Over the years, there have been a few attempts to unify the many worlds within the Final Fantasy universe. World of Final Fantasy accomplishes that feat in a masterful way so mount your Chocobo and let's explore this new yet familiar territory.
To be honest, I had no idea what to expect before diving in to the World of Final Fantasy but now that I've played it for dozens of hours, I can share my experience with kind folks like you. Basically, this is a classic JRPG complete with menu-based random battles and plenty of dungeons and towns to explore yet there are a few elements that help make it feel like a fresh experience. You play as a brother and sister named Lann and Reynn who find their reality turned upside-down one day while working in their coffee shop. Long story short, they go on a massive adventure through many locations that should be familiar to anyone who had previously played a Final Fantasy game. Not only that, they'll meet tons of recognizable characters such as Yuna, Rikku, Tifa, Rydia, Snow, Lightning, Edgar, Squall, Shelke, Vivi, Eiko, Bartz, Gilgamesh, Cloud, Celes, Cid, Tidus, and Terra. Phew, that's a lot but there's even a few more!
Thankfully, the environments and characters are as vibrant as you'd expect and the audio is spot-on with delightful music and great voice acting. Most of the cast is comprised of chibi character models known as Lilikins while the sibling heroes are "Jiants" who can transform into Lilikins. There are a great deal of story sequences that play out in a variety of ways which I found to be very cool. For example, some scenes are cinematic and rendered in 3D while others are done in an anime style. It's this sort of variety that makes it such a memorable experience. The same could be said with the music as you'll hear many renditions of well known tunes as well as pieces that simply set the mood. Overall, World of Final Fantasy is bursting at the seams with charm that'll make any fan smile.
Of course, a JRPG would be pretty boring with a party of two characters. Luckily, you can recruit monsters to join you. However, they're no ordinary party members as you stack them on your head to gain their attributes. I'm not quite sure how that logically makes sense as Lann and Reynn with a couple monsters sitting atop their noggins is quite a silly sight. Anyway, the dynamic of gathering a wealth of monsters then levelling them up, creating impressive stacks, then testing your configurations in battle is very satisfying. Some monster abilities help you solve puzzles and uncover secrets in the dungeons, too. Being able to fly short distances, shoot yourself from a cannon, and provide electricity to machines is rather handy but there's one downside. Basically, preparing for whatever situations may arise can be next to impossible. You may think that you have an ideal party setup but then you come across an obstacle that you don't have the appropriate ability to overcome so you run all the way back to the save spot to reconfigure. It can be pretty annoying.
In addition to finding hidden treasures within the numerous areas to explore, there is a ton more to do that'll add plenty of hours of gameplay even after you complete the journey. For starters, local villagers will send you on optional fetch quests that may reward you with some valuable items. A mysterious girl can grant you Champion Medals that you can equip in order to summon Final Fantasy heroes (and villains) in battle to turn the odds in your favour. She also has a lengthy list of optional sequences to play through where you help heroes seek justice by assisting them in battle. You'll come across powerful foes known as murkrift Mirages throughout your travels as well that can give you nifty rewards if you manage to take them down. Speaking of which, there's a Coliseum where you can battle sets of enemies for prizes. Whether you're exploring optional dungeons, monster collecting, treasure hunting, or simply revisiting old areas to see if anything is afoot; there's so much to do that the hours will tick away every time you start playing.
I don't have much negative to say about World of Final Fantasy but two main problems come to mind. The first is that it takes way too long for the adventure to actually start. When you first begin a new game, you're treated to many very long scenes that are admittedly fun to watch but they start to overstay their welcome. Then, there are far too many tutorials that over-explain every little detail. I would much rather experiment on my own than take a course in how to play this rather basic JRPG. That brings me to the second issue: World of Final Fantasy is quite an easy game and its simplicity often gets in the way of fun. Whenever you find yourself in long stretches of dungeon fighting countless easy battles, it can get tedious quick. In essence, I find this to be the biggest problem of the entire game. It makes me wish that the developers cut down the size of these parts to make the journey more streamlined yet what's here sometimes devolves into a boring test of endurance and patience which pains me to say because it's an otherwise fantastic game.
World of Final Fantasy is a great JRPG that any fan of the series should pick up. It may get a little boring from time to time but with such a variety of content to master, how could you pass up exploring this colourful, lively, and fantastical world?
- + Adorable world filled with chibi Final Fantasy characters and vibrant environments
- + Recruiting foes makes party setup enjoyable
- + Loads of extra content adds replay value
- - Simple and easy gameplay frequently makes progression feel a bit too tedious
- - Takes forever for the journey to begin
- - It's hard to prepare for every possibility