As a celebration gift for being so dang cool, I received World of Final Fantasy, a fun-filled adventure about twins with special powers catching Pokemon Mirages in order to either a) save the world or b) do the opposite of that. I'm not too far in to the game just yet, but I figured I would share some spoiler-free first impressions with you fine folks in the hopes of lighting a fire under your consumer butts.
I like to end things on a positive note, so I'm going to share the issues I have with the game first before going in to the good stuff. Remember, this is all ~subjective~ and experiences may vary.
What, the story? That sounds like a massive complaint. I know it does, but hear me out. The story itself is actually interesting. The concept is good and I am excited to see where it goes. Where I find it falls short, however, is in its execution. The story always feels secondary to everything else happening. Even the opening section where the main characters get these massive info bombs dumped on them, they just kind of roll with it and embark on an adventure. The story sections feel compressed and even rushed through at times. If you play games for the gameplay and don't much care for the story, this shouldn't be a major issue for you. If you're like me though, you may wish the scenes were a little more fleshed out.
Lann, the male twin, is a bit of a dimwit. Seemingly basic information flies right over his head and it's amazing he can actually tie his own shoes. The game makes sure you know what a dimwit he is at every. possible. opportunity. While the haha dumb humour may be funny once in a while, it can easily be overdone. What really gets me, however, is how mean the others are to him because he's not too bright. His sister never misses a chance to point out what an idiot he is and your furry foxy companion will always be there to share a laugh at his expense. While I understand some sibling and friendly teasing, it's actually bordering on bullying at this point and I no longer find it funny, just pitiful.
Tama is a little the-foxish mirage friend who like to the-insert the-the where it doesn't the-belong several the-times in her sentences. I know they probably think it's the-cute, but it isn't. It was barely cute the first the-time, let alone the hundredth. STOP. SAYING. "THE". STOP IT.
-Wow I found a secret, no I didn't.
The game likes to make me feel good for going out of my way and getting some "secret" stuff, only for me to find out it wasn't secret and I would have needed to do the exact thing in order to progress. While this is mainly obvious in some dungeons, I've noticed that with some Mirage stuff as well. Wow, I did this cool sidequest, oh wait but if I ever want to transfigure (evolve) my mirage, I probably would have needed to do this anyway.
Maybe I'm just playing wrong (no, it's the game that's wrong!) but it took me much too long to get a large sized Mirage. What does that mean? Well it means that my characters could very rarely take full advantage of their chibi forms because of how stacking works in this game. I finally just got 3 large ones, all around the same time, but this did provide some inconvenience for a little chunk of the game.
Now that the bummer stuff is out of the way, let's delve in to the positives that this game has to offer.
Good golly goodness do I love the Mirages. I get to catch and evolve adorable Final Fantasy creatures, some of which I think are unique to this game. Not only are they adorable and also very adorable (and adorable), but the transfiguration (evolution) is super convenient. You can unlock different mirage boards while still being able to complete previous ones. You can change which form the Mirage takes at any gate or save point, so you can switch back and forth between forms depending on what's convenient, AND the descriptions for the Mirages are just so fun.
Not only can the main characters freely go chibi, but I get to see adorable FF monsters as chibis. Better yet, I get to see guest star characters as chibi as well. This means so much adorableness packed in to one game. Plus, guest star FF characters, yeah? That's pretty cool.
Final Fantasy has had some absolutely gorgeous music throughout the series, and I love that World of FF makes good use by taking some of the classics and sprucing them up to fit the game. I don't feel like the songs were butchered, or even better necessarily, just that they've been given a new, fresh twist to them. I love listening to the new versions of these excellent songs.
-Soul touching (teehee)
As you meet some old FF friends, you can sometimes do little sidequests involving them. You don't get to directly play as them, but I love watching their stories happening (mostly) independently of the main two and you get to learn a bit more about them and their adventures. Whether it's watching the Warrior of Light protect his love or seeing Refia and Sherlotta fussing with the Undead Princess, these little mini episodes are a great way to help me get immersed in the world and see more of my favourite characters.
-Humour and fun
Overall one of my favourite things about World of Final Fantasy is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's fun. It not only pokes fun at itself, but it's just so... light. Things aren't heavy. The world isn't all doom and gloom. That doesn't mean it can't be serious when it needs to be, but it happens in-between periods of happiness and humour. The world is bright, the environments are bright, the characters are bright. It's a game that reminds you that "hey, things aren't so bad. Just relax and enjoy yourself." Playing World of FF puts a smile on my face and I think, at the end of the day, that's one of the most important things a game can do.
Have you given World of Final Fantasy a try yet? Are you interested in playing it? If you did play it, what were some of your impressions?