I looked forward to the World of Final Fantasy because it seemed like something special. A game where the gameplay itself feels familiar but offers enough “specialness” to become something different and would keep us interested for a while… I mean the idea of this game seems like a lot of fun, cartoon-like figurines set in the Final Fantasy universe and “gotta catch ’em-all” spirits. However, this turn-based RPG loses its touch very quickly due to the weird storytelling and repetitive gameplay.
This spin-off adventure is definitely set in the Final Fantasy franchise, but the story starts off in an unknown place. You take on the role as one of the twins “Reynne and Laynn”. The beginning chapter begins very mysteriously… As you awaken and walk towards your working area, your town puts off this Ghostly vibe and it quickly becomes noticeable that you’re all alone, aside from this mysterious girl. This lonesome she-wolf explains the destiny of the main characters, they’re actually Mirage Keepers. Unfortunately, the twin having no memory at all about their great deeds, they are told they should find answers to their past within the mysterious world of “Grymoire”.
“The system is familiar and yet a bit more special than another turn-based RPG’s and that’s great.”
With no fear at all, you step into this strange world and you notice some peculiar things… The world’s inhabitants look like bobble head figurines, only with normal heads and you have the ability to command mirages. These mirages, all have their own unique set of abilities and they can be captured. You can compare this feature with the popular “Pokémon” franchise. It’s up to you to capture these different sized Mirages. Capture them all and stack them on the top of your head and become the greatest Mirage Keeper that has ever lived. I’m bit exaggerating but let’s explain this twist…
These Mirage Keepers can become human-sized “Jiant” or they can become a very cute version of themselves in this “Lillekin” form. This mechanic seems pretty weird but it gets a bit weirder since this mechanic is very important for the game’s battle feature: stacking. This stacking is just like the family’s game “Jenga”, you stack up monsters on the top of your head and charge yourself into battle with these stacked monsters, hoping you won’t let them fall and kill yourself way before the battle has even begun. These Mirages that you imprison have different sizes: small, medium and large. These sizes are important to keep the game interesting and challenging to play. The main idea is this, as long as you can stack your Mirages on the top of your head without losing its balance, you’re good to go. Just like the theories in physics, these monsters have to be stacked in a certain order. First your big chunk of meat, then a medium sized chunk of meat and end with a small sized chunk of meat. Since you’re stacking up these monsters on your head, your “Jiant” sized head functions as the large monster on the bottom of the stack. On top of this, you can still stack up to two Mirages that’ll help you during battle.
I also wrote down in this review that you also have a “Lillekin” form, as in a mini version of you. Instead of being the large chunk of meat at the bottom of the stack, you’ll become the smaller chunk of meat on the top of the stacking pile. This brings up an interesting concept as you can switch up between these forms to become better prepared for different kind of battles.
Another important feature to keep your eye on is the combinations they’re allowing you to make. This feature is all about experimenting with the best combo that works best for you. The stacking allows you to differentiate between sizes, but all of these Mirages are also of a certain type. For example water fire, … If you stack up two Mirages with the same type, their abilities become much stronger because they combine their strength and get an upgraded version of their abilities. For example, 2 fire types will amp up their basic ability “Foxfire” into a more powerful fire spell. This motivates you to go search for the best combination. It’s also an awesome opportunity to create your own fighting style. The main goal is to catch a lot of them, leveling them up and combine with other Mirages or monsters with the same type. Some creatures even “Transfigure”, these creatures will then evolve into bigger and more deadly creatures.
The system is familiar and yet a bit more special than another turn-based RPG’s and that’s great. It’s a lot to take in at first, but after a couple of hours, you’ll definitely get the hang of it. This game will give a bit of a challenge to experienced players, but it might be too overwhelming for younger players. Still, after a while, the mechanic becomes to easy to use, because of the lack of different battles that’ll stimulate you to use other combinations.
“Final Fantasy has always been a cool version of storytelling thanks to its still expanding Lore and fantastic visually stunning worlds. “
Talking about the battles, the battle system has a bit of learning curve but the game confronts you with enough monsters to hone your skills but they do they take it to the next level when it comes to battling monsters… Even though battling monsters is a great way to get the hang of it, the game confronts you with a lot of monsters and it quickly becomes annoying. I mean, pushing yourself through a dull story is hard, but the constant battling makes the game even a lot more frustrating. Even though most of the monster battles can be skipped by using your “escape” button, it doesn’t feel very effective. Another annoying thing is the use of items in this game. There are healing/ reviving potions, but they can only be used during the battle, so you can’t really prepare for the next battle to come. There are also puzzles to solve during a dungeon run and sometimes you need a certain Mirage to solve these puzzles. This is a great way to implement puzzles in this game but the game doesn’t really warn you about this “ability solving puzzles”. If you don’t have the right Mirage at hand, you’ll have to leave the dungeon first and farm a certain area, hoping you’ll get the right Mirage soon.
Final Fantasy has always been a cool version of storytelling thanks to its still expanding Lore and fantastic visual stunning worlds. However, the story side of the game lacks a bit when it comes to “telling an interesting story”. It’s a story that can play a “believable” part of the Final Fantasy universe but it’s still full of clichés and that makes the game less and less interesting towards the end. There are some interesting battles and the game has some very funny wordplay, but it will never be known for its “amazing” story. The game also becomes very repetitive towards the end, it felt like the developers struggled to keep the game “creative”. Thank God, for the “forwarding text/ scene” button within this game.
World of Final Fantasy is an okay game and it opens the perspective on this kind of turn-based RPG games. I love the combination “stacking” system but it quickly becomes repetitive, because of the game’s lack of challenging battles. I do think, this game has a lot more potential but I think the dev. team took a couple of lesser good decisions: the use of items, the lack of variety within dungeons, … The veteran FF players will definitely enjoy this game but they will all feel like the game’s story just “isn’t there”.