I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Final Fantasy series’ 30th anniversary than with World of Final Fantasy for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. Square Enix’s brand new role-playing game in the Final Fantasy series takes place in the land of Grymoire, and features to two new sibling heroes— Lann and his older twin sister Reynn. With a unique all-new battle system, World of Final Fantasy allows you to use captured monsters, by stacking them to form adorable yet strategic monster towers, to fight your enemies.
Final Fantasy fans will recognize monsters and allies from previous games including spin-off titles like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles that make an appearance as you embark on an adventure unlike any before.
A tale of twin siblings
World of Final Fantasy is unique in that it’s not connected to any other Final Fantasy game in the series. This game primarily takes place in the beautiful world of Grymoire, a place that is filled with classic Final Fantasy characters and monsters that long-time Final Fantasy fans will instantly recognize. The game’s storyline is centred on twin siblings, Lann and Reynn who suddenly awake one day to find themselves alone in the world.
Both Lann and Reynn suffer from amnesia and mysteriously possess the power to capture and wield the monsters of Grymoire, called Mirages. As the game progresses, Lann and Reynn’s travels take them to Grymoire to restore their memories, while gradually learning to utilize their powers. The twins become involved with fights between rival factions and the impending threat of the Bahamutian Army.
I really enjoyed World of Final Fantasy’s storyline; it was easy to follow and didn’t require any previous knowledge of Final Fantasy games to enjoy it. It never really becomes too complex, and the dynamic between Lann and Reynn’s is absolutely spot on. On one hand you have Lann who is an energetic young boy that is prone to act idiotically, while his sister Reynn counter balances Lann’s personality by being cautious and acting as a foil and counterpart.
Traditional Final Fantasy gameplay
World of Final Fantasy’s gameplay returns to the Final Fantasy series roots of turn-based battles. Utilizing the series’ recurring Active Time Battle system, the combat system is one of the most strategically in-depth ones that you’ll see in any of the Final Fantasy games. The combat system involves a stacking mechanic where you must stack allied monsters—also known as Mirages—based upon their stats to maximize damage against your foes.
Both Lann and Reynn can shift between “Jiant” and “Lillikin” forms that you can switch to on the fly. In their regular form—Jiant—Lann and Reynn are normal-sized folk that is a rarity in the world of Grymoire. Most other characters that you will encounter are “Lillikins”, which are essentially small, chibi-style characters. Switching between the two forms doesn’t affect much in the way of gameplay, but can be useful in setting up your battle load out.
The Mirages that you encounter and ally with come in three different sizes—small, medium, and large. These mirages can be captured in battle and tamed similar to that of Pokémon, which fight alongside you. With three different sizes, you make stacks, with a small mirage sitting on top of a medium, which in turn sits on top of a large. Each stack combines HP and AP, and gives you access to spells and abilities that each Mirage has individually. What’s really neat too is that each Mirage has their own skill upgrade tree, so it gives you a good sense of progression throughout the game.
Gorgeous graphics and top-notch voice acting
One of the first things that you will notice about World of Final Fantasy is just how stunningly gorgeous it looks. The character models are superbly designed, and the world around you is filled with hyper realistic landscapes that contain vivid colours that pop. In true Square Enix fashion, cut scenes transition to gameplay seamlessly and the modern reimaging of familiar Final Fantasy locations are more charming than ever. The game’s cartoon-like charm is an excellent fit for this entry in the series.
The PlayStation 4 version of World of Final Fantasy runs at 1080p and the PS Vita runs at 960×544 with some very impressive visuals. Both versions of the game run at a near constant 30 frames-per-second. I was pleasantly surprised to find that every character in the game was fully voiced. The characters are brought to life brilliantly thanks in part to top-notch voice acting and witty dialogue.
If you are a Final Fantasy fan as I am, you’re going to want to check out the special World of Final Fantasy: Limited Edition for PlayStation 4. In this special limited edition you get a 24-page art book that shows off the gameworld of World of Final Fantasy.
In addition, you get bonus digital content that includes a Sephiroth summon, Red Bonnetberry, White Chocobo, Glow Moogle, and the option to play the game with original Japanese voiceovers. Awesome!
World of Final Fantasy is chaulked full of content, and around the 25-hour mark I thought the story was coming to a close, boy was I wrong. Square Enix did a great job in mixing up the plot, on this 50 plus hour campaign. In addition to the main story there are plenty of side missions to keep you busy and coming back for more.
I thoroughly enjoyed World of Final Fantasy, and the bold, bright colours and clean, simple designs of the world were a refreshing change to the more realistic art design that we see in the main Final Fantasy games these days. If you are a long-time fan of the series or just starting out, you don’t want to pass up World of Final Fantasy, it’s worth its weight in gold.
+ Fun, addictive, deep gameplay
+ Breathtaking visuals
+ Well done voice acting
– Random battles can get tiresome sometimes
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5