To sum up this game for those who are confused by the initial premise of World of Final Fantasy is essentially the universe of Final Fantasy meets the mechanics of Pokemon (almost like Joker from Dragon Quest on the DS).
Twin Siblings Lann and Reynn navigate the realm of Grymoire, a magical world within the Final Fantasy realm where many previous games collide. The main plotline is simple and even a little plain, but allows for the rest of the game to shine. Upon entering this new realm the heroes learn of two prophecies co-inciding: the Crimson prophecy vs the Azure prophecy. Inhabitants of this new world seem to think that Lann and Reynn fall into the Azure prophecy which will end the war, where as the Crimson prophecy would only worsen the situation.
All the characters and monsters in this world, outside of the world Lann and Reynn knew, are rendered in a chibi-style form. This form is the Lilikins form. The main two characters however are able to revert between the two forms, Lilikins for little and Jiant for when they return to their original sizes. This works in tandem with the main mechanic of this game: Stacking. The Stacking mechanic revamps and brings new life into the old school turn based system of RPGs. Mirages and Machines can be captured and fight alongside Lann and Rynne in battle. There is a new form of fighting introduced in this game where allies stack on top of one another in stacks of three to combine power and abilities. These stacks consist of one small, medium and large sized being. Both Lann and Rynne can be either the medium or the large sized being in the stack depending on which form (Lilikins or Jiant) they are in. The forms can be easily switched out on the overworld, as well as them being able to change regardless of which mode the other is in. These totem poles of death allow Lann and Ryenn to harness the powers of the world in order to release it from the evil Federation.
The over the top voice acting and animations can become grating after some time but falls into the norm for Square Enix and fits the childish character of the universe to some degree.
World of Final Fantasy may seem like a fan service targeted at a younger audience but it goes much deeper than that. This ties in well as the game was made to target a younger audience, with both producers Shinji Hasimoto and Hiroki Chiba having made darker final fantasy games (Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Type-0) they wanted to make something far more lighthearted. It’s fair to say that they succeeded in World of Final Fantasy, the atmosphere and aesthetic are adorable. The world is warm and fuzzy, as well as a nostalgic trip down Final Fantasy lane. Many of the previous game’s protagonists and antagonists return briefly on this journey, each taking you back to their original story. It is also hard not to laugh at the more serious and aloof characters in chibi form, Cloud Strife (FFVII), Squall Leonhart (FFVIII) and Lightning (FFXIII) for instance.
The plotline is simple and plain with some uninteresting main leads but is made up with the inclusion and fan service from the old faces from the older games. World of Final Fantasy attempts to please everyone, while being nostalgic and lighthearted for a younger audience and the older fans at the same time. It is the originality of the game that actually makes it worth playing, not the nostalgia. The cleverness of the stacking mechanic and form changing, along with some impressive graphics on the PS4 should be the biggest selling points and will hopefully be what it is remembered for.
Developer: Tose/Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PS4, PS VITA
**Review copy provided by the publisher**