It really is typical of the video game industry. You wait all this time for a game that was originally promised almost a decade ago, only for several instalments in the same franchise to come barrelling down within close proximity. I am of course talking about Final Fantasy, but perhaps not the recently released Final Fantasy game that you might be thinking of!
The up and down development of Final Fantasy: XV was undoubtedly very much a rollercoaster ride. A game which suffered from delay after delay, a bloated story line, and still struggles to find its own identity within the series pantheon today, XV might be great in its own right, but hardly as a traditional Final Fantasy. Thankfully there is a Final Fantasy game which released not too long ago, one that didn’t suffer from an unsurmountable myriad of fan expectation that impressed and excelled in areas that Dissidian NT and XV did not. That game is World of Final Fantasy, and it’s 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 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 made its way to the Vita (as well as PS4), but this was 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. 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 as fan of the franchise. f you haven’t played it already, I would highly encourage you to do so.
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!
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 the PS4 and Vita 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 play 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 tried to 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.