It really is typical of the video game industry. You wait all this time for a game that was originally promised almost seven years ago, only for two instalments in the same franchise to come barrelling down at once. I am of course talking about Final Fantasy, but perhaps not the upcoming Final Fantasy game that you might be thinking of!
The up and down development of Final Fantasy: XV has undoubtedly very much been a rollercoaster ride. With the recently announced delay of the game now releasing in December, both fans and game industry insiders literally still couldn’t believe that Square Enix had the audacity to implement another delay after stating so clearly at their 2016 reveal event that the game would release in September. Thankfully there is a Final Fantasy game hot on the horizon that isn’t suffering from an unsurmountable myriad of fan expectation that does look set to impress fans, and that game is World of Final Fantasy, and it looks well worth your time!
The entire concept behind World of Final Fantasy, is that the game is effectively a celebration of the franchises entire long-running history, pulling various characters from the various instalments to tell a story that is just as funny as it is engaging. Unlike December’s FFXV (don’t hold your breath), World of Final Fantasy is a traditional turn-based JRPG that brings back the Final Fantasy series’ famous active-time battle system. If this isn’t already enough to get you pumped, wait until you hear more.
Rather than use each legendary character’s individual art style from their respective games, World of Final Fantasy adapts Cloud and the gang to Chibi-like forms that better makes sense when each of them cross each other’s paths. Already from this design decision is it made evidently clear that this is a game that is having fun with itself, placing you in the shoes of Final Fantasy newcomers Lann and Reynn as it does so.
World of Final Fantasy might be yet another JRPG that’s making its way to the Vita (as well as PS4), but this is the first new release since War of the Lions that has done so, perfect for short bursts of play in between playing the larger experiences set to release in the rest of Q4 this year. If you love memorable soundtracks, deep narratives and well thought out battle systems, there really is no reason why World of Final Fantasy should not be on your radar towards the end of this month.
Minor “catch em all” elements even sneak their way into World of Final Fantasy’s gameplay, adding yet another layer of depth that will help to extend the game’s longevity even more, for those that don’t like the idea of leaving the beautiful world of Grymoire. It works pretty much just like you’d expect, requiring you to use your abilities to weaken the monsters (named mirages in this world), before taming them to ride. That’s right, to ride!
Despite no word as of yet stating whether or not both versions will be cross-buy compatible on the PSN store, cross-save has definitely been confirmed indicating that parity on PS4 and Vita has been successfully achieved. And with a story well over 100 hours long, World of Final Fantasy has plenty of features going for it to keep you busy. The only slight difference between versions is the unfortunate omission of the Japanese voice over from the portable version, purely due to memory limitations of the software.
So that pretty much wraps up all of the reasons you should be excited for World of Final Fantasy! It’s more of the same, but in a way different, returning the franchise to a welcome sense of familiarity that the series has been lacking ever since the releases of Final Fantasy X and X-2. Whilst Final Fantasy: XV looks set to try and reinvent the brand for a new generation altogether, World of Final Fantasy is a love letter to fans of the original games, celebrating the systems, characters and story elements that made them all so memorable in the first place.