World of Final Fantasy on the PlayStation 4 allows players to embark on an adventure unlike any before to an all new World of Final Fantasy. With charming, stylized visuals for both the young and the young at heart, players will collect, raise, and battle iconic monsters by stacking them to form adorable yet strategic monster towers. The memorable legends of Final Fantasy come to life in this imaginative, colorful world as an epic story ﬁ t for the smallest of heroes unfolds.
World of Final Fantasy is a role-playing video game developed by Tose and Square Enix, and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita consoles. It was released worldwide in October 2016.
The Final Fantasy series absolutely loves its fan service. Games in the franchise will often take every single chance they are given to capitalize on some nostalgia that fans have, whether it's the constant reintroduction of Cid Highwind in every single game or the song that accompanies the riding of chocobos.
Every once in a while, Square will decide to take this fan service all the way, put out some product that is nothing but fan service, like the Advent Children movie or the entirety of Final Fantasy X-2. When it comes to making games though, they've never done anything quite as blatant or thorough as World of Final Fantasy, a game inhabited entirely about cute miniaturized versions of characters from just about every mainline Final Fantasy game, and a few of the spin offs.
This game is, for all intents and purposes, fan service incarnate. The world honestly reminds me a lot of Kingdom Hearts, with the player dropped into the roles of some previously unknown characters band sailing through this world filled with adorable chibi versions of all your favourite Final Fantasy buddies. Around every corner is a fresh new handful of them, some far more recognizable than others.
Of course, it isn't particularly easy to try and build a plot around existing characters. More often than not, those sorts of plots end up a complex, muddled mess like Kingdom Hearts, which has become a ridiculously confusing mess of characters and plot-lines over the years. World of Final Fantasy, sadly, falls right into that trap. You play as two siblings seeking their mother, who can transform at will between their chibi forms that look like every other character in the game, and their more kingdom hearts looking "Jiant" forms. Of course, they're also amnesiacs, because it just would not be a JRPG if everyone could remember exactly where they came from. Most importantly to my enjoyment of the game though, they refuse to ever shut up, throwing out commentary and fourth wall breaking fan service every few minutes. It's a never-ending strings of bad jokes and poor writing that becomes almost impossible to escape. The entire story can be skipped, but you're going to end up really confused as to what's going on in the labyrinthine plot if you do so.
Thankfully, unlike a lot of Final Fantasy games, especially the modern ones, World of Final Fantasy isn't singularly focused on its plot. It's always there, hovering in the background, and it does show up in all too regular cut scenes, but the main focus in World of Final Fantasy are the battles, which are probably not at all what you have come to expect from a Final Fantasy game.
In fact the easiest comparison is Pokemon. World of Final Fantasy leans into its fan service elements heavily, even in its combat system, allowing players to collect monsters from the entirety of the series and use them in battles. Referred to as Mirages, they all have their own elemental tendencies, and I found collecting them every bit as enjoyable as I find collecting Pokemon, though there aren't anywhere near as many of them. It makes up for this with its combat mechanics though, which is a bit more advanced than the one found in Pokemon. Not only can you stack multiple Mirages on top of each other to boost their stats, but doing so can also modify what they're capable of. This constant swapping of Mirages and building of new teams, searching for the best team synergies is by far the most intriguing and engaging part of the game by far.
That said, the combat system being really well built doesn't really help when the dungeons that you have to use them in are anything but. The vast majority of World of Final Fantasy takes place in seemingly endless underground mazes. If you've played the older Final Fantasy games, you'll likely be familiar, though they haven't reared their ugly head in a long time. You'll eventually make it through them, but only after fighting an insane number of random battles and getting turned around a few dozen times.
World of Final Fantasy loves the idea of nostalgia, but it only goes skin deep on it. The game absolutely loves to throw one classic character after another in your face, but it never does anything with them beyond that. Everything is on a very surface level, it feels like the game is constantly yelling at you, demanding that you remember things from past games. And the dialogue that reinforces that feeling really drags down everything else the game has to offer, like its mostly entertaining monster collecting mechanics. If you can shrug off the main characters and their dialogue, there's a lot to love here, but many people will be turned off almost immediately.