Archives by Day

August 2022

World Of Final Fantasy

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: Nov. 21, 2017


As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

PC Review - 'World of Final Fantasy'

by Cody Medellin on March 20, 2018 @ 1:00 a.m. PDT

World Of Final Fantasy combines classic RPG gameplay mechanics with fresh and imaginative toy-like visuals, where players will collect, raise and take into battle the monsters of Final Fantasy lore, drawing on a rich history of iconic creatures, from the charming to the ferocious.

Buy World of Final Fantasy

Whenever Square Enix wants to make something from the Final Fantasy line that appeals to the younger set, it usually turns to the Chocobo series. That makes sense, since the bird is the unofficial mascot of the series and rather cute. It also helps that the games are at least cult hits, so you know that investing in one of them doesn't mean that you're paying for shovelware. With World of Final Fantasy, the company went for fraternal twins as the main characters and, combined with some solid mechanics, managed to craft a good RPG for all ages — especially for longtime Final Fantasy fans. It's been over a year, but the game has finally completed the journey from the consoles to the PC.

When you start up the game, the plot feels very reminiscent of almost all of the company's other RPGs. You play the role of fraternal twins who live in a modern world where they're the only inhabitants. It takes them a while to realize this, since they are partial amnesiacs. They meet someone who seemingly knows all of this as well as a creature who has been perched upon one of their heads the whole time. The twins were once powerful beings who controlled almost all of the creatures, but that knowledge is long forgotten. Then a portal to a new world opens up, and with the chance to regain some of their memories, the twins go forth to find answers.

While the initial scene conveys a serious tone, that goes out the window once you see one of the characters awaken from the dream world with a fox atop their head. From that moment on, the game relies on humor and silly situations. The twins bicker but aren't annoying, and the brother is dense but not a complete idiot. The tone is generally light, so that's a good change of pace from the dour and serious stuff of most RPGs. If you're a Final Fantasy fan, the game connects with you even more by showing familiar monsters and letting you visit some of the series' popular locations. In a way, it feels like Kingdom Hearts due to the cameo locations and characters, only without the Disney presence.

Considering the title and inspiration, the battle system is true to its lineage. There are basic attacks and magic abilities, all with pretty familiar names for franchise fans. The summoning system is still in place, but instead of majestic creatures to deliver massive damage, you get chibi versions of some of the series' most popular characters instead. It doesn't cover Final Fantasy XV, so those hoping for Noctis to show up will be disappointed, but seeing the chibi versions of Lightning and Squall in combat is nothing short of humorous.

There are two highlights to the battle system in World of Final Fantasy. The first is that this game is essentially Pokemon with Final Fantasy characters. The system works the same in that you're trying to weaken creatures enough to capture them, and the captured creatures level up as long as they're with you in battle. The creatures are numerous enough that you have to place most of them in storage since you can only carry so many. Gaining abilities only works for those creatures, even though the twins actively participate in the fighting. The only difference comes from the leveling grid, which is more detailed than Pokemon in terms of how certain abilities are unlocked.

The second major mechanic is stacking. Each creature you capture and/or evolve comes in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. That's important because you instantly have the ability to stack creatures for added benefits, like combined HP and increased strength. A smaller version can ride a creature while also having a smaller one on top of your head. If you decide to become large, that means putting a medium and small creature on top of one another while they both sit on your head. The stacking system may seem cute, but it is quite strategic. You can decide whether you want to beat down a foe with larger damage or disband the stack so everyone can unleash their individual moves. That strategy also comes into play when you configure stacks for both small and larger versions of yourself, and the size change can be done at any time to diversify the battle.

As a whole, the game is a joy to play. The creature variety means that there are some awesome matchups, depending on the area. The boss fights are memorable, and the number of secrets and side-quests means that you'll still want to play long after the campaign is done. However, the game contains a few stumbling blocks that keep it from greatness. If you don't use the active time battle system, the fights can feel slow since you aren't immediately set on the next creature's turn. There is a fast-forward button to speed things along, but that feels more like a band-aid rather than a solution. The basic menu also feels very limiting. If the game informs you that the classic menu houses all of the abilities, it feels rather pointless to have a basic menu. Finally, the game seems to use the random battle thing far too often. Granted, this is a title where one of the main conceits is catching monsters, but when you finally have the roster you want, the random battles can be very annoying.

The PC port took more than a year, so players would be wise to question what extras this version offers over the PS4 and PS Vita iterations. The game actually gives you a number of options that are designed to make the game easier or allow you to concentrate on the story. For example, you could disable the monster encounters if you wanted to concentrate on getting through a puzzle without any interruptions. You could also activate things like unlimited Champion use, max gil, max battle items, or infinite AP to get through fights without too much effort. The cheats are nice but a hassle to toggle, since you have to return to the main menu and go to the options instead of being able to access them via the pause menu.

The bad news about the PC port doesn't stop there, though. If you're a fan of using the keyboard and mouse, the mouse isn't supported at all, and you can't rebind the controls, so you're better off using a control pad. If you want to change the graphical options, you have to do that in a launcher separate from the game, a move that's generally accepted for indie titles but hardly seen in ones from bigger studios. Even then, you'll notice that the options are rather sparse, so don't expect to change much beyond resolution and the nebulous overall quality. Once you get into the game, you'll notice that the textures don't stray from their Vita roots, and the framerate is locked at 30 fps. When you consider the wait time for the port, it feels like there was a minimal amount of work done.

The overall presentation is quite nice. The character designs are recognizable while still being cute. The chibi forms of the human characters are also quite adorable; they're so cute that you wouldn't mind having a mainline Final Fantasy game redone in this style. The voicework for both Japanese and English is well done to the point that even the speech tics said by some of the Mirages aren't annoying. The music is quite superb, since it does a good job of remixing some classic tunes into a new style that remains both familiar and fresh.

If you can get over the fact that the presentation of the PC version isn't that much better than the PS4 version, you'll find World of Final Fantasy to be a very good RPG for all ages. It maintains a delicate balance between being simple enough to understand while also having the necessary depth for players who want it. The mechanics make the game feel like more than just a Final Fantasy/Pokemon mashup, and while the story gets too serious at the end, most of the time, it's light enough to feel different from its contemporaries. Genre fans will definitely have a fun time checking this out.

Score: 7.5/10

More articles about World Of Final Fantasy
blog comments powered by Disqus