Grymoire is the-waiting for you
Game: World of Final Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
(Review copy provided by publisher)
World of Final Fantasy is a tale of two adventurers Reynn and Lann who take off on a journey into the world of Grymoire to regain their memories after both suffering from amnesia. They are both aided by a mirage known as Tama who helps guide them on their way. Travelling across Grymoire, they will meet a multitude of familiar faces, capture many mirages and will find out what their destiny means.
At first glance the games visuals are stunning as you would expect from a Final Fantasy game but not in the style as you would expect. Here Square Enix have opted for a more cartoon look with Chibi style characters throughout. The two main characters firstly appear in a more Human style form with similarities to Kingdom Hearts. In their human form they are known as Jiants but as they enter the world of Grymoire they too can also take on the Chibi form better known as Lilikin.
As you explore Grymoire you will encounter many mirages in and out of battle. Battles are a mix of turn based gameplay very similair to that of Final Fantasy X and capturing the mirages you encounter in battle. There are two types of battle menus; the newest addition requires you to hold the analogue in a certain direction while pressing the corresponding skill shown on screen to perform an action of the current character and their mirages. The other menu definitely feels better as it is a classic style showing all available menus from a single window much like almost all past Final Fantasy games. Long time fans will definitely feel more at ease with this but of course it’s up to personal preference and it can be changed at any time, even during battle.
Capturing mirages varies between each one you face. Some will require you to simply knock away a portion of their health whilst some will require a certain elemental attack or status to be cast on them. This will allow you to use the Imprism command on that mirage; this is distinguished more easily when they start to glow. Once Imprismed you have caught yourself a mirage and it is added to your collection and you are free to name it. Once you start to catch many mirages you will be limited to how many you take with you but once you capture a new one you are free to replace it.
So what do mirages do once you have captured them? You put them on your small giant head of course! There are 3 sizes of mirages; small, medium and large. Each size determines where they can be placed. It can be confusing at first; you can set 4 different stacks so 2 for Reynn and 2 for Lann and each character has two types of stacks; one for the Lilikin form and one for the Jiant form. In the Jiant form, both Reynn and Lann themselves are classed as the Large in the stack and can set a medium mirage on top of them with a small mirage on top of the medium. In the Lilikin form both Reynn and Lann are medium size therefore are in the middle of a stack; this means they will have a small mirage on top of them but means they can ride large mirage underneath them which is my preferred type of stack and looks super cool (you can even ride the mirage as a mount when not in battle!). Of course whichever stack you have set determines what you go into battle with. Each character as well as mirage have their own HP, AP and other attributes and when stacked are linked into one. The other nice aspect which I should point out is you are not limited to having both characters in Lilikin or Jiant form at the same time; you can have Reynn as a Jiant and Lann as a Lilikin no problem.
Mirages have their own boards in which they can power up. Abilites and stat boosts are unlocked using skill points your mirages earn when they level. Some require certain conditions but are not by any means difficult; once a mirage has reached it’s true potential they can even turn into more powerful mirages through Transfiguration.
During battles your characters and mirages are known as a stack. As I mentioned, the stats are combined and this can lead to access of new skills and magic but you have the option of unstacking in battle; this will allow you to fight apart and unstacking both characters can be both beneficial and troublesome. Characters in a stack also share the weaknesses of the mirages they are stacked with; unstacked this doesn’t happen and only the individual is affected. It is a lot more easier in the case of being unstacked to recover an onslaught as more turns means a better recovery rate.
Mediums and Champions are another aspect of battle; as you progress the story some of Grymoire’s residents are born with great potential to become powerful. These mediums learn of their true power and become known as Champions. These Champions are known as some of Final Fantasy’s greatest icons such as the Warrior of Light who can be summoned during battle to deal a hard hitting attack which can turn the tide in your favour.
You will find yourself traversing the world of Grymoire through areas much like you do in Final Fantasy X and Kingdom Hearts, with most starting areas containing a gate in which you can return to Nine Wood Hills to restock and save if you need to. The treacherous regions of Grymoire will have certain obstacles for you to overcome. For example you need a fire elemental mirage with the Sizzle ability to burn away a grassy vine; this requires you to have that mirage in your party which if you don’t is rather annoying to backtrack. Most of the time these areas are optional so if you are a completionist you will most likely come back at a later point with the required abilities to reach these otherwise out of bound areas. There are other mandatory obstacles, which while some are easy to overcome others will have you there hours ripping out your hair; especially the Ice sliding puzzle .Rather than have many stores found in new towns in the games everything you buy is from a very familiar individual in Nine Wood Hills with updated wares as you progress. Here is where you will also find you can manage your prismariams with Serafie aswell as partake in other events which you will unlock later in the game.
The real charm from this game comes from the light-hearted conversations between the characters you meet and the nostalgia of meeting past characters in their own Chibi style form. Some people may find the voice acting in the game very cheesy and childlike which it is but for a good reason; it fits the art style perfectly. Not only that but each character has a distinct personality which shines. My favourite character being Serafie who has the most mischievous personality going aswell as a voice as if she cannot be bothered to do anything although she will do anything for you when it comes to holding on to all the spare mirages you have caught. It is always exciting when you see some of Final Fantasy’s most iconic characters you have yet to speak but when you do it isn’t what you expect but in a good way.
The music in this game is amazing as expected. World of Final Fantasy contains many new fitting pieces of music and old classic remixes done splendidly.
World of Final Fantasy is a masterpiece. The games’ capturing of monsters is very reminiscent of Jade Cocoon and Dragon Warrior Monsters with a blend of art style, gameplay and music that reminds me of Kingdom Hearts. If you have no patience of high pitched voices, cheesy dialogue and wish for something more dark then this game may not be for you. I think this is a great starting game for both old (depending on your level of maturity) and young and is a great starting point for anyone wanting to get into the Final Fantasy series. The game isn’t revolutionary by any means however long time fans such as myself will adore seeing old faces while new players may not understand many of the characters; they for sure will when they go to play some of the main series titles. The game is around 40 hours long with around 100 hours of side quest so if you are looking for something to tide you over until Final Fantasy XV then you should definitely check this out.