of Final Fantasy really excels is in it’s call backs to old games in the series in both characters which are met throughout the game and in the locations in which everything takes place. Even the turn based combat system will be immediately familiar to anyone who has played any of the older games. Everything is suffused with the past and is very much a call back to games throughout the series. Since I have been playing Final Fantasy games for decades this was a great experience as it felt like every minute was packed with different things to make me go “oh I remember that”. For anyone who hasn’t played a lot of Final Fantasy games this layer will be completely missing but it also shouldn’t hinder understanding of the story or what is going on at all.
There are a few different activities available if you are looking for a bit of a break from the main storyline. My favorite activity is Interventions which allow you to travel to the past, present, or future to help friends overcome dire obstacles. These are moments in the lives of characters you meet where they are on the brink of a turning point. As a result, these fights tend to be a bit harder than most of the fights encountered out in the world (except for some boss fights). It’s an interesting set-up particularly because the characters who are helped in this way are generally not aware of you helping them, which is just amusing to me.
The game works well on PC although there were a few odd choices made in the porting. For example, when I initially launched World of Final Fantasy it defaulted to windowed mode for some reason and there’s no way to change the resolution in game. To do that I had to go into a special configuration tool before launching the game in Steam. Also, there’s no way to remap the keys in game. There are however two default keyboard control schemes: QWERTY or AZERTY. Neither set-up is bad but controlling movement was a bit weird for me. Honestly WoFF felt a bit more comfortable when played on a controller instead of the keyboard. Really, it’s more of a question about what feels better to you.
Overall World of Final Fantasy is a solid game that’s entertaining and offers a lot of different things to do in game. Long time fans of Final Fantasy will enjoy the many callouts to past games but the game itself doesn’t hinge on this. The story takes a while to get interesting, but the best parts of the game have nothing to do with the story at all. It’s ideal for anyone just looking for a fun game to play.
Note: Our copy was reviewed on Steam with a code provided by PR.
Compare To: Pokemon and Final Fantasy VIII
Overall Score: 7.5/10
- Stacking system helps to keep combat fun and engaging
- A lot of variability in how mirages are leveled up
- A variety of activities aside from progressing the main story
- Limited options for changing game controls in game
- Limited ability to explore
- Story is sort of slow and often a bit boring