Since we have a bit of a theme going here with the Final Fantasy series, let’s keep the trend alive and talk about another recent release from Square Enix, World of Final Fantasy. Worlds is a bit like Kingdom Hearts without Disney. It takes elements from all of the previous FF games and mashes them into a new and interesting story.
In Worlds you play as Lann and Renn, a pair of twins who have been spliced out of times normal flow for a long period of…time. They are randomly approached one day by a woman who refers to herself as Enna Kros and claims to be god. She tells the two that their memories were destroyed, and that they were once able to command vast armies of mirages (read: FF monsters). and suggests that they should travel to a world known as Grimoire in order to rebuild their power base. In the process, she claims, they may also be able to rediscover who they are and what happened to their family. They set off into Grimoire accompanied by a floating, talking fox creature named Tama and the story begins.
So that’s the premise in a nutshell. Naturally the story goes much deeper than that but I won’t spoil it here. The game is definitely worth experiencing first hand if you’re a fan of the series. But what is it that sets this game apart?
Unlike XV, Worlds stays true to the traditional turn-based combat style. What makes it different from other installments though is the concept of ‘stacking’. Inexplicably, the way things work in Grimoire means if you put a moogle (or similar small creature) on top of your head you will thereby become more powerful. Sound logic right there.
Realism aside, you get two different stacks for each of your forms (Lilikin where you become small and chibi like the npc’s of Grimoire, and Jiant, normal human form) and you can customize them to your liking as you capture more and more mirages. So if you’ve ever wanted to ride around on a behemoth, this game allows you to finally live the dream. Summons take a new form in this game. Rather than calling forth powerful godlike beings, you’re summoning champions from Grimoire. So instead of Ifrit you’re summoning Cloud, Lightning or Squall for example. You’ll still be able to use the good old summons, just in a different way. They’re mirages here so you’ll be able to add them to your stacks.
Worlds does characters very, very well…for the most part. It’s interesting to be able to see so many characters from various FF games interacting with each other and to see how Square Enix decided to have their stories play out. Since this is an alternate reality, each characters story is a bit different from what we’ve played in their original games. The dialogue is excellent and in many cases, absolutely hilarious. The writers did a great job on this one. The interactions between Gilgamesh from FFV and just about anyone he runs into had me dying.
There’s also a lot of fourth wall breaking in this game, especially if you take the time to read the Who’s Who manual in the twins bedroom as you make your way through the story. The developer’s notes on certain characters break right out of the game in some cases, even calling themselves out for being ridiculous in a few of them. All in all, Worlds is a fun game that’s good for a few laughs and taking a new and different look at the many stories and characters we’ve seen over the years.
So any complaints? A few. For one, you’ll be grinding a lot. You can capture mirages at all points throughout the game, but no matter where you are or what level, any new monsters you capture start at level one. So if you decide to make a change to your party late in the game, you’ll have a lot of catching up to do. Also, while it does add to the humor in some cases, Lann is an idiot. The guy is extremely dumb and his companions don’t really let him forget it. I almost felt bad because they rag on him pretty hard the whole way through. That’s about all I have to say against it though. If you’re looking for a new and enjoyable experience, this game will certainly deliver.