I was intrigued by World of Final Fantasy when I saw all the chibi characters in a trailer for it. I bought the game and was ready to check it out. The introduction to Lann and Reynn, a brother and sister is interesting. Lann and Reynn are known as Mirage keepers which is all explained in the introduction when they meet their fox companion Tama, who is a Mirage. Mirages are creatures that Lann and Reynn can capture with a tool called a prismarium. It definitely has a Pokemon feel to it with capturing a variety of Mirages and leveling them up and evolving them into bigger and faster Mirages.
|Lann meets Tama.|
There is a tutorial to get the hang of the game and the battle system. This also shows you an ability that Lann and Reynn have to switch from a big form known as Jiants or to a very small size which is known as Lillikins. Depending on the battle you're fighting you can switch. This also shows another unique aspect of the game, stacking. Big or small, Lann and Reynn can stack Mirages. You can mix and match the variety of Mirages depending on what you need for different battles. While big, they can have Mirages stack on top of them and when they are small they can stack on top of larger Mirages.
|Stacking, the Jiant's version.|
Stacking is a lot of fun. There's all kinds of combinations to try and it makes you think about what strategies you want to plan out while battling enemies and bosses. For example, if you have a boss that is weak to lightning you can stack Mirages with the ability to cast powerful lightning spells and gain the upper hand to victory. Capturing Mirages takes finesse as well in some cases. For a few you have to cast certain spells in a certain order to have the option to capture them. It can be a little frustrating because sometimes it takes a few tries, but for the more powerful Mirages it's definitely worth it.
|Stacking Lilikin style.|
The battle system is well done. You have the option to choose active or wait depending on your play style. I chose wait because I like having time to plan out my battles. The nice thing about that is, you can speed up the battle with the touch of a button so you can get to your turn faster. This was great for me in the longer dungeons when I wanted to get to the end a little quicker. You also get a bit of help in the form of Champion medals. You can carry up to three at a time and they all do support things in battle ranging from increasing your defense to casting healing spells and yes, they are in chibi form. Many of them are characters from the Final Fantasy games such as Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII) or Tidus (Final Fantasy X) and you can get more medals from a character known as The Girl Who Forgot Her Name.
|Everyone sing the Sephiroth song! Champion medal summoning go!|
The story itself for the game is very interesting set in the world of Grymoire where everyone is chibi while Lann and Reynn are known as the keepers who are Jiants and there is a prophecy about them. They can change size from big to small at will and that is part of the story as well. Lann and Reynn start their adventure with Tama in tow. There's so much to see and do and hundreds of Mirages to capture. Lann and Reynn meet and make many new friends during their adventure. I found myself smiling at the fact that many of them are characters from the Final Fantasy series. I was delighted to see Rikku and laughed when I saw Shantotto from Final Fantasy XI.
|Chibi Rikku is adorable.|
The exploration of the different areas is pretty straightforward, but each one is a lot of fun to explore. They are colorful and pretty. Some of the Mirages have an ability called Joyride which means you can summon them and hitch a ride so you can travel in style. Just running around seeing what Mirages you can find and capture is a lot of fun. I was determined to get myself a Moogle and a Chocobo and I succeeded. The Mirages you capture can also offer up items you can use such as jewels that can allow you to use certain spells.
|Just a guy, riding on his shark.|
There are side quests you can do known as Mini ventures. You can fulfill requests for townsfolk or visit the Girl Who Forgot Her Name to do quests that are known as Intervention quests. These quests feature many of the characters Lann and Reynn have met during their adventures and basically let Lann and Reynn step in or intervene to help them with a battle. Just a heads up, you should do all of the intervention quests as it does determine whether or not you get the good ending or the bad ending in the game. You can also visit a place called the Colosseum and battle Mirages for rewards. This is an added bonus because you can capture many of the Mirages you battle here. You can also fight special secret bosses in cubes known as Murkrifts. These Mirages are more challenging and you have to really plan out your stacks and strategies. If you're truly successful you can capture some of them and earn mementos from them for evolving your Mirages.
|Giant Cactuars are just one secret boss challenge.|
My only complaint about the game is the fact that every time I needed to restock on supplies I had to go back to Nine Wood Hills (Lann and Reynn's home) and get items from the only shop there. That would often feel a bit inconvenient whenever I had a dungeon to explore and I had to go all the way back to a portal and jump through to restock. It detracted from the exploration a bit, but it wasn't that big a deal that the game wasn't fun for me.
Don't let the cute little characters fool you into thinking this is just a cute game and nothing more. World of Final Fantasy is a solid game with a smart combat system, easily navigated inventory, and a good story. The characters are interesting, there's a lot of fun humor, and even after the main story is completed there are more quests to do and extra challenges. World of Final Fantasy is fun with stacking and more. It's a game that definitely gives you your money's worth and you'll find yourself smiling and enjoying the experience.
|Celebrating has never been cuter.|
*World of Final Fantasy is playable on the following platforms: Playstation4 and Playstation Vita