First Final Fantasy Foray

In an uncharacteristic show of competence, Canada Post delivered my copy of World of Final Fantasy first thing in the morning Thursday. Granted – it was two days late – but that was Amazon’s fault. I digress.

I know I don’t traditionally do reviews (they’ve reared their heads a few times) but I was pretty excited to check this game out – it was the outlier in all of my pre-orders for the next year or so. I’m only about 10 hours in, but I think I’ve got a good grasp on it.

Pros:

So this game plays extremely well. It’s a combination of the standard Final Fantasy trope and Pokemon. Basically you need to be constantly hunting down, capturing and leveling creatures called Mirages (basically Final Fantasy Pokemon).

The mechanics are solid, once you get used to them. The whole concept surrounds catching different typical FF monsters and recruiting them to your party and then creating stacks with your own characters. Once you dig into the way the whole thing works, you can come up with some pretty cool combinations. The only problem is that there are too many cool mirages to pick from! The battle system works somewhere in between some of the more recent Final Fantasy games (like FF13) and classic FF and it’s all turn based. I mean, you can use their new battle commands where you can short cut everything, or you can change it back to the old menu – which is what I’m obviously using. The other really cool thing worth mentioning is the appearance of tons of classic FF characters. Cloud, Squall, Sephiroth – just to name a few show up as “champions” which function as one of the summons in the game.

The music, for any old school fans, is something worth paying attention to as well. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a lot of classic tunes remixed for the game.

And so far – the story is pretty solid. There’s enough intrigue to keep me hooked, and the characters are interesting and believable…with a few exceptions. I mean, this isn’t Shakespeare, but it’s classic FF. Classic JRPG.

Cons:

I only have three complaints:

  1. Graphics. Well, not the graphics persay, but the choice of art style. For some reason Square decided to go with a Nenodroid style of character for pretty much everyone in the world – including the PCs (except that you can also grow big to a normal looking character as well). Otherwise, the game is bright and colourful and looks great.
  2. For whatever reason (I’m assuming for comedic purposes) they made the male lead (Lann) a total idiot whose reactions to things are long past hamming it up. I mean, Shatner would shake his head at this guy on his worst day. Now, I guess it’s good that they didn’t just automatically make the sister (Reynn) dumb by default, but I think they could have skipped making either of them stupid in some poor attempt to make them “funny”.
  3. Finally: Tama. The dialogue coming out of this things mouth makes me wonder what Square was thinking? It’s so bad, it makes me wonder who I hate more. Tama or Navi.
    tama_world_of_final_fantasy
    If I were a religious man, I’d wonder if the devil created Tama to test my willingness to murder. Basically: Tama puts the word “the” needlessly in front of words that just don’t make a lick of fucking sense. As a writer, it baffles me endlessly. As a gamer, I want to see bad things happen to whoever thought it was a good idea.

 

Would I buy it at full price? Yes. The mixture of the two tropes works. Square was smart to capitalise on the Pokemon gameplay and the classic FF aspects just work. It’s a colourful and fun to play game that boasts a 50+ hour campaign. Despite what IGN said – I don’t find the battle system wears over time. All I can say is: If you weren’t prepared to grind – you’re in the wrong game IGN.

– The Ego

 

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