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The one thing that stuck out to me with this game was that it was really cute with its chibi design mixed with fully animated characters in what seemed to be a new spin-off game set within the multiverse of Final Fantasy.
World of Final Fantasy’s long-winded, convoluted narrative follows the amnesiac, magically gifted twins Reynn and Lann. The duo wakes up at the start of the game with minimal understanding of what’s going on. With the help of Tama, their walking, talking fox sidekick, and denizens both familiar and foreign, Reynn and Lann’s journey to save their mother — and the world — in accordance with a controversial prophecy eventually gets under way.
The battles, which makes up the core of the gameplay are what is pretty good and very tactical despite its appearance. Reynn and Lann have two special powers that set them apart from the average role-playing game hero: They can switch between their average-sized human forms and smaller, chibi-style ones, and they can catch and harness the power of monsters called Mirages. Depending on if they’re tall or tiny, the siblings can stack up to two monsters on their heads to create an adorable, if unstable totem pole. This allows you to change out your strategy with each encounter and try different ways to play in more offensive or even more combat-controlled rounds. As a plus, it makes no battle feel the same and that in on itself can lend to different experiences.
Collecting Mirages is fun and challenging, as each one has different elemental abilities and capture requirements. Beyond hunting them down, I did spent a great deal of time trying to fine-tune my monsters’ skills and party combinations to nail down different resistances and expanded abilities. It’s easy to get lost in building and perfecting your monster collection, and World of Final Fantasy encourages the most detail-oriented player to try to catch ’em all. (A the memories of playing Pokémon is what makes this so fun to play as well.)
The dungeons where these Mirages can be found had the tendency of letting you get lost in easily, which is good news to you if you have a resentment towards trend of more linear maps that some Final Fantasy games have chosen to adapt into their games (but that never bothered me). Each one of these diverse, enormous areas is littered with monsters to capture and puzzles to solve. I spent most of the game traversing them, but each one is unique and memorable enough to keep moving from place to place feeling fresh. Their sizes and layouts were boggling, but some of my biggest personal victories were conquering the dungeons’ inventive shortcuts and specific intricacies.
There’s a big payoff for surviving these various dungeon trials, though. I got to see some of my favorite classic Final Fantasy heroes in action, albeit it usually happened in cutscenes. These are aww-worthy highlights that can tickle the right spot for one. The presence of characters like Cloud, Lightning and Tidus doesn’t feel as forced as it might; they simply inhabit and protect this, the World of Final Fantasy. I also gained the ability to summon certain Final Fantasy stars in battle for a limited time, but I could only actually play as them in special “champion quests.”
Champion quests are accessible whenever the player becomes bored of dungeon crawling. Between those and the multitude of Mirage taming — not to mention a battle coliseum, which spotlights the fun intricacies of fighting — World of Final Fantasy offers a few diversions from the repetition that the main campaign can bring from time to time. There’s still things to be desired, considering the series’ legacy of unforgettable characters and stories, but the variety of options and the pure joy of monster management bode for some deep pleasures.
SCORE: 7 out of 10
World of Final Fantasy brings out the fan service as if you had ordered every meal you loved in your childhood, it seems like an impossible task for a franchise that has run as long as Final Fantasy has. However, it brings the originality needed to get past the nostalgia and become a game that I enjoyed playing. So while the game may look like lighthearted filler on the surface, it has a deeper strategic dungeon of how the game can be played and for you, possibly enjoyed many hours after booting it up.