Game Title: World of Final Fantasy
Developer: Tose, Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
World of Final Fantasy, is SquareEnix's answer to Nintendo's Pokemon. Well, sort of. The game is about the twins Reynn and Lann who woke up one day and found themselves lost some of their memories. They met the mysterious Enna Kros giving them hints that going to Grymoire will restore their memories. Guided by Tama, a Mirage the magical journey of the twins begins.
World of Fantasy
Graphics, though you'll see some slowdowns from time to time is still AWESOME. Some says it's more of a PS2 game graphics. But hey, PS2 graphics are stunning mind you. The graphics still shine for Vita. Just don't keep on comparing it to the PS4 one as the glow effect present in PS4 is not here. Characters are cute and cuddly. Your favorite Final Fantasy characters are present as well with superb voice acting even in their cutest forms. The game is passable as a high budget game as a lot of effort has been made for cutscenes. Not just talking heads like we see on RPG's nowadays. This game has emotions and you really feel if there's happiness or sadness because the story telling is really great. Final Fantasy Characters are there but you won't be able to use them as part of your party but instead you can summon them and do one time damage each battle.
Players have the ability to Shrink or Grow(Lilikin mode and Jiant mode) which has effect on both stats and stacked party which later will be discussed on this review. There are certain Mirages(Monsters in the game) that you can ride on which slightly makes movement faster but you need to be of certain level and Mirage evolved form before you can do that. For instance, you cannot ride a Chocobo on its baby form, you need to be on its 2nd form and have enough SP, which is not much, so you can use the Joyride(The ability you need to learn in order for you to ride the Mirage).
Mirages has unique skills as well, there are certain Mirage which you need to include in your party in order to progress certain points of the game as Mirages has skills that you need overcome the obstacles. Like the Mythril Giants' Smash ability which will break stones. Fritts' Sizzle ability which can melt Ice. Those are just some and there are many more skills.
Stacking Mirage to build Stats
If you've enjoyed Pokemon and Final Fantasy games. You will pretty much enjoy this. Rock-paper-scissors system is still there managing your party for the next battle by stacking them up. Literally stacking up. The main characters are present during battles, unlike Pokemon games(yeah I kept on saying Pokemon because it's literally one of the closes game I can compare it to) where trainers are not part of the battle, in WOFF(World of Final Fantasy) The Reynn and Lann are both present during battle.
Each time you battle the characters are automatically stacked together. They all take damage together and if HP of a stack group reaches zero then you all die. Stacking though combines all your stats and skills together and there are abilities that needs a combination of stack in order for you to use and acquire it.
Unstacking is a different story. When you unstack you get weaker ofcourse and make you vulnerable to enemy attacks. I usually unstack when I needed to weaken an enemy as attacking them while in stack will definitely kill them in one shot. There are times that you need to unstack and its up to you to find out when. I'll not spoil it here. There are times though that the enemy has attacks that will topple your stack and unbalance the team. When this happens you will be dizzy for a while and enemy has the advantage.
Battle mode is same with the Final Fantasy games you can do an active or wait battle mode. Wait means enemies wait you while you choose which moves to use while in active mode, the enemy doesn't care if your still thinking of what move to use as they will continue to attack and attack. You can adjust the option depending on your playstyle as you can sometimes use active mode to your advantage.
Afraid of game over and starting over again? No worries, as long as you are not on special boss battles. You can die and be revived again without LOSING ANYTHING. You'll just need to walk around the dungeon since you are thrown back to the town. But regardless, this makes things easier if you've forgot to bring a Mirage or skill to capture a rare mirage.
Customize the Mirage Build and Transfiguration
Transfiguration(Evolution in Pokemon terminology) is what WOFF calls the next form of evolution of a Mirage. What I love about the game is it's like an MMORPG that you are free to choose which skills and stats booster you will learn first. They call it here the Mirage Board. A collection of a Mirage skills and stats booster. Every time you level up you get SP's and the SP's are the ones you spend to learn new moves. If you have played Final Fantasy X before then that's very comparable to that. So need to learn certain numbers of skills and stat boosters to reach the transfiguration stage of a Mirage, and there are conditions that you need to finish as well in order for you to evolve your Mirage.
There are tons and tons of Stacking combinations that you can do. This makes the game so unique and balanced. I see some people battling online with weird combinations that never in the world would I think of doing myself. The customization does not end there as Mirage's are given slots so they can learn skills and stat boosters from seeds which they wouldn't normally learn.
Bored with the story? Not catching up and feeling sleepy? There's a fast forward functionality available in WOFF. You can fast forward cutscenes and battle to fasten things up a little.
Quest and Side missions
There are tons of quests and side missions to fulfill. From secret mirages and quests from people around the world of Grymoire. There's a coliseum which has tons of challenges to unlock and mirages to capture. Talk about post game content and mirages combos. There's a lot of things to do on this game. So expect 100 hours for the game.
Soundtrack and Battle theme customization
The game's soundtrack is superb. You will hear a lot of familiar themes from Final Fantasy games done in remix. Plus I don't remember a SQUARENIX game that lets you customize the battle theme. In WOFF yes you can change the battle theme which is for me a really cool feature.
Some Minor Issues
I think one of the minor issues I have for the game is the lack of shortcut for the Mirages list on the menu. Plus the teleportation. Sometimes loading takes time specially when loading big cities and cutscenes. But these are minor gripes that's passable. The story might bore some but this is Final Fantasy. This is how they do story telling.
World of Final Fantasy gets my top 1 for the best Vita RPG game of ALL time. Persona 4 being 2nd and Trails series being 3rd. SQUARENIX has done a tremendous job with this Final Fantasy Spinoff and not shaming the Final Fantasy franchise with its Poke clone game. It has its own unique feature and some we are wishing for in monster collecting games for years. Even though this is SQUARENIX's first try for this kind of game. They have successfully created a game that would appeal to both adults and children. Can’t wait for the sequel! :)
· Great Graphics
· Great Soundtrack
· Tons of Customizations
· Fast forward
· Final Fantasy Characters
· Funny and cute characters specially Moogles
· Hours of gameplay
· Some hiccups
· No shortcut for Mirage list you've seen and caught
· Anime cutscenes (Good but they could've pushed 3D all the way)