Review: World of Final Fantasy (PS4)
Welcome to Grymoire, a land filled with magic, mystery and danger. A land filled with monsters known as mirages, an evil brewing from above and a world of fantasy. This cute little spin-off puts players in the shoes of two protagonists. Twins by the name of Lann and Reynn, accompanied by a mirage known as Tama. Our heroes wake with amnesia in a mysterious place known as Nine Woods Hill. It is here that they discover that they are destined to save the world known as Grymoire from an evil.
Mirages & Champions
One of the largest assets is the capturing, training and battling of mirages. Monsters scattered throughout the land of Grymoire. World of Final Fantasy is filled with fan favourites like the Chocobo and Fenrir. Depending on the size of the mirage they are able to walk alongside you in dungeons or, better yet, can be ridden. The thing that sets World of Final Fantasy apart from other monster-catching titles is that each mirage has their own capture requirements. Some mirages can only be captured by first putting them to sleep, where as performing a specific elemental attack on another mirage will grant you the ability to imprism it. Players will also have access to a mirage board that will allow you to customize your mirages attacks and also help you to evolve them into larger more ferocious monsters.
Another interesting feature included in the World of Final Fantasy is the Champions. During the course of the game the player will come across characters from previous Final Fantasy titles such as Cloud from Final Fantasy VII or Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. The characters play intricate roles within the storyline of the game and once their chapters are completed you will be able to summon them in battle for a one hit power shot. Each champion has their own one hit attack with some even possessing elemental attributes. The twist is that although these characters are from prior Final Fantasy titles, they are unique to only the World of Final Fantasy and Grymoire, having no ties to their respective titles.
Along with the mirages in the game the stacking system will quite possibly be the most fun you’ll have in the game. I spent countless hours on the stacking system, making sure that my combinations gave me the best results for battle. Resistances, higher attack stats, lower defence stats and so much more are determined from your selection of mirages that you’ll stack together. The stacking system is determined by mirage sizes. Each mirage is categorized in small, medium, large and XL, although the XL mirages cannot be stacked with the others, but can however be summoned for a short period of time during the battle. Unlike the champion summoning these mirages stay put until their health or attack points run out. Lann and Reynn also have the ability to change their forms, moving from Jiant form which is large in size to chibi form which is small. The stacks work in ascending order with the largest mirage at the bottom of the stack.
Since your strength in World of Final Fantasy relies a bit on how you’ve stacked yourself with the mirages, your stacks will determine as to how difficult or easy you find each boss. Of course as with any JRPG you will have to unfortunately grind a little from time to time to get those levels up as each mirage, as well as Lann and Reynn, each possess their own level. The game uses the infamous active time battle system and can be switched between the classic menu style and the new scroll orientated menu. The boss battles usually include either an XL mirage or multiple mirages. More than often however I found the boss battles to be pretty easy with only one or two difficult battles. Admittedly at times I found battles with wild mirages more difficult.
The game also includes an area called the Coliseum. Here players will be able to battle and capture mirages that you’ve encountered throughout the game and also gain items as a reward. You’ll also be able to battle and trade your mirages with friends online.
The chibi-styled art of the game is truly rewarding and forms a large part of the pros. The game is filled with nostalgia that will take you back into time. Music, characters and monsters from previous Final Fantasy titles flood the World of Final Fantasy and there really seems to be a limitless combination of stacking mirages. Alas the story unfortunately just does not do the same. The story really tries hard to keep the player strapped down but I found it often to be a little mediocre. The game is filled with scenes trying to be comedic and light-hearted but does become monotonous. Thankfully you are allowed to speed up the dialogue or skip through the scenes completely. World of Final Fantasy is an absolute joy if you’re a fan of the series or a fan of monster-catching titles, but only just scratches that itch that we’ve all been anticipating for Final Fantasy XV.