What in the world…
Final Fantasy is a series that’s been going for nearly 30 years. Naturally in that time it’s built an insanely large universe, with an equally large fan base that reaches across all corners of the globe. So it’s no surprise that Square Enix would want to write a love letter to fans in the form of World of Final Fantasy. Too bad the inks run dry.
The story follows two original characters, brother-and-sister duo Lann and Reynn. They live in the world of Nine Woods Hill and own a coffee shop. They don’t seem to be up to much when they bump into god who casually informs them that they were originally from the world of Grymoire and were powerful rulers. Now, joined with the most annoying mascot character since Jar-Jar, they set off back into Grymoire to regain their power while also getting to meet as many Final Fantasy characters as they can!
At the offset, World of Final Fantasy makes it abundantly apparent that it’s main job is to full your eyes to the brim with fan service and cuteness, but at the cost of a coherent story and likable characters.
WoFF crafts its story in such a way that it’s overbearing and impossible to follow, but overloaded with cameos and references to other Final Fantasy games. “Sure the plot makes little sense, but oh look it’s cloud! Doesn’t he look adorable?!”
And to be fair, everything in WoFF is cute as a button. When first seeing Ifrit, there was an incredible urge to want to cuddle him. The whole world is crafted with a fairy tale aesthetic, that leaves everything looking polished and shiny, leaving you in wonder and disillusion most the time.
Traveling is also a lot of fun. Lann and Reynn can switch between their normal modes and their miniature “cute” mode with the press of a button, and it makes running around surprisingly entertaining. Seeing a giant Reynn chase after a tiny Lann brought countless smiles.
Sadly, WoFF begins to show it’s flaws when it comes to the combat. Lann and Reynn are your two party members for the adventure. That’s it. Just two.
To make up for it, the game allows you to capture and level up monsters a bit like the Pokemon franchise. But you also have the ability to stack them on the twin’s heads, making them even more powerful. On paper it sounds like a great idea. There are so many wonderful creatures in the Final Fantasy universe, and now players finally have the chance to play as them.
Sadly, something happened on the way to heaven, and the combat feels more hollow than any Final Fantasy game in recent memory. Combat moves at a snail’s pace, with moves lacking the flashiness and impact found in other games. Square Enix even tried to fix this problem by including a fast forward and auto-battle system to attempt and relieve the pain and tedium.
Sadly it doesn’t help much, as the random encounter rate can sometimes be horribly frequent. And while in some games this isn’t a problem, WoFF never really gives the player a challenge, and each encounter seems to be more of a chance to capture a new monster, rather than test your fighting capability.
Thankfully the boss battles are somewhat engaging. Bosses require some strategy and logical thinking to overcome. Nothing too taxing on the brain, but enough to give a little jolt of excitement with each bosses defeat.
But once the bosses are defeated, it’s back to the grind with more cute but harmless monsters to capture / kill. Rinse and repeat, and after a overload of painfully cheesy cutscenes, and you’ve quickly seen what World of Final Fantasy has to offer.
World of Final Fantasy is a fair attempt at pleasing the masses by feeding their nostalgia. But sadly it comes off more as a rushed project that somewhat exploits fans love for the series. If all of these words and ramblings haven’t deterred you from World of Final Fantasy, then perhaps this game is for you! But for many, it will feel like Square Enix played it too safe and ended up releasing a half baked adventure.