By Chris Melchin / September 3rd, 2016
I haven’t really been following World of Final Fantasy since its announcement; I initially dismissed it as just another Final Fantasy crossover, and in my mind it was always overshadowed by Final Fantasy XV. However, after having had a chance to give it a shot at PAX West this year, that may have changed. I’m still excited for Final Fantasy XV, but World of Final Fantasy is up there now too. I spent just over 90 minutes on their demo, time enough to complete the first dungeon and an event battle after it. Suffice to say, it had its hooks in me more or less the whole time.
The demo cut out the opening story and got straight into the gameplay, leaving me somewhat lost as to who the protagonists were, where they were, where they came from, etc. It follows Lann and Reynn, a twin brother and sister who, after (somehow) losing their memories get transported from their home to the land of Grymoire. They’re Mirage Keepers (not Mirage Masters, that’s something different), meaning they’re able to capture wild monsters known as Mirages, raise them and use them in combat, in a mechanic similar to catching Pokémon in many ways; get their health down, then use the Imprism command in combat and they’ll join your side. You can even give them nicknames, so of course I had a Mangrove named Manfred. Lann and Reynn are normal-sized humans from a normal-sized world, who end up among the chibi people of Grymoire. They have the ability to change between forms, known as Jiant (normal-sized) and Lilikin (chibi), each of which behaves differently in combat. Combat generally plays out in traditional Final Fantasy style, with the added options to unstack and re-stack in case your tower is about to be toppled by enemy attacks, and to imprism enemy Mirages, using the ATB (Active Time Battle, like any game in the series between Final Fantasy IV and IX), with the added and incredibly helpful ability to hold a button to fast-forward while you wait for your turn again.
Lann and Reynn stack captured Mirages on top of each other in combat, with up to two Mirages on their head in Jiant form and one on the head and one below them in Lilikin form. Choosing wisely which Mirages to stack is integral to the ability system, where stacking multiple allies with abilities of the same element gives access to upper-level spells. Mirages are advanced by spending AP gained through battles. Lann and Reynn get access to spells of their own through the use of Mirajewels. There’s a lot to it; much of it presented in adorable chibi form.
The cuteness of the whole affair paired with endearing characters made me fall in love from the start. Lann and Reynn are total opposites in their personalities, and have a remarkable on-stage chemistry as they verbally bounce off each other. There to egg them on is their partner, Mirage Tama (with the annoying vocal tic of preceding random words with “the-“), who plays off them just as well as they play off each other. Both Lann and Reynn have their chance to play the straight man, and the comedy all seems charming and well-written. The voice acting is also rock-solid, with Lann and Reynn both having very appropriate voices for their respective personalities.
As an added bonus, here’s a new trailer, fresh out of PAX West:
World of Final Fantasy is slated for release on PS4 and PS Vita (I played the PS4 version) on October 25. I’ll definitely give it a fair look when it comes out.
Final FantasyImpressionsPAX WestSquare EnixWorld of Final Fantasy